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Joe Maddon pokes Bobby Valentine. And it’s kind of a cheap shot.

Sep 5, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT

Joe Maddon Getty Getty Images

One of the subjects that came up in the instantly infamous Bobby Valentine interview today was the allegation that he was late to a game in Oakland last weekend, when he apparently showed up just after 4pm for a 7PM game.

This led to Valentine defending himself over the charge, noting that he was picking up his son at the airport and that all of his pregame work was done and everyone knew were he was. Then he added “Joe Maddon gets there everyday at 4 o’clock, just for the record.”

A few minutes ago Maddon decided to poke at Valentine over this, tweeting thusly:

I guess a little chuckle is in order on the principle that the bar for yuks is really low when sports figures are involved. But really, I have to side with Valentine on this one.  He’s not having a great season, but that lateness charge sounds like a bunch of crap someone is trying to stir up for no good reason.  Out of pure professional courtesy to a counterpart, you’d think Maddon would have some sympathy for all of that.

All of which flows into my general take on the Bobby Valentine experience this year.  No, he hasn’t helped himself one iota, but this situation was doomed from the get-go given the manner in which his predecessor was fired and Valentine himself was hired. Then add in an injured, underperforming team and a media market that just likes to watch the world burn, and the guy never had a chance.

Valentine is a big boy and will be just fine once this nightmare season is over, but Maddon’s pile on — even if it was meant in a spirit of whimsy rather than snark — is a bit cheap in my view.

  1. pinkfloydprism - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Maddon is a tool.

    • willclarkgameface - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      Really? Dude is a GENIUS. How else could he have gotten a bunch of underpaid and borderline talent to play together for this long AND to be this successful?

      I went a very long time hating the Rays because they were so despicable and petty in all those Rays/Red Sox matchups a decade ago, but damn it if they aren’t one of the best run teams in all of MLB.

      • bigharold - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        “How else could he have gotten a bunch of underpaid and borderline talent to play together for this long AND to be this successful?”

        How? Because the Rays have done a great job of drafting and developing pitching. It wasn’t Maddon, check his first two years. The genius lost close to 200 games.

      • paperlions - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM

        Being a genius and a tool often go hand in hand.

      • pinkfloydprism - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        Being a genius does not make him any less of a tool. The guy does stuff like this all the time, and there really is no need for it from the manager.

        Borderline talent? So all those years the Rays got a top 5 draft pick, mostly the overall number one, they picked losers? Please… if you draft high every year it is only a matter of time before your team improves once all of that top talent starts to make it to the show.

      • hittfamily - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:43 PM

        Pink Floyd. You are clueless bro. This team has 3 first rounders on it. 3. Everyone else is a product of a great system. The 3 first rounders are probably their best, but 3 people haven’t made them this good, this long.

        Maddon gave an elbow to the chest of some who was trying to bring him into something he didn’t want to be involved in. If anyone ever said, “But Hittfamily does it too”, I will do something much more sever than make a joke at that person’s expense.

      • pinkfloydprism - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:56 PM

        The current team has 3 first rounders. However, they have drafted other first rounders that have made them who they are, but have been traded, or left as a F/A – so, not as clueless as you say. AND, if you read what I wrote, it was:

        “So all those years the Rays got a top 5 draft pick, mostly the overall number one, they picked losers? Please… if you draft high every year it is only a matter of time before your team improves once all of that top talent starts to make it to the show.”

        Where in there does it say that everyone that they have drafted in the first round is currently on the team? It says if you get high draft picks, which they did from 99-2008 (where their lowest pick was number 8) they will eventually be better, which they are. Throw in the good second and third round picks, mixed in with the trades, and you have a winning team.

      • pinkfloydprism - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:58 PM

        That should read pick 8, but if you use an 8 followed by a ) you get a stupid face 8) – their lowest pick in that span was 8th overall… that is pretty damn good, draft-wise.

      • hittfamily - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:18 PM

        It just doesn’t make any sense though. If they only have 3 first rounders on the team, they don’t have any greater of an advantage than anyone else does. They missed on Tim Beckham, when they could have had Buster Posey.

