Man, we're darn lucky having Joe Maddon as our manager.
While we weren't there to see Maddon talk to the press, there were numerous media personnel on hand, tweeting Maddon's every word. