We spend a lot of time on his blog debating the merits of managers and to what degree their decisions or personality impact a team’s record.
It’s one of those formula’s nobody will ever figure out. Joe Maddon, a 54-year-old man with white hair and Buddy Holly glasses, is the coolest guy in the Tampa Bay clubhouse and has the full attention of his players. Go figure.
“I wish I could explain how he does it,” said Cliff Floyd, who at 35 qualifies as ancient on his team. “He demanded a lot out of us but at the same time he kept us loose. You look around and you see a lot of guys having fun.”
It certainly looks that way. The Rays have scored 18 runs and slugged seven home runs in the last two games. The Red Sox are reeling and tomorrow night will turn to Tim Wakefield and his erratic knuckleball.
The Rays are 9-3 in their last 12 games against Boston dating back to the regular season. Meanwhile B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria are playing their own personal game of home run derby.
The Red Sox are far from dead. But David Ortiz has one RBI in 27 postseason at-bats this season and leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury is 6 for 32 (.188) with two runs scored.
Longoria admitted after the game tonight that the Rays didn’t expect to beat Jon Lester, who dominated them during the regular season. Now they’re playing with house money.
Thanks to everybody for reading today. I realize this is not the standard fare but I figure blogging about the ALCS is better than shutting down operations until after the World Series.