        How are Josh Hamilton, Dewon Brazelton, Rocco Baldelli, Wade Townsend, Josh Sale, and Levon Washington helping them? Delmon Young was traded for Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza. Bartlett was traded for 3 relievers last year, only 1 of which is still in the Organization. Garza was traded for Sam Fuld and 4 minor leaguers who have yet to make any meaningful contributions.

        Maybe you should say “The Rays maximize draft picks, having the best rotation in baseball, and all of them are home grown. On 1 of those pitchers was picked ahead of round 4, which is extremely impressive. They cobbled together a bullpen made up of career castoffs, headlined by recently released Fernando Rodney, Kyle Farnesworth, and Joel Peralta. The fact that the Rays organization has been so successful with minimum contribututions from their top draft picks speaks volume about the quality of their scouts, farm system, GM, and manager”.

      • jashton11 - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        “Please… if you draft high every year it is only a matter of time before your team improves once all of that top talent starts to make it to the show.”

        Yeah, just look at how quickly the Royals and Pirates became successful with all of their high draft picks.

      • yahmule - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        If Dude AKA Joe Maddon is a GENIUS, what does that make guys like Newton and Mozart?

        I know Wile E. Coyote had business cards made up proclaiming himself to be a super genius, but empirical evidence was really not on his side.

      • protius - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:41 AM

        He’s a good baseball manager; as a person, he’s a tool.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      Yes, a tool of baseball genius.

    • petey1999 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      I can’t wait until Maddon manages in a town that actually cares more about baseball than pajama parties. It’ll be a major league train wreck. And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving dick.

      • hittfamily - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:45 PM

        I like the pajama parties. And the players seem to like it too. Better than beer and fried chicken parties at least.

  2. syracuse451 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    I don’t know why, and I honestly can’t defend it, but Maddon just seems like a bit of a self absorbed jerk to me. It’s not just this tweet either, it’s a general feeling. #analysis

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      Why use hash tags in regular blog posts? Is it an attempt to add snark to a comment? Honestly, what is the point of it?

      • syracuse451 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        Sorry, I linked from Twitter and wasn’t paying a lot of attention to my hastagging. #mybadbro

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        It was actually an honest question. Wasn’t meant as a criticism.

      • syracuse451 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        I’m just kidding with you. I legitimately didn’t mean to add it, no offense intended in my first reply

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        None taken.

      • dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM


      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

        Yeah, awww…..Adults having a conversation without name calling or lame snark. Let’s get em…..fags.

    • vallewho - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      true that

    • hittfamily - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      Joe Maddon explained why showing up to the park 7 hours early is stupid, especially this time of year. Bobby V should have explained in clear detail, as Joe does, as to why he didn’t get there til 4. I think the difference is that Maddon is always prepared, and does things that other Managers emulate. Bobby V isn’t prepared, and emulated Joe’s strategy of not being too early. Dragging Maddon’s name through this garbage is weak, and Maddon gave a mild response, which was appropriate.

      • indaburg - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM

        Exactly. Sorry, Craig but I think you’re competely wrong. Maddon had every right to poke a little fun at Valentine’s expense after Valentine whined like a child. He tried to bring Maddon into his mess. Valentine could’ve defended himself without calling out any other managers. Maddon could’ve just told Valentine to eff off and mind his own team. He handled it with more class than I would have.

      • GoneYickitty - Sep 6, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        Craig, sorry but you whiffed on this one. Idiot V wanted to bring up Maddon for no reason at all and Maddon just had a little bit of fun with it. Absolutely nothing wrong with that whatsoever, unless you are just completely hung up on standing up for losers like horrible managers and PED cheaters (which you seem to be now.)

        I use to like your stuff but now you’re just full of yourself.

    • Glenn - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      I agree, but Maddon picks outsiders as his targets, while Valentine saves his snark for his own players and the guys who cover him ever day. Which target works better for team morale?

  3. keithbangedyermom - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I wonder if Craig can go 48 hours without a Bobby V post.

    • natslady - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      I don’t think he can go FOUR hours without a Bobby V post–if you include general Red Sox posts…

    • cur68 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:35 PM


      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM

        Sounds like a porn site.

      • cur68 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:41 PM

        Bobby Valentine Faux Pas Porn.

  4. keithbangedyermom - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    And Joe Maddon is every bit as full of himself as Valentine is.

