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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Articles tagged: Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon got very creative with Shohei Ohtani in lineup

Shohei Ohtani

Joe Maddon got very creative with his use of two-way player Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday night.

Ohtani started for the Los Angeles Angels against the Houston Astros and pitched seven innings. He allowed just four hits, one walk and one run while striking out 10. The Angels trailed 1-0 when he was lifted as a pitcher, though they tied the game with a home run in the top of the eighth.

Ohtani was due up second in the top of the ninth and Maddon did not want to lose the slugger’s valuable bat. So Maddon placed Ohtani in right field for the eighth inning, which would allow Shohei to remain in the game.

The Angels’ bullpen ended up blowing the game by allowing four runs to make it 5-1. Ohtani struck out looking in the ninth as the Angels went 1-2-3 to lose the game 5-1.

The bullpen blowing the game is what hurt the Angels. But Ohtani did his best on the mound and in the box to keep them in it. And credit Maddon for thinking creatively to keep one of his best bats in the lineup.

Report: Albert Pujols criticized Joe Maddon’s managerial skills

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols was cut by the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, stunning most of the baseball world. Pujols is in the final year of his 10-year contract with the Angels.

Though Pujols would not say he was ready to retire after the season, it has been obvious he is getting close to the end.

But now we’re starting to understand why Pujols’ release came so suddenly.

Pujols was told early on Wednesday that he was going to start that night against the Tampa Bay Rays. But the plans changed and he ended up on the bench. Pujols was not happy about that.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Pujols lashed out after the benching. He reportedly yelled at Angels manager Joe Maddon and criticized Maddon’s managerial skills.

The 41-year-old also told Angels executives he was not going to retire and that he was not going to spend the rest of the season on the bench.

Pujols may have been upset about the benching, but he might be even more upset to learn that there is very little demand for his services around MLB. Even Tony La Russa doesn’t have room for him.

It’s easy to understand where Pujols’ anger is coming from. Any competitor would be upset about a benching. And any player, much less a future Hall of Famer, would struggle with the end of his career nearing.

The end of a career for a Hall of Famer is often ugly, and it’s often full of problems. That is what we are seeing with Pujols’ situation.

Here is why Joe Maddon had to do long walk of shame after ejection

Joe Maddon ejection

Saturday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays was an absolute disaster for the Los Angeles Angels. And there was a moment of embarrassment for Joe Maddon beyond the score.

Maddon’s Angels got beat up pretty badly by the Jays. They surrendered seven runs in the second, three more in the third, and four more in the fourth to fall behind 14-1.

With the score at 7-0 in the top of the third, Maddon was upset after a challenge did not go his Angels’ way. Maddon ended up complaining about the call and got tossed. But the humorous part of the story is Maddon’s exit.

The Jays are playing their “home” games at their minor league facility in Dunedin, Fla. because of travel restrictions into and out of Canada. TD Ballpark doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a major league park, which feature clubhouses connected to the dugout, underneath/behind the seats.

Typically a manager would just walk back into the dugout and down the tunnel into the clubhouse after an ejection. But for Maddon, he had to walk down the third base line before he could exit the field for the visiting tent.

That’s just rough.

It was probably best for Maddon not to have to suffer through the rest of the game in-person.

Joe Maddon shares why he wanted Dexter Fowler on Angels

Dexter Fowler

The Los Angeles Angels on Thursday acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler from the St. Louis Cardinals, much to Joe Maddon’s delight.

Maddon is entering his second season as the Angels’ manager. He managed Fowler in 2015 and 2016 on the Chicago Cubs, seasons when the team reached the NLCS and won the World Series.

So why is Maddon happy to have Fowler? He likes the type of mentality and makeup the veteran outfielder has.

The Angels are getting Fowler as a salary dump.

They will be paying Fowler $1.75 million in 2021.

St. Louis signed the 34-year-old to a 5-year, $82.5 million deal prior to the 2017 season. They got good production from him in 2017 and decent production in 2019, but he didn’t add much in 2018 or the shortened 2020 season.

Fowler made the All-Star team in 2016, the year the Cubs won the World Series. He hasn’t hit over .238 in his last three seasons, though he did have 19 home runs in 2019.

Angels trying to acquire former Joe Maddon player from Cubs?

Joe Maddon

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon appears interested in running it back with a member of his 2016 World Series-winning Chicago Cubs.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Wednesday that the Angels are interested in trading for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. Rosenthal adds that Maddon was a strong advocate for Contreras during their time together in Chicago, which spanned four seasons.

Contreras, 28, is under contract for two more seasons with the Cubs. He is known as more of an offense-first catcher but has improved his defense in recent seasons. Meanwhile, the Angels’ current catching unit is led by Max Stassi, who could miss the start of the 2021 campaign after undergoing surgery on his left hip.

Maddon did help develop Contreras into an All-Star before leaving for the Angels. Admittedly though, the team has more pressing needs elsewhere.

