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Executive vice president Andrew Friedman says his focus is on Tampa Bay Rays, not Cubs or Astros

Executive vice president, Andrew Friedman, left, reportedly a candidate to go to the Cubs or Astros, and manager Joe Maddon are giving every impression they will continue working together in Tampa Bay.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Executive vice president, Andrew Friedman, left, reportedly a candidate to go to the Cubs or Astros, and manager Joe Maddon are giving every impression they will continue working together in Tampa Bay.

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman, reportedly a candidate for GM jobs with the Cubs and Astros, didn't sound Thursday like a man looking to go anywhere.

"As an organizational philosophy, we don't comment on rumors and speculation in any part of our business; there's no reason to," he said. "My focus is on taking the learnings from the 2011 season and rolling them into the (Rays') 2012 team."

Manager Joe Maddon, heading into the last year of his contract, made it clear he has no interest in leaving, and he wasn't too concerned about getting an extension before next season.

"I have a contract. I have another year on my contract, and that's all that matters," he said. "For me, I don't want to go anywhere else. I love it here. … To think the grass is going to be better fertilized or greener anywhere else is incredibly wrong."

Both said they expect to stay together.

"For the last six years it's been a phenomenal working relationship," Friedman said. "I would expect and assume we're going to work together for a long time."

Maddon said: "How we do it here is kind of unique in all the best ways. … So it would take a lot, I think, to break it up."

COACH REPORT: Bench coach Dave Martinez was passed over by the White Sox but remains a potential candidate for the Red Sox's and Cubs' managerial jobs. If he leaves, the Rays are likely to look internally to replace him, with Triple-A manager Charlie Montoyo a probable candidate.

Martinez was reported to be the top candidate for the White Sox, but the team never contacted him. It hired Robin Ventura on Thursday. "If the opportunity (to manage) ever arises, I know I'll be ready for it," he said. "If not, bench coaching is a great job."

MISCELLANY: The Rays won't decide if rookie LHP Matt Moore starts 2012 with them until spring training. … Maddon said though they would like increased attendance, "there is a tremendous amount of gratitude from us out to the fan base." … Friedman said no player medical issues will carry over into spring training. … Maddon said it was too early to know if free agent DH Johnny Damon and 1B Casey Kotchman would be back.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman says his focus is on Tampa Bay Rays, not Cubs or Astros 10/06/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2011 11:11pm]
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