    • mazblast - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      The difference between Valentine and Maddon being that (a) the players love Maddon, and (b) the players win under his tutelage.

      • keithbangedyermom - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        Were you alive from 1997-2000? Valentine has been a popular and successful manager. He had one player – Todd Hundley – he didn’t get along with. BV was thrown into a cesspool this year of Theo Epstein’s doing. Funny how none of the stink stays on Theo though.

      • bigharold - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        They haven’t “won” anything yet. Both Maddon and Valentine have both taken teams to the WS and lost.

      • dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        In fairness, Hundley and Valentine “fought” when Valentine moved him to left to accommodate Piazza.

        The rap on Bobby V in NY was that he couldn’t get along with Steve Phillips. One thing they argued about was Bobby wanted to break camp with an 18 year old Jose Reyes as his shortstop.

      • paperlions - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Huh? Valentine has won zero division titles as a manager, not sure what success you are talking about……and no his players didn’t like or respect him back then either, remember the card game going on in the locker room during a playoff game? Yeah, he was the manager of that team. He was fired from Texas when the team had a winning record.

      • dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        Who were playing cards? Bobby Bonilla and Rickey Henderson. Two massive dicks.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        You do know you have win a pennant to get to the WS, right? Being a league champion is not winning nothing.

  5. baroquen131 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Meh. I don’t think it’s a cheap shot, just Maddon having fun. I agree the complaint about Valentine being late was bogus to begin with, but he brought Maddon into the conversation. Joe just cracked a joke. Much ado about blah blah blah…

    • buddaley - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      I think you have it. Joe Maddon has a wry sense of humor and my guess is he thinks the flap over Bobby Valentine getting to the ball park “late” is pretty nonsensical. He was likely kidding the media for making it a story more than he was Valentine.

      I don’t know it is the case, but you could interpret his comment as saying, “Here, I’ll give you something to harp on about me-silly, right?” Or he may have been slightly annoyed that Valentine brought up his name for no reason. Or any of a number of other possibilities. Actually, you could read Valentine as saying, essentially, “Look, the best manager in baseball gets to the ball park the same time I do.”

      What is of course nonsense is thinking that Maddon is either a “tool” or arrogant. On the contrary, he is about as admirable a person as there is in sports. His “charitable” work is hands on, his compassion for people is real and his efforts to improve his community meaningful and creative.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:57 PM

      Much ado about blah blah blah…

      It’s quite possible this is the case, but it’s also possible that Maddon is the type that can dish it out but can’t take it. He’s made comments like this before, but is also the first to use the “my team doesn’t do that” excuse as well.

      Any who, hate the player, not the game…

  6. Kyle - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    It seems to me that Valentine took the first cheap shot by mentioning Maddon in the first place. Maddon was only returning serve.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      That doesn’t fit into the HBT narrative of Valentine being somehow a victim in all of this.

    • cur68 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      Nice clear reading of events as they transpired Kyle. As ‘Army says, its not part of the narrative, but that doesn’t change the truth: Valentine put Maddon’s name out there first. Maddon didn’t mention any names. He just made a weak jest about why he, Joe Maddon, might have been tardy. That is all. I’m failing to see where Joe Maddon did anything even remotely off here. It is not HIS fault Valentine made a complete hash of managing the Sox. Why’s Bobby V gotta go throw Maddon’s name out there for? Maddon’s boys like Joe and they win more than they lose. Valentine’s boys? Well they don’t seem to be exactly friendly with him. Don’t get me started on their win/loss.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      Exactly. Valentine threw Maddon under the bus, and while I have no love for him, Maddon simply returned the favor and made a joke out of the situation. You know he would be asked about it, and it’s better than a “no comment”, or having to defend when he comes and goes. What time Maddon shows up at the ballpark is between him and his employers, and is no one else’s business.

  7. dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    “Out of pure professional courtesy to a counterpart, you’d think Maddon would have some sympathy for all of that.”

    Why did Valentine even drag Maddon into it in the first place?

    • bigharold - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      Good point. If Maddon isn’t mentioned by Valentine he’s not jumping into this. But the comment was still low budget.

      • dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        Sure, but how would you feel if a co-worker got in trouble for something and randomly decided to tell the boss that you do the same thing?

        I would want to punch him the face, Bobby V style.

