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Joe Maddon is not worried about angry umps

May 13, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Joe Maddon Getty Getty Images

The Rays have had a lot of run-ins with the umpires this season. David Price and that whole deal with Tom Hallion. Joe Maddon’s multiple ejections. But Maddon tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he’s not worried about retaliation or getting boned on future calls:

“You only get a bad reputation if the complaints are not warranted,” he said. “I think if you cry wolf, if you argue at the inappropriate times, if you’re always on the field just to make noise, that’s different. But I think if they’re warranted, I think then you gain even more respect.”

Joe Maddon has been around this game for a long, long time. You’d think by now that he’d know that umpires don’t really work that way.

  1. cur68 - May 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Watching Joe-Mads gettin’ the heave for being right was hard to take. He’s gotta put up with a lot, does Maddon. Luke Scott. No budget. Lousy stadium. No fan support. Idiotic “Rays Way” comments. Every team and their Dog no-hitting His Boys. All that going on and still manages to get a decent product on the field while at the same time not taking himself or life too seriously. He’s got my respect.

    • indaburg - May 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      NO fan support? Hrmph. Meager fan support, maybe. We may be few, but we’re LOUD. WOOOOOO! I have laryngitis and have taken to miming passing gas to my patients thanks to my boisterous cheering.

      Luke Scott. /shudder

      • cur68 - May 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        You have the oddest way of courting I’ve ever heard of. “Miming the passing of gas”??? How does one mime that, exactly? Actually, never mind. If it ever befalls me to have to mime that I’m certain I’ll think of something.

        I see you’re still a-tremble at the thought of Your Hottie, Luke. Take it easy there, Chiquita: you’ll sprain something pining like that.

      • indaburg - May 13, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        I get to make fart jokes all day. I have a dream job.

        Scott is NOT MY HOTTIE.

    • raysfan1 - May 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Definitely “no fan support” is an overstatement. Even “meager fan support” is only true by post-1998 standards. I’m not going to rehash the reasons for it, most of which aren’t fixable in the short run. However, what’s up with Cleveland’s attendance? 14K average at home games?!

      • indaburg - May 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        I don’t know, raysfan. I think meager is an apt description. I attended two games this past week. Last Thursday’s Dickey vs. Price match-up and yesterday’s Mother’s Day game. Both had pitiful attendance. A game between two reigning Cy Young Award winners, even struggling ones, should not draw only10k. Yesterday’s game was rumored to be close to a sell out. It was even close. 17K on a Sunday with a giveaway. It’s hard not to get disheartened. This team needs a stadium in a centralized location. I am not picking on any team’s fan base for not showing up when ours is so pitiful.

      • JustMeMike - May 13, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        Really raysfan?

        Rays rank 29th in average home attendance. Only Cleveland is worse.Rays have a dome. Cleveland doesn’t. Rays rank 28th in average attendance in road games. So yeah, I think meager fan support is an apt term.

        Bet the attendance might spike if they would call up Wil Myers.

        I live less than an hour away in Sarasota. I’d go to see Myers.

      • raysfan1 - May 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        Yeah, really. They are indeed #29 out of 30 in home attendance. However, I said that wasn’t meager by pre-1998 standards. (I chose that year because attendance had dipped after the 1994 strike until 1998). Take 1983… the Rays’ 19K per game attendance last year would have been good for #15 in MLB, even this year’s paltry 18K per game would be # 19 that year. I am not saying the Rays do not deserve better support. They do. They also deserve a better venue. However, I do find today’s perspective of no/meager fan support interesting in light of historical attendance records. MLB attendance is much higher as a whole for the past couple decades than it ever was before. That should also be remembered anytime an owner cries poverty.

      • raysfan1 - May 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Oh, and lest anyone think I’m dumping on Indians fans, I’m actually just amazed their attendance is so poor so far this year and I don’t know why it is that poor. If anyone can speak to that, I’m interested to hear it. They’ve played good ball so far, so I know that’s not it.

      • JustMeMike - May 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        Raysfan – ok you did mention pre & post 1998 standards – but that line in the sand is 15 years ago. Meaning so what.

