What Makes Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon Great?

With the Cubs in San Francisco to face the team just behind them in the wild-card race, it makes sense to compare the two managers. After all, they both ended up within the top five in a recent ESPN.com survey, and their teams have both found success in recent years. Though they were born just a year apart, their styles are different enough that they seem to be a study in contrasts.

Who better to ask about what makes them great than their own players and coaches and beat writers? Well, maybe unbiased observers can be more critical than our sample, but the task at hand is to delineate the managers’ strengths.

So, what makes Bruce Bochy great? What makes Joe Maddon great?

*****

Bruce Bochy

Tim Lincecum: He gives us the freedom to play. He’ll let us police ourselves for the most part. He’ll make things known to the team if we run into some skids and whatnot, and he does a good job knowing what’s going and keeping the faith up. Other than that, he’s basically a bench coach that knows a lot more. He’s very meticulous in how he handles his bullpen, he knows really well how to handle the guys on the bench. Never tries to put anyone in a position they aren’t comfortable in. An easy-going guy, for the most part, even if he has his moments like any of us. You never really feel like he’s there as a coach, he’s more there as support. I remember in my first no-hitter in San Diego, I remember coming down into the tunnel and he said “you’re the best I got, you gotta keep this going,” to encourage me and keep me going. And I’ve also had some run-ins with him on the mound when I wanted to stay in the game — not so much lately. Just a real personable coach that allows himself to be available, without overstepping boundaries and making it seem like you’re being watched too closely.

Tim Hudson: His ability to think ahead in the game, those moves late in the game, that’s what he’s really good at. Managing his team, managing his players, trying to put them in a position to be successful. He’s pretty even keel in the dugout. You can tell when he gets emotionally involved sometimes. Not a lot of panic.

Gregor Blanco: What really makes him a great manager is that he gives everybody opportunity to be a part of this team, everybody opportunity to be a hero on this team. I think he really believes that it’s 25 guys that win a game, not only two or three guys. That’s huge. He gives guys a chance — like Joe Panik, Matt Duffy — and he never loses faith in his players. I’m not a guy that’s an everyday player here, but all of a sudden I find myself playing in the World Series. That’s a manager that really believes in us.

Hunter Strickland: He leads by example, he’s a quiet leader until he needs to say something. Lets us do our thing until we need him to get on us. He’ll come up to me and encourage me, he did throughout the playoffs, he said “we got you, we’re going to take care of you, keep competing and have fun with it.” I was a rookie coming up and he was giving me the opportunity. He won’t give up on us.

Brandon Crawford: He’s a good manager of the game. It seems like he knows what’s going to happen a couple innings before they happen. And he’ll have something planned already. He doesn’t get all mad or frustrated or worked up very often, which is nice. For the most part pretty calm. If he does get worked up, it’s something big. I don’t think I’v ever seen a manager as good at seeing something before it happens. He’s gotten better with the rest thing, too.

Chris Haft: He rarely puts people in a position to fail. He puts people in a position to succeed. That sounds basic, but sometimes a manager will send a guy up to bunt who’s got no business bunting. Bruce won’t do that. He knows his players’ limitations, and he never criticizes them in print. That’s another thing that sounds like something that most normal people wouldn’t do, but he just doesn’t do it. He may rip guys off the record, but it stays off the record. I don’t think it affects the way he uses them, either, he may come back with them the next day.

People say he’s a master of the bullpen. Master is kind of a strong term, but relievers don’t like getting up to warm up and then not go into the game. That rarely happens here. He’s not perfect with that. As a postseason manager, he understands a sense of urgency. Where other managers might stick with a starter for a little bit longer because that’s just what they do, well no, look at Game Seven last year, Hudson’s gone after four outs, five outs. He didn’t mess around.

He likes to gamble, in low doses. He has an uncanny knack for knowing when to gamble with a player, even when — and this might sound corny — it’s up to them to make it work. When he started out, after a tough loss, he would sit in his office and yell obscenities, you could hear it ringing throughout the clubhouse. Guys got a sense of how intense he was. Now — and of course winning three World Series will do this for you — it seems like he’s in a good mood every day.

*****

Joe Maddon

Dexter Fowler: He keeps us loose. That’s basically it. He has fun. He’s the man.

