Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

Articles tagged: Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon: Anyone other than Shohei Ohtani getting MVP vote is ‘ridiculous’

Shohei Ohtani

Joe Maddon got to witness Shohei Ohtani’s incredible season up close. The Los Angeles Angels manager oversaw the team as Ohtani pitched and hit at All-Star levels. And he believes Ohtani should be the unanimous AL MVP.

Maddon spoke with AM 830’s Roger Lodge for an interview on Monday and did not hold back about his star player.

Maddon said that Ohtani “absolutely” had the best season in MLB history.

“To indicate or even suggest that he is not the MVP is ridiculous,” Maddon told ‘The SportsLodge with Roger Lodge.’ “How do you not reward somebody that’s had the best year in the history of Major League Baseball with the ultimate reward for individual achievement, which would be the AL MVP?

“It’s staggering to watch every day. And he does it with a lot of joy for the game,” Maddon said.

Maddon believes that Ohtani can repeat the huge season and even get better. He said that Ohtani could play more innings next season. He added that Ohtani might have more success at the plate if he has more protection in the batting order (top Angels hitters Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon were hurt most of the year).

“He is the AL MVP. Anybody else should not get a first-place vote. You’re talking about the best year in the history of our game,” Maddon said on Lodge’s show.

Ohtani smashed 46 home runs, drove in 100, scored 103 runs and had a .965 OPS. He also stole 26 bases and tied for the league lead with eight triples. As a pitcher, he was 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 130.1 innings. The question of who deserves AL MVP should be an open and shut case, but some people want to turn it into a debate. Maddon has a definitive response to those people.

Joe Maddon had interesting suggestion for how to use Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson

Joe Maddon is known for his creativity and outside-the-box thinking. That apparently extended to his suggestion for how the Angels use Bo Jackson.

Jackson was a two-way athlete who starred at Auburn in the 1980s and then played in both the NFL and MLB. In his final season in pro baseball, Jackson played left field for the Angels. Maddon was a coach with the Angels then.

He recently told ESPN’s Buster Olney and Matt Vasgersian that he suggested to the Angels that they try using Jackson as a pitcher.

Jackson was an incredible athlete. He had supreme strength and speed, and his throwing arm was incredible.

Given how Jackson could be an All-Star in MLB and Pro Bowler in the NFL, we wouldn’t put it past him to have been able to pitch at a high level too. You should definitely check out this old scouting report of Bo from when he was in college.

Joe Maddon wants Shohei Ohtani to pitch and hit in All-Star Game

Shohei Ohtani hitting

Shohei Ohtani is one of the most unique players in recent memory, and his manager wants that spotlighted in the All-Star Game.

On Friday, Angels manager Joe Maddon advocated for Ohtani to hit and pitch in the All-Star Game. He added that he has discussed the idea with AL manager Kevin Cash.

“The maximum participation of Shohei within limits to me is the right thing to do,” Maddon said, via Joe Reedy of the Associated Press. “What else could you possibly want? We have to do it in a manner that is not going to be destructive in some way.

“In order to have him both pitch and hit, you have to relax a bit, the DH rule. I think they’re prepared to do those kinds of things.”

This is a no-brainer. Ohtani should attract interest even from fans who don’t watch baseball regularly. He’s doing things nobody else has done in our lifetime, and he generates excitement with everything he does on the field. Combine that with his participation in the Home Run Derby and you have an easy decision for the league to make — Ohtani should be on display as much as possible.

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.