pcloudyn.png
Friday August 7th, 2020 11:53PM

Maddon intrigued by Ohtani, focused on future with Angels

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Three days after Joe Maddon's 66th birthday, the Los Angeles Angels' new manager sat down in a familiar spring training complex and reminded everybody he was into two-way players before they were cool.

Left-hander Deshawn Warren was the Angels' second-round pick in 1992, when Maddon was a roving minor league instructor for the organization that employed him for his first three decades in baseball. Although Warren never got out of the low minors as a pitcher, he was maybe the fastest runner in the organization.

Maddon unsuccessfully tried to persuade Angels general manager Dan O'Brien to let Warren play in the field at a time when serious two-way play had been abandoned for decades. Now that Shohei Ohtani has emphatically brought it back, Maddon is thrilled to be on the vanguard again.

“I’ve always been intrigued by that,” Maddon said. “I’ve always thought it’s something that should be looked into more deeply.”

Maddon has prided himself on being willing to be an innovator and an unconventional thinker for his entire career. He isn't narrowing his mind as he heads into the first season of his homecoming with the Angels.

Ohtani's unique progress is among Maddon's most important concerns over the next six weeks in Arizona, along with the evolution of a starting rotation that will hopefully include Ohtani before Memorial Day.

The Angels are targeting mid-May for Ohtani's return to the big-league mound, general manager Billy Eppler revealed Tuesday while pitchers and catchers reported to Tempe Diablo Stadium. Ohtani will be available as a designated hitter on opening day, but he will take days away from the big-league team to make rehab pitching starts in the minors.

Eppler and Ohtani have detailed plans for the two-way star's final comeback from Tommy John surgery and subsequent offseason knee surgery, which pushed back his pitching progress. Maddon is on board with the plans, but he also intends to make decisions by speaking face-to-face with Ohtani.

“I think patience is a key word with all of this,” Maddon said. “I’ve been in development my whole life, so when you’re trying to develop a major league talent like him here, coming off the injury situations that he’s had, it’s important to be very patient, and I am.”

Angels owner Arte Moreno's patience has clearly worn a bit thin after four consecutive losing seasons and a decade without a playoff victory. Right after Maddon and the Cubs parted ways in September, Moreno abruptly fired manager Brad Ausmus and eagerly pursued Maddon to return to the club where he won the first of his two World Series rings as Mike Scioscia's bench coach.

Maddon took the job, but he isn't here to ease into retirement. He isn't even the oldest manager in the game anymore with 70-year-old Dusty Baker's arrival in Houston.

Maddon already has had dinner with many of his new Angels, and he is getting to know the rest in Tempe. He admires pitcher Julio Teheran's adventurous new haircut, and he is excited about the depth of the Halos' young talent,

"Jimmie Reese remained contemporary, and that’s why he was able to do this until he was 93," Maddon said, evoking the memory of the beloved longtime Angels coach.

“There’s a difference between accepting what’s going on right now and remaining contemporary, or pushing back to the point where you do become a dinosaur or archaic," he added. "You do connect with people, regardless of their age. And how do you do that? By taking an interest in what they do, where they’re coming from. Once you’ve established that momentum, then you can influence.”

Maddon is living in the moment and planning for the future. But his return to the Angels has still brought on waves of memories, both here in Tempe and back in Southern California, where he and his wife will settle back into the house they left behind in Long Beach.

Maddon plans to use spring training as a chance to find a balance between the past and the present so he can focus on the Angels' future.

