Angels hire Joe Maddon
The first new manager in baseball has been hired, and it’s an old manager. In what was seen as inevitable since the day Brad Ausmus was fired by the Angels after only one season as their manager, Los Angeles has hired Joe Maddon to lead their franchise. The former Cubs and Rays manager was given a three-year deal believed to be somewhere in the $12-$15 million per year range. Maddon is known as being one of the better managers in baseball, having had success with the small-market Rays at the end of the aughts before leading the Cubs to their first World Seres in 108 years back in 2016. He was let go by the Cubs after this past season with the team finishing off a disappointing year and feeling they needed to go in a different direction. The Angels were a natural fit for Maddon, who spent 31 years of his life in the Angels organization in various roles, including six years as the team’s bench coach under Mike Scioscia. That run, of course, included a championship in 2002. He’ll take over an Angels team that has struggled mightily to get over the hump, and also has one of the most interesting projects for any manager in baseball with Shohei Ohtani going back to being a two-way player in 2020.
Sox Spin: Three things to mention here relating to the Red Sox. The first, of course, is that the Angels got a good manager. That is relevant considering they are American League competition, and as disappointing as they’ve been in recent years they still have top-end talent in Mike Trout, Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons as well as top prospect Jo Adell being close to a call-up. Secondly, Maddon has connection to the Red Sox in that he was the manager of the Rays in the late-2000’s when the rivalry between Boston and Tampa Bay was at its peak. He was the worst part of that team, in this Red Sox fan’s opinion. Finally, although Maddon heading to L.A. always seemed inevitable, there were other candidates for the job. Among the other favorites was John Farrell, an old friend. That could be a sign he might be back in the league sooner than later.