  8. tfbuckfutter - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    “Then add in an injured, underperforming team and a media market that just likes to watch the world burn, and the guy never had a chance.”

    Just curious….whose fault is it when an entire team under performs?

    Perhaps the guy who is in charge, and whose only job is to actually get them to maximize their abilities?

    Coaches get tons of credit when teams out perform expectations, but he doesn’t deserve most of the blame because he couldn’t motivate 25 guys when THAT’S HIS JOB?

    If one guy slumps, that is mostly the players fault (while it’s the manager’s job to create the best opportunities for him to climb out of the slump)….if two guys slump, again, that’s just a couple guys who are having a rough time…..when an entire team slumps, that is on the manager.

    And the same is true of last September even though now everyone wants to paint a rosy picture of better days with Tito….he did a fine job for 95% of his run as manager….but he lost control of the team and failed to do his job.

  9. djpostl - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    “Out of pure professional courtesy to a counterpart, you’d think Maddon would have some sympathy for all of that.”

    So because Valentine decided to use Maddon as a scapegoat of some sort to deflect criticism Maddon should then have his back?


  10. ezwriter69 - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    The sneering classless braying bleep Valentine is the one who brought Maddon into it, why the bleep SHOULDN’T Maddon fire back? What a child, “Joey did it first, Mommy.” I’m surprised Madden wasn’t more harsh in replying than that, most men would have been. Can you imagine what Valentine would have said if Maddon had done the same thing to him?
    Francona was too nice, so you hired the biggest bleephole in sports to replace him… guess what, he is exactly who everyone knew he was, you got exactly what you wanted.

  11. lakedorr - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Maddon has very right to take a shot. He shows up for games at 2:45 or 3 pm, not 4:00 pm as Valentine mentioned.

  12. Kevin Gillman - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Craig, that was not a cheap shot at all. Valentine never should have called out Madden at all, now THAT was a cheap shot. All Joe was trying to do was defend himself, in his own way.

    • dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      And he didn’t use Valentine’s name. Maddon boarderline took the social media high road.

      • Kevin Gillman - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

        Exactly, and honestly, it was pretty funny. Madden knows what he is doing, and he can get away with it.

  13. onermedboxer - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    The fact that Valentine is a tattle (yes a tattle) and wasn’t even telling the truth (as mentioned above, he shows up a few hours before 4) definitely warrants a reaction from the TB skipper. You can’t make false accusations and expect the guy to show some sympathy

  14. timb12 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    This isn’t fine for Valentine to do? But when Kobe threw Shaq under the bus it wasn’t? It’s a punk move. Maddon can reply however he wants, Valentine shouldn’t have tried to air him out. Little kids try to drag someone else down when they get in trouble. “But Bobby did it too!” geez.

  15. urfinished - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Soon as I started reading the Valentine apologist slant, I stopped reading the column.
    Give me a break.

  16. sisqsage - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    He’s a genius with tools (Twitter included)?

  17. deirdremag - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Maddon was poking fun @ the entire issue ….making an issue of writers concern over Valentine’s schedule.
    Trying to make his comment personal
    Which it was not

    • buddaley - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      There you go. I did not read your comment before writing mine above. I think we agree.

  18. meandjuliojonesdownbytheschoolyard - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    What the hell is cheap about it? If a guy brings my name up out of no where and tries to insult me I’m sure as hell gonna respond. Valentine is a tool.

  19. bluenoser23 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Lighten up Francis.

  20. Sign Ahead - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    After he referred to Bob McClure’s family-related leave of absence as a “vacation”, I think Bobby’s fair game in this arena. The fact that he used a family event as his reason for arriving at 4pm show’s a remarkable lack of self-awareness and probably calls for a little extra mockery.

  21. realgone2 - Sep 6, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Comedy is about cheap shots. Craig, can you get anymore annoying?

  22. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Sep 6, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    >Valentine drags Maddon into it for no logical reason
    >Maddon responds in a joking manner
    >Maddon is taking a cheap shot

  23. mrhojorisin - Sep 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Has everyone forgotten how miserable a time Lee Mazzilli had in replacing Joe Torre? He was also unfortunately doomed to fail.

    • hittfamily - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Yes. Who the hell is Lee Mazzilli?

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