“I’ve always loved this place,” Maddon said of modest Tempe Diablo Stadium and the complex which housed the Mariners a few decades ago. “So I remember having meetings down below in that little clubhouse, talking about instructional league stuff. So that’s how my brain works. I get flooded with nostalgia, I do. And it’s OK. It’s a good thing.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Business, AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Maddon intrigued by Ohtani, focused on future with Angels
Joe Maddon is back to work as the Los Angeles Angels' new manager, and one of his first points of business is making sure Shohei Ohtani is healthy for the season
6:36PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Gymnast says she was pressured to skip Nassar complaint
A woman says she reported abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar in 1997 but backed off and even apologized after being pressured by Michigan State University's gymnastics coach
6:34PM ( 9 minutes ago )
New Twitter tool links users to accurate census information
Twitter is rolling out a new tool to help users find accurate information about this year's U.S. Census
6:31PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
González 'remorseful' for role in Astros' sign stealing
Marwin González has become the first batter from the 2017 Houston Astros team that won the World Series to publicly apologize for his role in the sign-stealing scandal
5:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
Panthers owner says Cam Newton's future depends on health
Panthers owner David Tepper remains noncommittal on Cam Newton's future with the organization, saying it will largely depend on how the quarterback recovers from foot surgery
5:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Tapes of Avenatti threats highlight extortion trial closings
Michael Avenatti's lawyers told jurors in a closing argument that the combative California attorney was following a client's wishes when he threatened to expose Nike's role in a college basketball scandal
5:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Louisville, defending champ Vandy college baseball favorites
Louisville and defending national champion Vanderbilt bring No. 1 rankings into the college baseball season
1:22PM ( 5 hours ago )
Finally, Dodgers, Twins finalize Maeda-Graterol deal
The Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers have finalized their trade
10:35PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP source: MLB considering expanding playoffs to 14 teams
Major League Baseball is considering expanding the playoffs to nearly half the teams and allowing higher-seeded wild-card teams to choose opponents
7:58PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Under Armour puts NYC flagship store on ice, restructures
Under Armour's shares have tumbled after the athletic wear company said it anticipates a big financial hit from the viral outbreak in China
5:52PM ( 51 minutes ago )
House approves plan to create US women's history museum
Momentum is building in Washington for the creation of a museum dedicated to American women's history
5:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Businesses struggle to fix supply chains disrupted by virus
Chinese authorities are struggling to strike a delicate balance between containing a viral outbreak and restarting the world’s second-biggest economy after weeks of paralysis
5:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Marlins' Mattingly bothered by sign-stealing, Jeter vote
Baseball’s news cycle of late has been dominated by the sign-stealing scandal that led to upheaval in Houston and Boston, as well as Derek Jeter missing out on being a unanimous selection for Baseball’s Hall of Fame
3:29PM ( 3 days ago )
Deadly fire hangs over success of top Brazilian soccer club
It's been one year since a fire killed 10 teenage academy players at acclaimed Brazilian soccer club Flamengo
2:15PM ( 3 days ago )
Top Brazilian soccer club struggles to get past deadly fire
It's been one year since a fire killed 10 teenage academy players at acclaimed Brazilian soccer club Flamengo
11:07AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
MLB mulls live video limits, may rule on Red Sox next week
Major League Baseball intends to impose new limits on what live video is available to teams. And Commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking at baseball's owners meetings, also hopes to complete his investigation into alleged electronic sign stealing by the Boston Red Sox before spring training camps open next week
10:51PM ( 4 days ago )
Arbitrator rules union didn't prove Bryant case vs Cubs
Arbitrator Mark Irvings issued his decision to deny the grievance filed by Cubs star Kris Bryant, ruling the players' association did not prove Chicago's reasons for holding the third baseman in the minors at the start of the 2015 season were a pretext to push back his eligibility for free agency
6:47PM ( 6 days ago )
AP sources: Cubs' Kris Bryant loses service-time grievance
All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant has lost his service-time grievance against the Chicago Cubs
4:29PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
Gymnast says she was pressured to skip Nassar complaint
A woman says she reported abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar in 1997 but backed off and even apologized after being pressured by Michigan State University's gymnastics coach
6:34PM ( 9 minutes ago )
New Twitter tool links users to accurate census information
Twitter is rolling out a new tool to help users find accurate information about this year's U.S. Census
6:31PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Red Sox make Roenicke interim manager; 'permanency' on hold
The Boston Red Sox named bench coach Ron Roenicke interim manager, promoting the former Brewers skipper to replace Alex Cora on the day the team's pitchers and catchers reported for the start of spring training
6:30PM ( 14 minutes ago )
China's virus crisis hits global flows of letters, parcels
Postal operators in the United States, China and elsewhere say the spread of a deadly new virus is having a major impact on global flows of letters and parcels
6:29PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Klobuchar faces tough questioning in case of juvenile lifer
As voters made their way to the New Hampshire polls, Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar faced pointed questions about her oversight of a high-profile murder case in which a black teen was sentenced to life after a flawed police investigation
6:17PM ( 26 minutes ago )