        I’m sure Rays management is not pointing to previous successful attendance years except to indicate what they once had.and ask where are you now?

        On the other hand, further down, you did step up and say that you were not dumping on Cleveland fans. That you were amazed that those fans have not supported their team (especially since they are playing rather well lately).

        And that is admirable as well as commendable. Easily worth a thumbs up.

      • raysfan1 - May 13, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        Historical MLB attendance is a topic I find interesting. In 1998, MLB set attendance records in both leagues. By and large, those figures have held steady and in many places even continued to climb. Go back to earlier decades and attendance levels that are considered pathetic now would not have been then.

        Really, nobody’s fan support these days truly deserves to be called pathetic. The “so what” is that every team actually has many fans. Even the most poorly run teams make money. I wish my guys played in a beautiful park that was more accessible, that had a good nightlife in the neighborhood as an additional draw, and that was SRO every game. It’s not, so the Rays work on a much tighter budget than most teams…but they’re still making money.

        With all due respect to the 1950s, I feel this is the true golden age of baseball. MLB is riding a crest of total attendance records, high local TV viewership ratings, revenue streams that did not exist in the past, world wide sport popularity growth, etc. So…while I agree that the Ray’s fan support is poor relative to the rest of MLB, that is quite relative to current standards.

  2. scoutsaysweitersisabust - May 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    “But I think if they’re warranted, I think then you gain even more respect.”

    I can think of at least 4 umpires off the top of my head where the exact opposite of this is true.

    • indaburg - May 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      True, but I counted over 90 active umpires:

      There are a few egotistical asshole umpires, I agree. I’m a Rays fan and I have a beef with a few of them. At the same time, I do believe that most of them want to do a good job. They don’t want to look like complete idiots or be jerks just to be jerks. This may be me looking for the best in people–it’s an awful flaw of mine and I ought to know better–but I think most umpires, like most of us, are just doing their best. Sometimes it’s not good enough. I know if I were an ump, I would be resentful that there is readily available technology that would make me close to perfect at my job, but that’s me. I like technology. In any event, I do think that most umps, once they get their ego out of the way, are willing to admit mistakes and respect a manager who stands up for his team.

      • scoocha - May 13, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        People have to stop iterating that these umps are good at their job, they are just aren’t. It’s okay to admit that. Don’t take your cues from announcers who are too afraid to criticize them either.
        Outside of balls and strikes, their job is a simple one. One where nothing even happens if their judgment is terribly wrong (unless its a rules situation).
        In terms of the Rays, it’s shocking how they almost give no-hit around 5 times a year but still contend for division titles.

      • indaburg - May 13, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        I think your comment is unfair. Generalizations are frequently (but not always) inaccurate. Many umps are good at their jobs. There are some who are dreadful, and they are making the whole lot look very bad. It is odd for me to defend umpires. There are a few umpires I dislike so much I spew venom when I speak their name. I want an eye in the sky ump very much because I think the game can improve and be more accurate. As for the announcers’ lack of umpire criticism, I don’t pay attention to what the announcers say or don’t say as far as that goes. I am fully capable of analyzing situations critically and coming to my own conclusions without assistance.

        And we only get no-hit once a year, maybe twice max, thank you very much.

      • skids003 - May 14, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        indaburg, I am an amateur sports official, and you are right about most of us. We want to do a good job, and leave and not be noticed. However, it’s like lawyers, a very few can make us all look bad. No one feels worse than me if I screw up something, so I agree with you. We are expected to be perfect the first time we officiate and improve from that.

  3. heyblueyoustink - May 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    We could parlay this into an “angry umps” video game, like a first person whack-a-mole where you’re the antihero, Joe Maddon.

  4. chc4 - May 13, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    So his other option is to take bad calls lying down. Not an option. Fight for your guys and what you believe is right. If you’re getting hosed you go nuts. That’s what I loved about Bobby Cox. And what I don’t like about Fredi Gonzalez… no spine.

  5. onbucky96 - May 13, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I’d worry. Those pompus A-holes hold a grudge.

  6. mudhead123 - May 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Maddon lost respect when defending his cheating pitcher and calling the opposing manager “bush league” for calling it out.

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