Crazy theory: Joe Maddon as the Dodgers general manager?

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This is all just me messing around in my own head, not anything that is based on rumors, reports or anything real. But it just occurred to me that Joe Maddon becoming the Dodgers next general manager might make a lot of sense.

Many people have speculated that Maddon would follow Andrew Friedman from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles and become the Dodgers next manager. But just recently Friedman said he was committed to Don Mattingly. Maddon, for his part, is saying he has no interest in the Dodgers job. Now, sure, take that with a grain of salt because a week ago he said he had no interest in leaving Tampa Bay, but what if he’s being honest and he has bigger things in mind?

If Friedman were to name Maddon his GM, he accomplishes a couple of things. First, he has a trusted lieutenant in the organization. Second, he has a ready replacement for Don Mattingly waiting in the wings if the Dodgers falter in 2015. Heck, it’s a pretty convenient setup, actually, in that it gives Friedman cover to mess with and re-tool the Dodgers over the next year with the focus remaining on Mattingly. If and when the Dodgers struggle in 2015, Mattingly is canned and Maddon takes over amid talk about how a change in tone was needed.

As for the mechanics, no, Maddon is not exactly like the modern general managers in the game, especially those in more analytically-minded organizations. He’s a baseball guy, not an MBA or numbers guy. But he has played well with Friedman, obviously, and it’s not like Friedman and his staff won’t be hands-on when it comes to the baseball operations things with which Maddon has less experience. Maddon can be the general “change the philosophy of the organization” guy. That’s pretty much his jam anyway. He’s like Phil Jackson in that way, for better or worse.

The wrinkle, of course, is that it’s a pretty crummy way to treat Don Mattingly. Who, if such a thing came to pass, may not stand for it anyway and might just quit. Alternatively, the 2015 Dodgers may win a lot of games anyway, in which case moving Mattingly may be a tough trick. But then again, winning is the whole point, and Maddon would be a pretty well-paid GM who, if he missed managing, could always go someplace else to do it again eventually.

Call it a Bobby Cox move. Call it a Greg Poppovich. But way weirder and unexpected things have happened in the past. Heck, Maddon opting out of his deal with the Rays is one of them.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.