As soon as Andrew Friedman left the Rays for the Dodgers yesterday speculation started about Joe Maddon joining him in Los Angeles, but the manager tried to diffuse the situation by saying he “absolutely” wants to remain in Tampa Bay.
However, with just one season remaining on his contract Maddon reuniting with Friedman will be a popular topic unless/until the Rays are able to ink him to an extension. And that’s exactly what Friedman’s replacement, Matt Silverman, wants to do.
In shooting down the idea of the Dodgers trading for Maddon before his contract is up, Silverman told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:
Joe’s our manager. I see him here this year, and I see him here for many more years. It’s hard to imagine this club not being managed by Joe. We want him here, Joe says he wants to be here, those are the ingredients for another deal. We’ve had several so far, and I’m hopeful that we’re going to have another one.
Maddon is set to earn $2 million in what will be his 10th season as Rays manager, during which time he’s compiled a .517 winning percentage despite tiny payrolls and tough divisional competition. He seems to genuinely love Tampa Bay and obviously the Rays will do everything possibly to keep him, but what happens if Friedman and the Dodgers decide he’s worth, say, $5 million per season?
A’s catcher/first baseman/outfielder Stephen Vogt, who was hobbled by multiple injuries down the stretch, underwent surgery to repair the plantar plates and remove scar tissue in his right foot.
John Hickey of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Vogt’s recovery timetable is expected to be 6-8 weeks, so he should be fully healthy for spring training after hitting .279 with nine homers and a .752 OPS in 84 games this season.
Vogt joined the A’s in June and put up big numbers right away to grab hold of the first extended role of his career at age 29, but then hit just .186 in 39 games after August 1.
They swept the 98-win Angels and they swept the 96-win Orioles.
And fittingly the Royals’ only two runs in Game 4 came on a fielder’s choice/error combo with two runners in scoring position thanks to a bunt by their No. 3 hitter and aggressive baserunning. Ned Yost Baseball, which is now 8-0 in the playoffs and also undefeated in making critics shake their heads.
Kansas City is going to its first World Series since 1985, with not so much as a playoff appearance in between, and somehow the Royals have won six of their eight postseason games by just one or two runs while simultaneously seeming like an unbeatable bunting-and-running machine.
Jason Vargas, whose four-year, $32 million contract was viewed by many as an overpay this offseason, allowed just one run in 5.1 innings and Yost gave him a quick hook after being questioned for leaving starters in too long earlier this postseason. And as usual the Royals’ bullpen was fantastic, as Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland combined for 3.2 shutout innings.
Kansas City–which had a 48-50 record on July 21 and trailed Oakland by four runs with five outs to go in the Wild Card Game–now waits, with homefield advantage, for the San Francisco-St. Louis winner in the World Series. I’m not sure there’s any proper way to explain it and, really, why would you even want to? The Royals haven’t lost a playoff game since October 23, 1985.
A’s hitting coach Chili Davis will interview for the same job with the Yankees, according to Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com.
Last week New York fired hitting coach Kevin Long, who held the job from 2007 to 2014 and guided the team to the second-most runs in MLB during that time.
Davis, who spent the final two seasons of his playing career with the Yankees in 1998 and 1999, has been the A’s hitting coach since 2012. During that time Oakland ranked eighth, third, and third among AL teams in scoring.
Davis has also been linked other hitting coach openings, including the Red Sox and Cubs.
Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the Cardinals-Giants series in San Francisco:
3B Matt Carpenter
CF Jon Jay
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
SS Jhonny Peralta
2B Kolten Wong
C A.J. Pierzynski
RF Randal Grichuk
SP Shelby Miller
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is using the same eight hitters he used in Game 3, but he’s swapped A.J. Pierzynski and Kolten Wong in the batting order. Yadier Molina remains sidelined by a strained oblique muscle.
CF Gregor Blanco
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
3B Pablo Sandoval
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
LF Travis Ishikawa
SS Brandon Crawford
SP Ryan Vogelsong
Giants manager Bruce Bochy sticks with the same lineup he used in Game 3, which includes Travis Ishikawa in left field (with Michael Morse on the bench) and shortstop Brandon Crawford batting eighth.