Mike Freire - Who Is Joe Maddon?


For starters, I do not like to see someone lose their job but if you are not producing acceptable results, then usually you are replaced with someone who will do what you were supposed to do.  It is a normal part of the process, whether you are in sales, teaching middle school or managing a professional sports team. 

It is sometimes hard to take the emotion (or the cash considerations) out of the equation, but you have to be cold and calculating when you assess someone's job performance.  If you are anything but that, you will likely make a less than optimal decision.  

Additionally, I am also a believer that it is hard for a person to change once they establish who they are.  In other words, it is safer to rely on a person's history as an indicator of what they will do in the future, as opposed to expecting radical changes while using the same variables.  

Most Mets' fans remember the Terry Collins era and how he was probably given more "rope" then he deserved for a variety of reasons OTHER then job performance.  He had a track record slightly below .500 and that is what he produced with the Mets.  No real surprise, other then how long it took for management and ownership to turn in a different direction.

Terry was actually replaced by our current manager, Mickey Callaway, after the 2017 season.  By all accounts, Mickey is a nice guy with a decent track record as a Pitching Coach for the Cleveland Indians.  However, he has been rather pedestrian as the manager of the Mets in his almost two years in the dugout.  As of this article, Mickey has a record of 155-158, or a winning percentage of .495 which isn't that far off of the aforementioned Terry Collins. Granted, Mickey has had to deal with an inexplicably bad bullpen, but he does share some of the responsibility since it is his area of expertise. He also has made his fair share of "head scratching" maneuvers which are 100% his responsibility.

IF this team wants to take the next step towards becoming a championship ball club, I simply do not see it happening under Mickey's watch.  Actually, if the hot streak to end this season results in Mickey getting one more chance in 2020, how many of you doubt the team will be around .500 when all is said and done?

No, I think it is time to move on and I think our new(er) General Manager will likely feel the same way, since he did not select Mickey after the last managerial turnover.  IF that is the case, then my first pick for a replacement would be current Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon who will be a free agent after the 2019 season (barring an unexpected contract extension).

Joe's methods may be a bit unorthodox and perhaps he is a bit "too laid back", but one thing you cannot argue is his track record of success in the dugout. 

In over 16 years as manager of the Angels (interim status for a total of 51 games), the Rays (1459 games) and the Cubs (799 games and counting), Joe has a career record of 1250-1059, or a winning percentage of .541, along with 9 playoff appearances, 2 pennants and 1 championship.  They nearly added another playoff appearance this year, falling short due to a red hot Milwaukee club slipping past them for the final Wild Card spot (still a very solid season).

If you remove the interim games he managed, along with his first two years in Tampa (horrible Rays teams), his record over the last dozen years would improve to 1096-858, or a winning percentage of .567 which equates to a regular season record of 92-70.......consistently for over a decade!  

I am actually floored that the Cubs are not going to keep him in the fold.  This is a team that previously had a history of poor performances before Maddon's arrival.  Since Maddon took over, they have been perennial playoff contenders.  It is almost a case of "you don't know what you've got, until it's gone" (for all you Scorpion's fans).

If he is available, I think this would be a "no brainer" for the Mets, especially since Maddon would bring instant credibility to the dugout.  Plus, he is known to be an analytics guru which is right up BVW's alley.  The only roadblock that I can see is if a certain ownership group who shall remain nameless balks at Maddon's probable price (he is completing a 5 year, 25 million dollar contract with the Cubs and would likely get at least that amount moving forward). 

But, if Maddon does get the opportunity and the Mets become normal participants in the playoffs, the increase in attendance alone would more then pay for his likely contract, right? Plus, if the Mets don't hire him, I can see someone like the Phillies doing so which would be extremely painful to watch.

I am planting my flag now and I vote for Joe in 2020!


Tom Brennan said...

If Maddon is healthy and willing, sign him.

A damning indictment against "pitcher expert" Mickey is how poorly the pen has performed the last 2 seasons.

See my 8 AM article to see what I think of Mickey.

Mack Ade said...

Mike -

Do we really want to go all Grandpa here?

TP said...

No on Maddon “Joe”. Yes on Girardi “Joe”.

Tom Brennan said...

"ABM", folks - ANYBODY but Throwaway Callaway in 2020.

John From Albany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John From Albany said...

If they do make a change, it has to be someone who managed before. Maddon, or Girardi would be improvements. There will also be other managers fired at the end of the year. Maybe Clint Hurdle or Alex Cora. Even Syracuse manager Tony Defrancisco would be improvement (look at Syracuse's stolen base totals vs. the Mets SB totals).
Then the big question, whomever is chosen, how much say in running the team will they have?

Mike Freire said...

I hear you, Mack.......Joe is a bit older then most, but I think the "steady hand" and respect that he would command in the dugout would be invaluable. Plus, he is an analytics "junkie" so he would mesh well with the front office.

Call me crazy, but I think this team would respond to his leadership.

OR......go the other route and give a young managerial "prospect" a shot, like Edgardo Aflonso?

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