Joe Maddon’s Got Raheem’s EarNovember 17th, 2010
Intelligent baseball fans know Joe wears his heart on his sleeve after every Rays game on JoeRaysFan.com, the best damn Rays site known to mankind.
So Joe is very plugged in to everything Rays.
Raheem Morris is a Rays fan, too, and an admitted fan and friend of the Rays’ maddening skipper, Merlot Joe Maddon.
Several weeks ago Morris told the story during a news conference of how he planned to keep his famed “Race To 10” motto only among the Bucs, but after a fireside chat with Maddon was advised to tell the world about the 2010 Bucs’ rallying cry: “Race To 10.”
And Raheem went for it.
Raheem said Maddon inspired him to let the catch phrase infest the community and take a life of its own, a little Bucs “mentality before reality” for everyone to share.
At that point, Joe was worried Maddon would start trying to convince Raheem to play all kinds of different bizarre lineups, get all mad scientist with his playbook, and make the offensive linemen walk around town in plaid jackets, among other assorted unorthodox behavior.
But Joe shrugged it off.
On Monday, however, during the Ron and Ian Show on WDAE-AM 620, co-host and former Bucs guard Ian Beckles relayed a story of how he met Raheem on Friday at a swanky South Tampa restaurant.
Beckles said he entered the restaurant for a casual business meeting when he saw Raheem, Maddon, Rays president Matt Silverman and Bucs receivers coach Eric Yarber bellied up to the bar enjoying adult beverages.
Beckles said he took advantage of the chance to chat with Raheem one on one and left the head coach impressed.
That’s all lovely, but Joe is now increasingly worried that Maddon is trying to play some sort of mentor role with Raheem.
Of course, Raheem is his own man, but Joe is quite sure that Maddon’s stats-focused/psychoanalyst approach to baseball doesn’t translate to the NFL, and Joe is leery of Raheem entertaining such thoughts while consuming a few hard-earned cold ones.
After all, Maddon “wants to be the smartest guy in the room,” and he might just feel the urge to play a little fantasy football on a grand scale.
Joe’s going to keep an eye on this. If LeGarrette Blount is sat down because he’s reached some concocted maximum number of carries, or Todd Wash gets a Derek Shelton pass, Joe will know something’s up.