Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The amazing year of Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon still not done

Joe Maddon walks across Pennsylvania Avenue tonight for the latest great adventure in his remarkable year.

Leading the Rays all the way to the World Series, getting married and honeymooning in Europe, winning AL manager of the year honors, being feted more than usual in his hometown of Hazleton, Pa., and tonight eating dinner with President George W. Bush at the White House.

"That's a lot," Maddon said, "a lot for one year."

After a week at the center of attention in Hazleton (including chairing a fundraiser to rebuild the high school auditorium and signing 600 autographs), he's heading this way soon to meet with his coaches, then to Puerto Rico for a wedding, to Arizona for family commitments, then home to California (declining several banquet invites) before coming back to prepare for the Feb. 14 start of spring training.

At some point, he hopes, he'll be able to reflect on all that has happened.

"Honestly, I really haven't had time to stop and do that," he said. "I'm just waiting for that moment when everything slows down and I can do something like that, and I'm going to have to be by myself. I can't stop and really filter all this. I'm very grateful and all that, but I really haven't sat back. And I'm so looking forward to spring training."

Already, he's planning his message and plotting his methods. He remains confident the Rays will add an impact bat and loves the addition of reliever Joe Nelson. "I like everything about him."

Maddon still considers Troy Percival the closer but acknowledges they will have to wait to see how he recovers from back surgery and how often he will be available, with plans for a group effort when necessary to finish games.

Rays rumblings: Longtime big-league C Todd Greene is in line to be the new quality assurance coach, replacing Tim Bogar. … Milton Bradley's expected signing with the Cubs this week should further define the free-agent market and may (finally) lead to movement as the Rays consider a group of corner OF/DH types topped by Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell and Jason Giambi. Burrell, a right-hander, is the Rays' best fit; Giambi still appears most likely. … 3B Evan Longoria's offseason sure sounds interesting. Latest is a mention in Robin Leach's lasvegasweekly.com blog that last week "Longoria took Hugh Hefner's VIP table at the Playboy Club with his eight friends." … INF Ben Zobrist's wife, Julianna, released her debut Christian alternative CD, The Tree. (Listen at rays.tampabay.com; buy soon at iTunes and cdbaby.com for $10, or e-mail julianna zobristmusic@gmail.com.) … The Rays officially made spring training tickets too complicated when they announced five on-sale dates this week. … Latest invitees to major-league camp include INF Ray Olmedo, C Michel Hernandez and OFs Jon Weber and Ray Sadler.

By the numbers

5 Pitchers, according to ESPN's Mark Simon, who last season worked 50 or more innings, averaged a strikeout or more per inning and had an ERA of 2.00 or better: Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge, Grant Balfour and new Ray Joe Nelson.

40 Days until the start of spring training.

The amazing year of Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon still not done 01/03/09 [Last modified: Monday, January 5, 2009 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  3. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  4. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  5. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70

    Footballpreps

    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.