Monday, September 14, 2009

Open Letter to Joe Maddon

Dear Joe:

I understand it's tough. You never expected this kind of performance from your team after last year.  You, along with the rest of us, thought the worm had turned for the Tampa Bay Rays. No longer would the team and its fans be subjected to the kind of torture that comes from losing 11 games in a row.

I'm not placing the total blame on you. I know that you have no control of the bullpen meltdowns. I know that you've tried every mix and match you have to try and get the final outs. I know that you've tried leaving the stater in there a hair longer. I also know that you can't control the disappearing bats. I know that it's not your fault that Carlos Pena broke his fingers and BJ Upton's gimpy angle.

I know that you can't say how the Scott Kazmir trade completely demoralized your team. I know that keeping your mouth shut must be tough. I know in the back of your mind you're trying to figure out how that could've happened. How a team could sell of parts, while its competition was busy signing players specifically to beat your team.

I know you're now looking to the future. Looking to 2010 when things are supposed to be better. But, I'm not. I'm looking at right now and the rest of the season. I'm asking for you to do something that is tough for any manager: motivating a team that has given up.  When things are going good, it's easy to get the guys motivated. When things are going bad, that's when a manager can earn his stripes.  Dealing with the last few weeks of the season could define you and this season for years to come. 

If this team finishes below .500, it's going to reflect on you. Nobody will remember that the Rays were 12 games over .500 going into September. Nobody will remember that the Rays were still in the Wild Card hunt when the front office pulled the trigger on the Scott Kazmir deal. All they'll remember is how a team that went to the World Series, finished below .500 the next year. And with that, all the swagger will be gone, and this team will once again be the Devil Rays.

So, I don't want to hear about next year. I don't want to hear about the slow start in April. What I want to see is some wins. All I'm asking is for .500 ball and a 3rd place finish in the AL East. Draw deep, Joe and figure out how to get these guys to win some games. End the season on a good note so your predictions for next year don't ring hollow. This team is better than that. You are better than that. Don't let the magic from the 2008 season end with a return to 2007. Draw deep and finish strong.

Michael Weber
Rays Revolutionary


Matty said...

Finishing below .500 could carry over to next season. Just completely demoralizing. At least beat the f*****g Orioles!!!! Just sad.

Bud Light said...

The first thing Maddon has to over come is HIMSELF!
A smart man can figure out when things aren't going right, and FIND a way to correct them...
I'm not only talking about baseball but life..
I don't think Maddon is smart enough to figure a way out of this...
The result could carry on forever(at least 2010) if nothing else in self doubt!
The only resolve is to get rid of a liability, that has a new 3 year contract!

Michael Weber said...

The thing that isn't going right is this team's lack of heart. They've packed it in. Maddon has to figure out a way to inspire who guys who've mentally checked out of the season. No easy task.

siul narud said...

Maddon is not a good baseball manager and ultimately the Rays are getting hurt by his incompetence and wrong decisions. Using percentages for everything is his way of admitting he has absolutely no baseball guts and winning drive good skippers have. Bring Montoyo and his staff from AAA to make a 2010 Rays be serious contenders

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