Maddon on 500th win with Rays: It's all the players
Maddon with a ball from the game.
Manager Joe Maddon downplayed the accomplishment of winning his 500th game with the Rays, saying the credit should go to the players.
"Honestly, until (VP communications) Rick Vaughn brought it up a couple days ago, I had no clue this was going on,'' Maddon said. "It really speaks to the quality of the players and the organization is what it does. Whereas the first couple years spoke to the lack of quality. All of a sudden it got better in years 3, etc. I just happen to be standing in the corner of the dugout. Our guys, it's just the ability, the skill level, the way this group cares, all that stuff is really increased on an annual basis. The 500 wins, I just happen to be the steward of this group and i have reaped the benefits of their play. Better baseball players make you a lot smarter manager.'
Maddon becomes the fifth manager to have at least 500 wins with their current team, joining Ron Gardenhire (Twins), Jim Leyland (Tigers), Charlie Manuel (Phillies), Mike Scioscia (Angels).
Maddon said he appreciated the opportunity to stick around.
"At the end of the second year that was that moment where ownership could have thought something differently, but did not,'' he said. "They chose to stay with me, and part of that is why I wanted to sign the extension when we got that opportunity. I've said it before, this is the best place in the major leagues to be as a manager. And I really believe we've become a destination spot for players. I know maybe we don't pay the most money but as a place to participate and as a place to grow and feel free as a major-leaguer to take your game to the field, I think this is a great place to play."