Kris Bryant: He’s so personable. He’s really laid back, and he’s the type of manager that’s not hard on you. He’s not a drill sergeant. That brings out the best of you as a player. You’re not scared to make a mistake or scared to do something wrong, you’re not walking on eggshells. If you’ve got a problem, you can talk to him. He’s taught me so much already, I’m looking forward to the relationship that we have to come. In spring training, when I got sent down, he was great, and that springboarded us into talking a lot when I’m struggling and when I’m doing great. He’s really easy-going.

Henry Blanco: The way he goes about his business. He gives players responsibilities. The way he is, he keeps them loose and does his thing, you know him. That helps the momentum keep going. He puts them where they need to be to play the game the right way. He’s probably one of the best managers in the National League. He’s a quiet guy, but he likes to do some crazy stuff to get the guys going, and I’m pretty sure that makes a difference here.

Dan Haren: The non-game stuff that he does, the fun stuff, it helps keep the team looser than the places I’ve been. Not as much attention to things like batting practice and drills, he tries to cut a lot of that stuff out. He gives players a lot of leeway, but he expects a lot back. Managing a game, he’s a little bit of an older guy, but he’s really embraced some new school stuff, the analytics. I’ve taken a look at his lineup card, and I know my stuff a little, but I don’t understand what he has written on there, some crazy stuff, it’s not as easy as left/right splits any more. He’s really embraced that, and he tries new things, like the pitcher hitting eighth, and I try to understand it, and he explains it to me, and I still don’t understand it. But when a guy like him, who has had so much success, you question less the stuff he does in game. And there’s a respect for the players, too.

Patrick Mooney: He’s been the right guy at the right time. They couldn’t have found a better guy to appeal to the young players, fuse the organization together, and deal with a lot of the Wrigleyville nonsense that comes around. He’s a great communicator, and he definitely deflects pressure and attention away from these kids, who have been really talked about from the moment they were drafted as the next big things. For all these players, it’s huge just to have that stability, too — I think it’s five managers in six seasons now. The team has been methodical in signing pieces and Maddon is about as good as it gets when it comes a manager in this day and age.





With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Rational Fan
7 years ago

who says Joe Maddon is the best?

Guy has under performed his projected win total more times than not.

Jross
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

“Disappointment” is a word that comes to mind when thinking about Joe’s teams

Blerg
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Fredi Gonzalez’s teams have outperformed their preseason projected win totals more often than not. Does this make him a good manager? If you have to think about the answer that question, you haven’t watched many Braves games. There are lots of things that influence whether or not a team outperforms it’s projected win totals, and the manager is only one of them, and far from the most important one. Trying to evaluate managers this way is decidedly irrational, bc there is just way too much noise.

I.A.L. Diamondback
7 years ago
Reply to  Blerg

If this year’s braves squad maintains its current pace, they will fall 3.5 wins short of their over/under, bringing Fredi’s 5-year record down to +8 total, with three teams better than expected and two teams worse.

In his three full years in Florida, Gonzalez was a fairly stunning total of 19 games better than the Vegas lines, with two “winning” seasons and one losing.

Perhaps we should simply swallow our gall, and consider the possibility that Gonzalez is at least a solid MLB manager. So often when evaluating in-game tactics, we grade managers against the Platonic Ideal, rather than against one another. Maybe Fredi, whatever his warts, is better than we think — compared to other managers.

D
7 years ago

With pythag, if a manager lets a pitcher get hammered in mop-up work, it “lowers” his expected wins. So trailing by 4 in the 9th and using a known pitcher and losing 5-1 is “better” than letting someone “take one for the team” and losing 8-1? Using position players as pitcher etc.

Just saying there is probably a small element of managerial style that may impact the formula while not impacting wins. Also, collapsing in Sept 3 of 4 years may not show up in pythag, but it does deserve consideration if a managers teams consistently play better early or get better as the season progresses.

So,who knows,, but in postseason, give me Botchy over “Kimbrel can only get 4 outs, not 5” any day.

Jason B
7 years ago

“Botchy” is downright Freudian.

arc
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Who says that’s the correct way to determine who the best manager is? As far as I can tell, there is no reliable, definitive way to even measure that.

tz
7 years ago
Reply to  Eno Sarris

If I had to pick the two managers currently managing that seem most likely to be adding value, it would be these two guys.

