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Joe Maddon zings Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine dragged Joe Maddon’s name into the conversation during his contentious interview on WEEI on Wednesday, and the Rays manager has responded.

Valentine was defending himself for arriving to the ballpark later than usual for a recent game when he brought up Maddon. To make himself look better, he told the hosts that Rays manager Joe Maddon only arrives to the park at 4:00pm for night games. Maddon heard about what Valentine said, so he decided to respond via Twitter:

Now that is how you respond. Is there any wonder why Maddon was voted the most underrated manager in baseball by an SI players’ poll? This is one sharp cat.

Joe Maddon will get a tattoo if Rays reach World Series

Joe Maddon isn’t your typical baseball manager. He thinks differently from many of his managerial compatriots, and he isn’t afraid to try new training methods. He also gets creative when it comes to motivating his players. On Friday, Maddon tweeted that he will get a tattoo if the Rays reach the World Series:

It sounds like Ryan Roberts is the one who came up with the idea. Roberts is famous for having his body covered in tattoos, so it’s no surprise that he was part of this. Roberts was acquired by Tampa Bay from Arizona prior to the trade deadline but he’s played poorly for his new team. He’s gone just 3-for-26 and will have to improve his play to give Tampa Bay a better shot at reaching the postseason.

The Rays are currently 0.5 games behind the Angels for the final wild card spot in the American League. If they reach the playoffs, they’ll have as good of a chance as anyone of making the World Series, and then maybe Maddon can get some sort of old school joker tattoo on his biceps.

Joe Maddon responds to pine tar heckler with message on ball (Picture)

Joe Maddon has been around the league long enough to know that it will be a while before he hears the end of the Joel Peralta pine tar incident. As players who have been accused of using steroids can tell you, fans never let players or coaches live down any incident that involves the possibility of cheating. According to MLB.com’s Cut 4, well-known Washington, D.C. heckler Robin Ficker was really riding Maddon on Thursday night and yelling things like “check for pine tar” and “See, Maddon, it can be done without pine tar.” As you can see from the photo above that @ChanningPejic shared on Twitter, Maddon decided to respond.

The Rays skipper took a baseball, wrote “Stick up for those you care about” on it, smeared some pine tar on it and tossed to Ficker. Basically that is Maddon’s way of admitting that it doesn’t matter if it was right or wrong, he’s going to side with his player every time — even if that makes him a weird wuss.

Davey Johnson: Joe Maddon is a ‘weird wuss’

When Davey Johnson brought Joel Peralta’s cheating ways to the umpiring crew’s attention on Tuesday, Joe Maddon was not happy. Maddon’s argument was basically that everyone does it, and Peralta even used to pitch for the Nationals. Maddon went as far as to call the Nationals manager “cowardly” for making a big deal over it.

Johnson said there are small rule violations and then there is going overboard. As far as Maddon calling him a coward, Davey said he’s not too concerned.

“I didn’t know him that well, but I thought he was a weird wuss, anyway,” Johnson said Wednesday according to the Washington Post. “I understand where he’s coming from. His job as a manager is to protect the players. Striking out at who ever he thinks is causing your players any grievance. So I understand where he’s coming from. But he doesn’t know me from a hole in the hill. Or I him, for that matter. But I do know the rulebook, and I do try to follow it.

“I don’t want to get in a shouting match with Joe. I looked him up on the Internet and found out he has a Tweeter, so he can get to more people than me. And so I don’t want to get in a shouting match with him. He’s got a bigger following. But it was interesting reading. But you can tell him I have a doctorate of letters, too. Mine’s from Loyola, in humanities. And I’m proud of that, too.”

As we all know, you can’t fight Twitter. I must say I tend to side with Johnson on this one. If you see someone blatantly cheating and think that pointing it out gives your team a better chance to win, that’s exactly what you have to do. If it’s any consolation, he’s not the first person Maddon has called a coward this season.

Photo credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Joel Peralta ejected for pine tar on his glove, and Joe Maddon is ticked (Video)

Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected in the top of the 8th inning of the team’s game against the Nationals on Tuesday night after umpires found significant amounts of pine tar in his glove. The umpire inspection was requested by the Nationals, which knew of Peralta’s habits from his team with the team in 2010.

Even though Peralta was caught blatantly cheating, Rays manager Joe Maddon was ticked off after the game and called Washington’s decision to request a check “cowardly.”

“Insider trading, man. It’s bush,” Maddon said. “It’s bogus. That’s way too easy, right there.”

Maddon’s argument is that cheating is commonplace, and that managers shouldn’t bust opposing players for doing the same thing their guys are doing.

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Joe Maddon calls out Red Sox after brawl, calls it a ‘cowardly’ move

With the Red Sox having floated around a .500 record the entire season and yet to climb into the A.L. East race, Boston fans have been patiently waiting for a little excitement in their lives. Those who were in attendance at Fenway Park Friday night to watch the Red Sox take on the Rays got exactly that, as the division rivals cleared their benches in the ninth inning of Tampa’s 7-4 victory.

The beef started when Boston reliever Franklin Morales hit Rays DH Luke Scott with a pitch, after he had thrown behind him the pitch before. It seemed quite obvious that Morales was intentionally throwing at Scott considering his control was fine and he retired the first two batters of the inning. The benches cleared without any major fights breaking out, and after the game Joe Maddon was extremely frustrated with the way Boston handled the situation.

“Trust me, it’s not us (who initiated the altercation),” Maddon said according to the Boston Globe. “I have no idea on their side, but just watching the video, the people that were incensed, obviously they’re the ones that were probably behind the effort, the really weak, cowardly effort on their part.

“Did I say that strongly enough? Did I make my point?”

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Joe Maddon, Evan Longoria, other Rays shave heads for charity (Pictures)

When Joe Maddon announced last week that he would be shaving his head to pay tribute to children with cancer, he vowed to recruit as many of the Rays players and front office members as he could to participate with him. From the look of it, Maddon did a tremendous job. The head shaving commenced Thursday morning as several Tampa Bay players, coaches, and front office workers went under the buzzer, many of the sporting yellow t-shirts that read “Fortune favors the bald.”

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times was in attendance while all the trimming and buzzing was going on and did an excellent job of documenting the entire event. Hats off — no pun intended — to the Rays who participated for a great cause. Here are some of the pictures Topkin posted on his Twitter account:

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