Another Maddon-inspired Idea Grows Roots in the MLB
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. If that is true, Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon is one proud skipper. Ironically, the latest person to get on board with a Maddon idea has not only a Tampa Bay Rays tie when he was our Bullpen Coach back in 2001. going further into the ironic pot is the fact this person was also a former Los Angeles (of Anaheim) Angels Manager who Maddon replaced as skipper after his resignation 29 games into the 1999 season.
By now you might have guessed that current New York Mets skipper Terry Collins is the latest to follow a Maddon trend and institute it into his team’s rituals. We all know the rest of the Major League baseball world loves how Maddon reaches back into the past the pulls out past nuggets of baseball gold and wipes off their coating of dust and makes them shine brilliantly like the infield shift, the use of the 5-man infield, and walking in a run with the bases loaded to avoid a Grand Slam (Hamilton). All amazing blast from the past innovative ideas plucked by Maddon back into the 21st Century.
But Collins has taken one of Maddon most brilliant moves and inserted it into his own Mets routine recently of doing the themed road trips. Recently as they embarked for their road trip the Mets skipper decided since so many NHL teams in his region were fighting for the Stanley Cup, why not have a NHL-themed road trip. It hearkens me back to a past Rays road trip where the squad popped on either Chicago Blackhawks specially made unis, or got to flash their own favorites for the rest of their team to enjoy or tease them about.
Collins must have decided to take on this great idea after seeing the bonds and commitment the Rays teams have taken in not only deciding their wardrobe, but committing to themselves and their teammates as they grew closer and more focused with the themed road trip having a distinct cause and effect to the team’s chemistry and character becoming more solid and united.
If there was anything Maddon brought out of mothballs or introduced during his tenure, this road trip themed idea might just be league-wide before you can say “amalgamated”. And that’s a great thing since every teams needs something to take a bit of the focal point of a road trip and the perils that await them. I do not know seriously why all 30 MLB teams do not impose some sort of road trip ritual or theme as they head out on their excursions away from home. It seems to be a great bonding element for the team, plus the players seem to have fun trying to one-up their teammates or make a certain fashion statement. This is definitely one Maddon-ism I hope every team adapts ASAP.