Rational Fan
7 years ago
Reply to  Eno Sarris

Fair enough; I just think a manager that outperformed his projected win totals at the sportsbooks – or via baseball prospectus – does matter. Obviously there is a lot that goes into a baseball season, but if we can’t assess a manager based on expectations vs results, than how can we evaluate them?

cornflake5000
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Perhaps the expectations were wrong…

arc
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

a manager [whose team] outperformed [its] projected win totals

Didn’t we just have an article yesterday about the frailty of such projection systems? (Besides, sportsbooks aren’t predicting talent; they’re predicting betting). So not only is the connection between manager performance and that measure of team performance tenuous, that very measure itself is probably too volatile right now for us to distinguish signal from noise with much confidence.

Rational Fan
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

They are not predicting betting. jfc.

For analytically minded people the amount of clueless in regards to the betting market is baffling.

They are setting the MOST EFFICIENT number out there – the market is set by sharps, not your average joe next door. There is no way to “balance” action. There is also no need to balance action.

A sportsbook is not looking for 50/50 action on every play, they are merely looking for balanced action over a million plays. The only way to obtain balanced action is to post the most efficient and accurate number. IDK why this is so difficult for people to grasp.

I have put a dagger in the ignorance of 50/50 action 100 times on this site. I have broken it down mathematically – you would be giving money away by buying back to get equal action. Books charge 10% on every bet, for the most part, to begin with. Their goal then is to set an opening number that is accurate because very smart modelers would destroy them and the market if the numbers weren’t set with efficiency.

kdl
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Well, clearly we aren’t as smart as you…so that may be why we all have such a hard to grasping ideas that are so simple to you.

arc
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

It’s interesting that you wore yourself out responding *only* over the trivia that was in parenthesis rather than, well, anything directly relevant to your original point.

I’ll bite, though, since this –

There is no need to balance action.

they are looking for balanced action [over a million plays].

– is so much fun.

The only way to obtain balanced action is to post the most efficient and accurate number.

Balanced action – that thing that sportsbooks DON’T NEED, DUMMY! (But also totally want, dummy!) – can only be obtained by posting the most “efficient” (weasel word) and accurate number?

That seems obviously false, but I’ll wait for you to show your work before continuing.

Rational Fan
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

There is a difference between balancing action on individual events – meaning adjusting your number to an inefficient number to draw in money, or buying out of your position elsewhere by laying 10%, and setting THE CORRECT number the majority of the time allowing for you to take balanced action.

Once again, you clearly do not gamble if you don’t understand the difference.

As has been posted 100 times, I model baseball for betting purposes with a larger group. Sportsbook odds are set by the modelers/sharp bettors, not by the bookmakers. If you take in a lot of public money, and decide to move the number off it’s correct position, you will bring about sharp money that will hit you 10 times harder than your average joe betting for fun.

You seem to think a books goal is to have EQUAL action on every single event, when not only is that not mathematically feasible, but it’s not good business and actually will cost a sportsbook 4-5% of their 10% hold.

You said they set a number to get equal action – that is WRONG. they set the most efficient number regardless of expected action on an individual event.

Based on your comments, a book would buy out of it’s position if it gets lobsided action, which is just wrong and deceiving.

You are setting the most accurate number, because the most accurate number PAYS THE MOST. You are not setting some number trying to entice gamblers to bet each side of a game, because that opens you up to vulnerabilities.

What’s funny is you think you made a point. What’s also funny is when a bunch of analytical people can’t grasp the simple concept that THE MOST EFFICIENT AND ACCURATE predictive system in the world is a sportsbook like because it is set by investors which makes it a combination of every modelers data.

It’s more fun when you pretend like you have a clue about an industry that is my job though; so keep spewing nonsense. It’s more fun that way.

Rational Fan
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

You asked for the math, these are the words of someone I now work with (a former bookmaker) but he can break it down for you:

Here is where you are mathematically WRONG. You view each
GAME as a independent event. Smart bookmakers, with large enough bankrolls, view each game as 1 part of a larger series, forming “the long run”. The bookmaker will win exactly 50% of those imbalanced games, and therefore, it
plays out mathematically just as though he had EVERY game balanced…but, by not moving the number, he has collected for himself 4-5 times the amount of PROFIT (vig) than he would have given away using your Method of balancing
EACH AND EVERY GAME!

