Joe Maddon not an automatic fit with the Dodgers.
We had this conversation just a week or so ago: Does small market success automatically equate to large market success for executives?
Andrew Freidman leaving the Tampa Bay Rays for the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this month spurred the conversation. Joe Maddon opting out of his contract with the Rays on Friday has us asking the same question again.
Immediate reaction is to think that maybe Joe Maddon could be headed to the Dodgers to replace Don Mattingly. For me, it's not an automatic.
Don Mattingly has been highly underappreciated and undervalued over the past couple of seasons, in my opinion. He has had a host of issues to deal with and he's done it well. Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez brought a host of problems for Mattingly. Juggling four starting outfielders and injured pitchers wasn't easy. The bullpen struggles? Not even close to his fault.
The high-payroll Dodgers clubhouse has been questioned for chemistry and labeled at times high maintenance. We guess about those things from the outside but more often than not there is at least some truth to them when we hear it enough.
I don't look at Joe Maddon as a guy who solves these issues. I admire Joe Maddon, great manager, great person, but the Dodgers clubhouse is not the Rays clubhouse. Don Mattingly doesn't deserve the speculation and I don't have the confidence to say that Joe Maddon is a definitive difference maker in that clubhouse.