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Joe Maddon will shave his head for charity

Can you imagine Joe Maddon with a bald head? Next Thursday, you won’t have to. The Rays manager, who grew out quite the flow during the course of last season, will be chopping off his locks next week for charity. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Maddon is shaving his head for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at All Children’s Hospital.

“‘Fortune favors the bald,’” he tweeted Friday morning. “Shaving our heads on 3/15 to pay tribute to children battling cancer: pcfcutforacure.org.”

As Eye on Baseball pointed out, Reds reliever Bill Bray will also be participating. Maddon is also encouraging all of his players, coaches, and team officials to partake. Bench coaches Dave Martinez and Tom Foley have already committed as well as executive VP Andrew Friedman. You do not have to go completely bald for the event if you don’t want to — a buzz cut will do.

Maddon and the others who are participating will be joining A.J. Hawk and Jose Reyes as sports figures who have recently decided to raise money for those in need by chopping off their locks.

Joe Maddon bought himself classic car as reward for new contract (Picture)

Joe Maddon enjoys some of the finer things in life. The Rays manager loves some good wine and he also is a fan of classic cars. To reward himself for the three-year contract extension agreed to with the Rays in February, he bought himself a nice love-me gift — a 1956 Chevy BelAir.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Maddon bought the car in Arizona, had it restored and updated, and delivered to the Charlotte Sports Park. Maddon plans to drive it when the season starts.

Marc Topkin of the Times says Maddon was looking for a Charger, Roadrunner or Barracuda, but couldn’t find one he liked, so he chose the BelAir.

“When I drive this it’s pretty quick when it starts up, and I love the color and I love the interior,” Maddon said.

It’s a pretty sick ride, and certainly one Maddon deserves. It also definitely fits his style.

Picture Credit: TB Times Rays
H/T Business Insider

Joe Maddon Says Banning Beer in Clubhouses Would Be ‘Asinine’

Since the day the Boston Globe released its atom bomb of a story about the collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox, we have heard a number of different reactions to the idea of drinking in the clubhouse.  Some believe there is no place for beer during the game while others admit to having enjoyed a few rally beers at some point in their career.

Since the topic has picked up so much steam over the last month, MLB vice-president Joe Torre had no choice but to get together with the MLB and look into banning beer from clubhouses altogether.  They eventually ruled to allow teams to create their own policies, and Rays manager Joe Maddon thinks that is a very, very good idea.

“I’m not into knee-jerk reactions,” Maddon told WEEI.com on Thursday. “If somebody had all of these wonderful thoughts prior to this happening I may be more on board with it, or more empathetic to it. But all of this knee-jerk stuff that occurs in our game absolutely drives me crazy. If you want to be proactive about some thoughts, go ahead, be proactive and I’m all for that. But to say a grown-up can’t have a beer after a game? Give me a break. That is, I’m going to use the word, ‘asinine,’ because it is. Let’s bring the Volstead Act back, OK. Let’s go right back to prohibition and start legislating everything all over again. All that stuff pretty much annoys me, as you can tell.

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Joe Maddon Wants Rays to Practice Less, Arrive Later as Part of New Approach

Rays manager Joe Maddon has always been an outside-the-box thinker. He’s not confined by typical baseball conventions, and that mindset has helped the Rays do well under his watch. Now we’re seeing Maddon do the opposite of what most teams preach; he’s encouraging his players to arrive at the park later and practice less. Maddon is hoping the new concept will help keep his players fresher later in the season. The logic makes sense.

“We’ve done better on the road than at home this year. Part of that is we go to the ballpark later on the road than we do at home,” Maddon reasoned. “When you’re on the road you normally don’t do as much work and guys show up a little bit later. That’s part of it.

“I want guys to show up later,” Maddon explained before Saturday’s game. “I don’t want them to sit around all day getting lazy. I think sometimes it’s such a misconception the whole ‘first one at the ballpark.’ That means he drinks the most coffee, eats the most snacks, watches the most TV — that’s what that name means most of the time. So that’s always been a misconception in baseball.

“So I want them to come later, have a life, go out take their wives or girlfriends out to lunch, mess with the kids and then come here at a decent hour and play baseball. That’s part of it.

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Joe Maddon Rips Tropicana Field, Then it Helps Rays Win

As we voiced earlier in the week, nobody seems to like Tropicana Field. When you have a professional baseball stadium that allows things like this to happen, how can you appreciate it?  There is no reason a ballpark should affect games the way The Trop does, and no one knows more about that than Joe Maddon.

“(John Kruk) is right,” Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times before Tuesday’s game when asked about comments Kruk made made bashing the Rays’ venue. “We do need a new ballpark. He’s absolutely right. And he’s right, this ballpark is improper for Major League Baseball. He’s right. I can’t deny that.

“You shouldn’t play with all these obstructions, and all these caveats. Of course not. It’s run it’s course. It was here for a moment. It served it’s purpose. And now it’s time to move on. Absolutely it is. And to deny that, everybody has just got their head in the sand, period.”

His opinion changed in a hurry.  With the Rays behind the Yankees, 2-1, in the seventh and runners on first and second, Justin Ruggiano hit a fly ball to center field.  Curtis Granderson camped under it and then threw his hands up in the air as he had lost it against the white background that is The Trop’s crummy roof.  The ball fell in front of him for a single to load the bases.  An error on the following play allowed the Rays to tie the game and they went on to win.

“I’ve made good with The Trop — I did last year, and we’re buddies again,” Maddon joked after the game. “It worked in our favor tonight.”

Yes, the park still needs to go.

Joe Maddon Ejects Umpires (Video)

Rays manager Joe Maddon has no doubt been frustrated by his team’s start to the season. Tampa Bay is 1-8, hardly hitting, and it took until their 7th game before they finally had the lead in a game. Maddon’s frustration boiled over Sunday against the White Sox when a close call at first base was overturned and ruled in favor of Chicago. That’s when Maddon lost it, hopefully inspiring his team to start playing better. Here’s the magnificent video courtesy of Mock Session:

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Rays Manager Joe Maddon: It’s Unfair to Boo Manny Ramirez

Tampa Bay Rays new DH Manny Ramirez has been hearing it from fans after starting the season 1-for-16. The offseason acquisition was booed Tuesday during Tampa’s 5-3 loss to the Angels and didn’t help matters by striking out three times and leaving three men on. After the loss, manager Joe Maddon defended Manny saying it was “very unfair” of fans to boo him over his poor start, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

Topkin says Maddon wanted to make it clear that Ramirez works really hard and that it’s too early to get down on him. Outfielder B.J. Upton, who’s no stranger to slumps, said it was “unbelievable” that Ramirez was hearing it.

I completely understand why Maddon defended his player, and I agree it’s too early to get down on a proven slugger like Manny after just four games. But here’s where I’ll disagree.

If fans are booing Manny because they don’t like how he acts or the way he cheated the game, that’s completely within reason, and I might do the same. But if they’re booing because he’s not performing and they’ll start to cheer when he does, then I think it’s far too capricious on their behalf and will side with Joe and B.J. It all depends on the fan motivation for the boos.