THE WRONG WAY (with a two game scenario)
$10,000 on BAltimore +3
$90,0000 on INDY-3

YOUR WAY suggests that it is smart for the bookmaker to call off (move line, or bet elsewhere to balance action) 80,000 of his action, and “guarantee” himself ($1,000 profit), I say guarantee as if we are talking about post up
money.

GAME 2
90,000 on Denver-4.5
10,000 on Miami +4.5

YOUR WAY again suggest calling off 80,000 (80% of your action, you’ve generated by advertising, promoting, and earning a solid reputation) in order that you GUARANTEE yourself $1,000 profit.

So, your way, we have NO RISK and guarantee a grand total profit of $2000 of
220,000, a hold of 1%…wooooo hooooo.

THE SHARP BOOKMAKERS WAY(given a large enough bankroll)

GAME 1
$10,000 on BAltimore+3
$90,0000 on INDY-3

GAME 2
90,000 on Denver-4.5
10,000 on Miami +4.5

THE MATHEMATICALLY SAVY bookmaker keeps it all, expecting to win 50% of all decisions, regardless of how heavy or unbalanced the sides are…He splits here, losing 79,000 on the Indy game and Winning 89,000 on the Miami
game..for a NET PROFIT of 10,000 of of 220000 (net hold of 4.54%), the mathematically expected vig earned by a good bookmaker

So, unless you just plain DON”T believe in math, you’re way is WRONG! Take these two examples and do the calculations over 2000 games and see which results you like best, and stop calling sharp bookmakers, idiots, Please!

The ONLY WAY to win 50% of your outcomes, is to set an efficient/correct number.

arc
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

THE MATHEMATICALLY SAVY bookmaker keeps it all, expecting to win 50% of all decisions, regardless of how heavy or unbalanced the sides are

The whole POST was a DELIGHTFUL walkthrough of arguably the least illustrative thought experiment of ALL time.

Since you weren’t able to identify the single premise on which your entire argument turns, I’ve done it for you above.

There are two critical issues here:

1) The stability of the assumption that your “correct”* line will “win” 50% of the time.

*Earlier, you said the play needed to be “efficient and accurate, as if they were not synonymous. Now it seems like you just can’t keep track of your own diction and those words and the word “correct” are interchanged randomly.

2) The balance of the betting in each of your individual wins and losses is trivial.

The first one is debatable – and variable from one oddsmaker’s projection system to the next.

The second one is very obviously false. The distribution of wagers in wins and losses is in fact largely determinative of your final bottom line.

Rounding it off for the rest of us whose handles are not ironic: my casual paranthetical statement several comments ago was inaccurate to the extent that it suggested soliciting even betting was the *only* priority of a sportsbook. It certainly isn’t. But it is a *high* priority because of risk tolerance and fundamental variance in sports.

The less you factor in balance, the greater your exposure to that risk. The greater you factor in balance, the closer you are to guaranteed profits.

If we’re being honest, where exactly on that spectrum a majority of sportsbooks fall is probably not knowable. But there is a strong consensus in the industry built around them that balanced betting is a high priority – and unlike your wandering tirades, the reasoning behind that is clear and straightforward.

Rational Fan
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Why would a bookmaker need to manage risk?

Assuming he sets the correct number, and wins 50% of the time, in the long run he gets 10% hold. A bookmakers job is not to manage risk, it is to set the correct number – regardless of expected bet balance.

Yes, my example by the gentleman who used to run Pinnacle Sports book – a book that grosses billions a year, and is by far the biggest in the world – is wrong and off base, but the fangraphs commentator knows more.

You don’t balance action – you are looking for balanced results, meaning winning 50% of your games.

A winning gambler needs to win 52.4% of his bets just to break even – assuming you set the proper number, there is no risk management for a large operation.

ONLY underfunded shops balance action, and that’s why they go out of business. No big shop – the pinnacles, bookmakers, 5dimes and the likes will balance action. period.

