When Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon opted out of his contract yesterday, fans from almost every team in baseball, including the Phillies, cried out for their team to hire Maddon as their manager. Maddon is generally regarded as one of the top managers in the game. Logic would have it that if Maddon is better than the team's current manager, then it would be a reasonable upgrade. However, do not expect to see Maddon in the Phillies dugout anytime soon.
What Would Be Some Reasons Maddon and the Phillies Would Be a Match?
Maddon is a local boy. Well, sorta.
Some fans said, "Bring Maddon home!" referring to the Phillies. Maddon is from Hazelton, PA, about 100 miles or so from Philadelphia. Further, having a home in St. Petersburg area, Maddon could live at his St. Pete home during Spring Training.
The Phillies are looking to rebuild and Maddon has a history of bringing young players along.
Maddon may have enjoyed seeing the likes of David Price, James Shields, Evan Longoria, and others come through the Rays system. A rebuilding team would be a perfect fit for Maddon, right?
The Phillies have money to shell out.
Maddon reportedly wants to be compensated like one of the top two or three managers in the game, because really, he IS one of the top two or three managers in the game. If the Phillies have money, then why not spend it on a manager?
Here are the reasons that Maddon probably is NOT a match with the Phillies:
Maddon lives in Southern California.
Maddon and his wife Jaye have quite the love story. Right after the 2008 World Series the couple went to Fullerton, California and got married there. Jaye is a Southern California native, and once they married Maddon took up his primary residence there. Philadelphia is quite the distance from Philadelphia and Maddon sounds like a family man. Remember, happy wife=happy life.
Maddon may look to a more polished organization
The Phillies need to rebuild, and they finally admitted as such. Maddon may have seen the Longorias and Prices come through the Rays system, but the Phillies currently have none of those pieces. The Rays picked first or second in the draft a few years in a row to set themselves up to get these pieces, and that losing came prior to Maddon's entrance. By the time Maddon took the helm in 2006, the 2008 AL Champion Rays core was on their way.
The Phillies have a manager
Ruben Amaro Jr. gave Todd Zolecki of MLB.com a non-denial denial:
“We have a manager,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said this afternoon. “Ryne Sandberg is our manager.”
So no plans to speak to him?
“Like I said, we have a manager,” Amaro said.
While Amaro did not do what Los Angeles Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman did and outright state that the current manager would be the manager next season, we know too well what Pat Gillick's take on managers is. When Gillick joined the Phillies, many fans were calling for Charlie Manuel to be fired. Gillick did not budge.
What Gillick did was put pieces around Manuel to help the Phillies succeed. And they did. There is no reason to believe that this situation will be any different. Ryne Sandberg did not have much to work with in 2014, and there is no reason why he should be removed going into 2014. Sandberg patiently rode the buses of the minor leagues until he got a managing job; that patience will be needed in 2015.