OAKLAND, Calif. — So many of his hunches work out that occasionally you wonder otherwise, but Joe Maddon really can't see into the future.
He hopes it includes the opportunity to stay with the Rays long term because he genuinely wants to remain in their dugout as long as he can.
He likes managing the Rays for many reasons, particularly relishing the underdog role they have and the way they see it as a challenge rather than a curse, as well as the creative, intellectual and forward-thinking methodology of the organization, from principal owner Stuart Sternberg, team president Matt Silverman and executive VP Andrew Friedman on down.
Together, they have done a tremendous job of eradicating the team's horrid past, a massive transformation, when you think of how the organization is now viewed compared to how it was just a few years ago, that really has happened in a flash.
And what's even better is what Maddon, who isn't signed after this season, sees in the future.
"I see the Rays as being perennial contenders," he said Saturday. "I see the Rays as pretty much working off the same blueprint that you're seeing today, whereas the farm system and scouting are going to be the lifeblood of the organization. I see it, as Andrew once described, as being a destination point among other major-league players.
"And I do believe at some point, being that we continue to take care of business the right way, which I believe we will, us being kind of a role model in a sense in regard to being the way a franchise should be run."
One main reason it works so well, he said, is because there is a common philosophy and shared beliefs from the top down, and there is open communication, with dissent encouraged.
"It's my mental picture, my idea of how things should be in professional baseball," Maddon, 55, said. "Since I worked as a minor-league instructor and worked my way through, I've always envisioned what it's supposed to look like and what it's supposed to feel like.
"And I think it looks right, and I think it feels right here right now."