[W]hile Manny still has his dreadlocks, they compete on this team with bench coach Dave Martinez's full beard, and with Evan Longoria's mullet, and with Johnny Damon's fauxhawk, and with whatever that is atop J.P. Howell's head.More Maddon:
Maddon insists he's going to grow his hair long, too.
"This offseason, I was going through some slides from 1978, and I had really long hair," Maddon said. "Then I came here and saw Davey's beard, and I thought in some subliminal way it was telling me this was the time to grow hair."
I want us to be the hirsute club this year. I encourage the growth of follicles. I want them all to go nuts with their hair this year.I really like Maddon, who interviewed for the job of Red Sox manager that eventually was given to Terry Francona. Actually, Maddon seems a lot like Tito in many ways. A former eight-year employee of the Devil Rays' PR staff wrote that Maddon,
despite his advanced number crunching and creative player use, might be the best motivator in baseball. ... He is steadfastly ritualistic and intensely prepared but keeps his players free and easy. This balance between a light, loose pre- and post-game clubhouse and a laser in-game focus is groundbreaking ...However, it's unlikely that Francona will be quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes in a press conference any time soon, as Maddon did after the Rays lost the 2008 World Series, explaining that the experience had changed the players and franchise forever:
The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.In 2008, Maddon unveiled his "9=8" concept:
I was very convinced about my message at the time. But I also knew the trepidations and scoffing that it would be met with. You've got to lean forward with those things. ... [Y]ou try to get a little academic, sometimes it's met with more resistance.And sometimes academic just won't work, and you have to do something silly to strengthen a team's camaraderie.
Last September, on a flight to New York for an important series with the Yankees, Maddon had every player wear garish, multi-coloured pants.
buying white leather shoes with gold buckles to match his aqua sport coat and pants.
This past Sunday, he insisted that security eject an Orioles fan who was shouting racist comments at Rays outfielder B.J. Upton.
He said something racial and I didn't like it. He can say whatever he wants, but don't go there. And I didn't want B.J. to go up into the stands or do anything at that point. So I just wanted to make sure he was taken out of there. There is no room for that at all.The fan denies saying anything racial and insists Maddon is lying, but several Tampa coaches, as well as Upton, also heard the slurs.
In the spring of 2009, Big League Stew asked Maddon, if he could borrow anyone's identity for one day, who would he choose?
Mark Twain. ... I'm just so impressed with his thinking. The stuff that I've read as quotes. His zest for life and also his take on human nature. His ability to look at something and put it into words. It's everlasting, it's got universality, it never goes away. ... It's not about one book and it's not about one particular character, it's about him his personality. I'll tell you about another guy, and I skipped over it, would be Branch Rickey. I'd say Mark Twain, Wayne Dyer and Branch Rickey are three of the people that I... Branch Rickey, for me, is so far ahead of his time.