Mike Maddux is speaking softly but carrying a big reputation
|11.04.11 at 11:20 am ET|
The Red Sox want to talk to Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux about the possibility of becoming their next manager, but that desire hit an unexpected snag: Maddux can’t talk.
The 50-year-old, who is widely viewed as one of the best pitching coaches in the game, is currently suffering from laryngitis. That has limited his contact with the Red Sox and Cubs (both of whom have been granted permission to interview him) to text messages. Maddux was limited to that same communicative mechanism in “talking” with reporters about his excitement for the opportunities that await him.
“I’m humbled to find how highly some other organizations feel about me,” Maddux wrote in comments relayed by the AP. “It’s come upon our family and me quickly. Just last week we were in the World Series and managing another club was not on the game plan.”
The Rangers, of course, lost the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games. Nonetheless, Maddux is viewed as a key contributor to the fact that Texas — which had never won a playoff series in its first 39 years — has advanced to the Fall Classic in each of the last two years.
“Mike is in a key role for us and has had a prominent hand in our success the past few years,” Rangers GM Jon Daniels wrote in an email to reporters. “But this is a unique opportunity to discuss a coveted position with two storied franchises, and we believe in allowing our people to pursue opportunities that they’re interested in. It reflects well both on Mike and our organization that he’s under consideration.”
The Rangers ranked fifth in the AL in ERA (3.79) this year, the team’s lowest mark since 1988. That follows a 2010 campaign in which Texas ranked third in the AL with a 3.93 ERA, and a 2009 campaign in which the Rangers had a 4.38 ERA in Maddux’ first year, a starting drop from the AL-worst 5.37 ERA that the Rangers had in 2008.
“Pitching and defense are considered the foundation of a winning team,” Maddux said. “The better you pitch and catch, the better chance of winning. With that being said, I guess being a pitching coach is a level away from managing.”
Maddux pitched for the Red Sox in 1995 and 1996, forging a 3.97 ERA in 59 games. He pitched in 472 career contests, going 39-37 with a 4.05 ERA in parts of 15 big league seasons.
However, unlike his brother, future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, it is in the dugout where Mike Maddux has become one of the most prominent coaches in the game, something that has him positioned to talk with both the Sox and Cubs about their managerial vacancies.
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