We didn't get a chance to cover it much yesterday afternoon, but in case you missed it, Joe Maddon signed a three year extension worth roughly $6 million total. He had one year left on his old contract, and was never going to seriously entertain any other offers, but it's nice to lock up, and I say this with no hyperbole, the best manager/coach in the history of major Tampa Bay sports.
In his six seasons at the helm the Rays are 495-477, something that seemed impossible in the franchises' first ten years of existence. He may infuriate some with his lineup tinkering, but there's no questioning the success he's had with an ever changing roster. He's transformed himself into the best manager in baseball and I'm glad he's on our side. Congrats, Joe.
On to the links:
- Over at Baseball Nation, Jeff Sullivan runs down the worst swings of the 2011 season -- complete with GIFs! Johnny Damon checks in at number 10, swinging at a pitch from Josh Beckett that was 46.6 inches away from the center of the strike zone. Beckett dominated the Rays at times last season, and Damon can take some funky swings, so this one isn't a surprise.
- Geoff Young of Baseball Prospectus spoke with former Rays farmhand, and occasional Major League reliever, Dirk Hayhurst, about his baseballing future. If you hadn't heard by now, Mr. Hayhurst is taking his talents, both of the pitching and journalistic variety, to the Italian Baseball League. It's a good synopsis of the whole situation.
- How much does a win cost? In the first of a two part series at FanGraphs Matt Schwartz tries to answer that question. He does a very good job explaining how FanGraphs comes up with their price estimations and how we can use them to analyze free agent contracts.
- If being David Price wasn't enough fun already he gets pitching tips from Kate Upton, she of SI Swimsuit Issue fame, in this commercial for MLB2k12. Not a bad life.