Burt Schilling
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

arc *and* Rational Fan? Someone get a ruler!

Chairman Meow
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

This is the least amount of power I’ve ever seen someone trip over.

Stefan
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

When did Maddon underperform his projected win total? Certainly not in 2008, 2011, and it’s certainly not looking like it this year.

I’d be shocked if he wasn’t net positive versus his teams win projections, but perhaps you have data that says otherwise?

I.A.L. Diamondback
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Don’t know if this will appear where intended, but this response is directed to Stefan.

Maddon was in fact 5-3 versus the Vegas over/under line during his last 8 seasons in Tampa. (I don’t have the betting line for 2006.)

Moreover, Maddon was a total of 24.5 wins better than predicted, for an annual tally of +3 wins per year. That’s an excellent outcome, and probably a better current average than any active manager except Matheny and perhaps Showalter. I kind of doubt that Bochy’s regular season numbers are quite that strong, but I could be mistaken.

Come to think of it, if you include his San Diego stint Bochy’s regular season numbers are probably very comparable to Maddon’s. Maybe even better.

I.A.L. Diamondback
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Meant to also include this detail:

Maddon’s Rays underperformed their Vegas line in 2007 by 1 game, in 2009 by 5.5 games, and in 2014 by 11.5 games.

evo34
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Interesting that a “pro gambler” such as Rational Fan, thinks books have a 10% hold in sports. This is not true overall and not even remotely close to being true in baseball, where the juice is much less than in other sports.

MosesZD
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

That really makes no sense. I read seasonal projections and get a good laugh at them. There are way to many inter- and intra- seasonal variables for them to be more than pseudo-rigorous wild-ass-guesses.

You have as good, if not better, chance of being right if you just say ‘same as last year.’ And it saves a lot of effort!

As for sports books. That’s just balancing the sports-book to the expectations of the gamblers who are, as a mass, completely incapable of predicting season records or who will win on any given day.

MosesZD
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Here, top-10 projected Sports Book finishes (2015):

Orioles 84.5 <– Could reach 84 wins. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

Giants 85 <– Need to finish out 17-18 to make 85 wins. Likely.

Mariners 85 <— 10 games under .500. It ain't gonna happen barring a miracle finish.

Pirates 85.5 <– Should easily exceed this total.

Red Sox 86 <– Troll lol lol lol lol lol… Volume all the way up to 11!

Tigers 86.5 <– See Red Sox… But volume at 10.

Angels 87.5 <– Need to finish 23-12 to hit 88 wins. Could happen. Probably wont.

Cardinals 87.5 <– Best record in MLB. Would take an epic collapse to not exceed this.

Dodgers 91 <– Need to finish 21-15. Could happen. Probably wont.

Nationals 93 <— See Red Sox, but turn the volume down from 11 to 9…

Where are the Cubs? Royals? Yankees? Mets? Blue Jays? Astros?

Now, why have these teams either exceeded or failed to meet expectations? Was it managers? Or was it players? I vote players for 90+ percent of it.

For example, when the Red Sox signed Sandoval, they had no idea he'd turn into the worst starting 3rd basemen in the majors. The Giants had no idea that Matt Duffy would play 3B and be a legitimate (though recently fading) ROY candidate at 3B.

Or that he'd be anything more than a stop-gap solution. If they had, they wouldn't have suffered through "Double-Play" McGehee until they were forced to make a change.

Does Bochy get credit for recognizing Duffy? If so, then shouldn't he be penalized for sticking with McGehee for so long?

And don't get me wrong, I'm a big Bochy fan. The Giant's early-season suffering because of McGehee's failure to perform is the flip-side of the coin that makes him a great manager. He gives his veterans respect and doesn't yank them at the first sign of trouble or when they're in a slump. Rather, he encourages them and lets them play through it until there's no other realistic choice.

And while we can't directly prove that it works. It seems to because his teams generally seem to exceed the base-talent. Especially when times are grim.

