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Bench coach Dave Martinez a possible loss for Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon's staff

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays will spend the next few months sorting out how best to improve their needy offense and how much of their strong starting pitching to give up to do so.

On a shorter timeline, they should know who will be guiding them.

Manager Joe Maddon has one year remaining on his contract and is likely to be offered a multiyear extension. Contracts of all coaches are up now, with Maddon saying he didn't expect many changes.

But bench coach Dave Martinez is considered a top candidate for the White Sox manager's job and, possibly, the Red Sox job. Neither team requested permission to talk with Martinez on Wednesday, but it may not be long.

Maddon said losing Martinez would be significant and cause some shuffling of the staff.

"I'd love for him to get that opportunity if that's what he would like to do; we would absolutely congratulate him and wish him well, and it would be outstanding," Maddon said. "From our perspective with the Rays it would be a big loss for us, and for me personally. Because the job that he does, he really takes a lot off of my plate on a daily basis. He's grown into that position extremely well. He understands it, he gets it, he does it as good as anybody out there right now. … So it would be a big loss for us, and to try to re-train or regenerate the position takes time."

NUMBERS GAME: Tuesday's crowd of 28,299 for Game 4 of the ALDS was the smallest for a postseason game in 30 years, since a 1981 strike-year division series afternoon game drew 26,375 in Milwaukee. … The Rays' 17 percent decrease in average attendance (from 22,759 to 18,879) was second largest in the majors, behind the Dodgers. They were 29th in the majors by average, 28th by total, at 1,529,188, their lowest since 2007. … The Rays also had the third largest decrease — 37.5 percent — in local TV ratings, according to SportsBusiness Journal.

PITCHING IN: Maddon said he pulled RHP Jeremy Hellickson after only four innings Tuesday because he was concerned that he gave up three homers to right-handed hitters, and suggested fatigue was an issue. Of the 26 homers Hellickson allowed in his career, 11 were to right-handers.

"If the homers came from the lefties, it wouldn't have bothered me as much," Maddon said. "This is a lot of innings (193) for Jeremy this season. It's above his threshold, basically. I had to get him out of there, I thought."

MISCELLANY: Maddon and executive VP Andrew Friedman will hold a season wrap-up media session today. … MLB Network analyst Al Leiter said he expects rookie LHP Matt Moore to win multiple AL Cy Young Awards within the next five seasons.

Bench coach Dave Martinez a possible loss for Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon's staff 10/05/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 10:24pm]
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