DETROIT — With the Angels about to head to Tampa, where Joe Maddon first established as a successful big-league manager, Maddon spoke to the Tampa Bay Times about the Angels firing him and what he’s been doing the past two months.
Maddon, who was fired June 7, said he’s already lost his emotional ties to the Angels.
“It’s like, once that happened, I dissolved my affiliation with them,” Maddon said. “There’s no emotion anymore. There’s no anything. It’s like to me they don’t even exist, organizationally.
“I still text with a lot of the players, I text with a lot of the staff. One of them called me (Friday). So we’re staying in touch.”
The Angels were 27-29 when Maddon was fired. They have since gone 25-39.
Maddon told the Times that the Angels have some work to do in order to get back to contention. The team is on its way to its seventh consecutive losing season, and its eighth in a row without making the playoffs.
“The infrastructure needs to be improved. There’s a lot of things that need to be improved there,” Maddon said. “These guys can’t do it alone, obviously. It’s the non-sexy stuff that has to get better. It’s not just bright, shiny objects – they have that.
“They need to do the infrastructure better in order to get to where we had been in the past. That was my goal, to get the Angels back to where we had been in the past. That was it. Nothing but pure intentions. I was an Angel. They had every ounce of me. And now that’s done.”
Maddon also repeated his frustration with the way many front offices – not just the Angels – have put too much emphasis on analytics, at the expense of relying on the experience of the manager and coaches. He had said that in interviews with Southern California reporters on the day he was fired.
“It’s at the point where some GM should really just put a uniform on and go down to the dugout, or their main analytical membrane, he should go down to the dugout,” he said.
“That’s something that should be done. Because they try to work this middle man kind of a thing. And what happens is when the performance isn’t what they think it should be, it’s never about the acquisitional process. It’s always about the inability of coaches and managers to get the best out of a player. And that’s where this tremendous disconnect is formed.”
The forecast for Detroit on Sunday did not look promising, so the two teams were preparing for the possibility that the series finale would have to be postponed by rain.
If they are unable to play, the Angels would most likely return to Detroit on Sept. 15, following a three-game series in Cleveland.
Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to pitch Sunday. If the game is postponed, the Angels would simply move him to Monday for the start of the series in Tampa.
If it looks like they will play Sunday’s game, but with the chance for delays, the Angels still could opt to move Ohtani back to Monday so they don’t run the risk of losing his outing because of a long rain delay.
Angels (RHP Shohei Ohtani, 10-7, 2.69) at Tigers (LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, 1-3, 4.38), 10:40 a.m. Saturday, Bally Sports West, 830 AM