Rational Response
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Angry White Sox fan trolling alert!

chicubs1369
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

its so much more complicated then that and if thats how you determine what makes a manger a good or bad one then i just don’t know what to tell you.
you may think that i am biased because i am a cubs fan and all that but its simple i know i can’t decide if a manger is good or bad if i don’t know enough about the situation.. there is so much that goes into it other than beating projections or not.. there is health, luck, production, ect.

joe maddon has led the cubs to a 73-51 record.. the cubs were projected 82.5 wins this year and if you told me they would (safe assumption) easily surpass that mark with Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler having negative WAR then I would be very confused. This Cubs team has gone 21-4 and have been one of the hottest teams in baseball since the end of July and might I say their worst 2 players since then have been trade deadline acquisitions..

he brings his teams a breathe of fresh air, he always knows exactly what to say, and the players respect/trust him.

Joe Maddon is going to be the first manager to lead a team with 3 everyday rookies to the playoffs. There is a something to be said about that.. and thats that he’s a great manager.

I.A.L. Diamondback
7 years ago
Reply to  chicubs1369

Maddon has done a great job this year. But his superrookie quartet of Bryant, Schwarber, Russell and Soler has only been worth 2 bWAR more than the St. Louis rookie foursome of Grichuk, Piscotty, Cooney and Socolovich.

The big difference between these groups is that all 4 Cubs were Baseball America top 20 overall prospects — and 3 of the Cardinals weren’t even top 100. (Piscotty at #70 was by far the highest rated.)

So if an N.L. Central manager deserves credit for getting the most out of his rookies this year, it’s probably Mike Matheny. Which partly explains how his squad is on pace to finish 9 games ahead of the Cubs, rather than the 4 games predicted by Fangraphs, or the 6 games forecasted by Vegas.

This year, relative to the preseason expectations of B-Pro, Clay Davenport, Fangraphs, or anybody else, it’s Maddon great, Hurdle greater, Matheny best.

florida ron
7 years ago

I can’t wait to see how Matheny shits the bed in the playoffs this year. Criminal charges could have been filed against Bochy for the abuse he inflicted on Mikey boy last October.

Howie Porker
7 years ago

Exactly.

I.A.L. Diamondback
7 years ago

Matheny’s career playoff record is in fact superb. He has been the betting underdog in 6 of his team’s 8 series, and led them to victory 5 times.

He’s been outmanaged in the playoffs by Bruce Bochy — as has every single manager Bochy has faced since he arrived in San Francisco. (Bruce was just 8-16 as a Padres skipper in October.)

Treaty of Zoilo Versalles
7 years ago

Yeah, I remember Bochy “outmaneuvering” that rube Matheny, and sending Juan Perez to the plate for one of the season’s most critical at-bats. It was the 10th inning, game 3. Winning run on first base, none out.

Perez, a simply terrible, terrible player who hit .170 during the regular season and somehow accrued -1.0 WAR in just 109 plate appearances, found himself with a bat in his hands. Dreadful hitter, winning run on 1st, you bunt. Right? Nope, Bochy had him swing. (Perez had 2 reg. season sac bunts and 3 GIDPs in 100 AB’s, in case you were wondering.) Insane, having him swing.

And of course Perez got the big hit, basically clinching the game.

The guy who was one of baseball’s worst players during the regular season, and who certainly had no business on the postseason roster, got one of the biggest hits of the playoffs. Bochy brilliance? Of course not. But sometimes crazy moves pay off anyway.

ed
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

F uck Maddon overrated

I.A.L. Diamondback
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

I would like to see the evidence that Joe Maddon’s teams have “underperformed” their projected win totals more often than not.

Link?

From ’09-’14 his Tampa teams averaged 88 wins, which while not great, was very good considering their A.L. East competition. I would bet that the average projection (or Vegas over/under) was between 84 and 86 wins per year over that 6-year stretch. (And I mean that literally. I would bet it.)

Maddon’s 5-9 playoff record since 2008 may be worthy of scrutiny, however — especially in light of his very odd and un-Maddonlike back-to-back managerial misfires in the 2013 postseason.

I.A.L. Diamondback
7 years ago

Okay, I checked. Maddon’s final 8 Tampa teams were 5-3 v. the Vegas over/unders. (I couldn’t find a Vegas number for his debut 2006 season.)

From 2007-2014, Joe was a total of +24.5 wins, or 3 victories per year on average. I’d call that a very big success.

Stefan
7 years ago
Reply to  Rational Fan

Is that even true?