Joe Maddon defends Giants pitcher throwing at Mike Trout’s head

Joe Maddon

San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Shaun Anderson found some backing from an unlikely source after buzzing the tower on Mike Trout Tuesday.

Anderson pitched the ninth inning of the Giants’ 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The first batter he faced was Trout. His second pitch went by Trout’s head, as did his 2-2 pitch.

Trout was concerned and wondered if Anderson was throwing at him intentionally. He ended up walking in the at-bat, later advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout.

After the game, Angels manager Joe Maddon said that Anderson was wild because of inexperience and that there was no malicious intent behind the pitches.

“That’s just a young man that’s not ready to be here, that’s all that is. There’s nothing malicious about it,” Maddon said, via Rhett Bollinger. “It could even have been that he was intimidated by Mike being in the batter’s box.”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler also said it was unintentional and that Anderson was rusty from not pitching in five days.

Are you buying their explanation?

Joe Maddon has optimistic comment on struggling Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are off to a disappointing 3-6 start, but manager Joe Maddon is keeping a cool head about things.

Maddon remained optimistic about his team on Saturday, saying that they’re “very close” to rounding into form and winning more games despite the underwhelming beginning to the season.

Normally, a 3-6 start wouldn’t be the end of the world, but in a shortened season the reality is they need to get things turned around very quickly. Saturday’s comeback win over the Houston Astros could be a catalyst. It also helps that Maddon, ever the optimist, isn’t going to give up on his team publicly or privately at this point of the year either.

One of the big keys for the Angels will be getting Shohei Ohtani right on the mound after his poor start to 2020. If they can do even that much, they still have a chance to turn things around, but it has to happen fairly quickly.

Joe Maddon discouraging Angels pitchers from plunking Astros

The temptation around the league to drill the Houston Astros is sky-high, but Joe Maddon would prefer for his players to avoid doing so.

Addressing the media Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels manager indicated that he is discouraging the team’s pitchers from plunking Astros batters ahead of their upcoming series against Houston, which begins on Saturday.

“We’ve talked about playing baseball, straight up,” said Maddon, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. “That’s what I’m anticipating. That’s all I’m looking for. What happened yesterday [with the LA Dodgers], if you were immediately impacted by [the sign stealing], I could get it a little bit. But then you saw the commissioner’s response, regarding what happened. So you got to choose the method you want to incorporate, and I would prefer that we just go play baseball.”

The Astros’ sign-stealing scandal is back in the news after the Dodgers and pitcher Joe Kelly reignited the flames during their interleague series. The Dodgers had lost the 2017 World Series to the Astros, and the Angels also lost their division to Houston that year, a time when the Astros were confirmed to have been cheating.

The league came down hard on Kelly however, and in a 60-game season where any suspension could hurt their chances of taking the division back from Houston, Maddon is wise to tell his guys to just play ball.

Joe Maddon shares his one regret from time with Cubs

Joe Maddon Angels

Joe Maddon won a World Series with the Chicago Cubs, but the former manager endured a rocky end to his tenure that left some feeling sour.

Many felt that Maddon’s teams in 2018 and 2019 underperformed relative to the talent they had. Maddon, however, didn’t voice any regrets about his time in Chicago except for one — and it relates to his restaurant.

Maddon’s restaurant, Maddon’s Post, opened in Wrigleyville and lasted just seven months. It ultimately closed when Maddon left the Cubs.

Maddon isn’t really one to look back critically. Some players have indicated there are things they want done differently now that he’s gone, but don’t expect the new Los Angeles Angels manager to harp on those.

Joe Maddon hints at lineup shuffling after Angels’ failed trade for Joc Pederson

Joe Maddon Angels

Joe Maddon may have to get a little creative to start his first season as manager of the Los Angeles Angels.

Speaking with reporters this weekend on the eve of the team’s first full-squad workout, Maddon hinted at some tinkering of their lineup, perhaps featuring Tommy La Stella at second base and David Fletcher in the outfield.

“Obviously you want to get Tommy out there as often as you can against righties,” said Maddon, per Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register. “The challenge is I like Fletcher on the field as much possible. The fact that David is versatile to play different positions is going to matter … [Fletcher] could grab some games in the outfield too.”

Maddon’s remarks come just days after the Angels’ failed trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that would have netted them outfielder Joc Pederson (and pitcher Ross Stripling). The proposed deal would have cleared up a bit of the team’s infield logjam by sending out Luis Rengifo as well.

The Angels signed All-Star Anthony Rendon this offseason, locking him in as their everyday third baseman. With Justin Upton and Mike Trout also firmly entrenched in left and center field respectively, having Fletcher split time in right with Brian Goodwin and sticking La Stella at second is the solution that seems to make the most sense.

With other uncertainties in the lineup to address too, there may be some trial and error involved with the start of the 2020 campaign for the Halos.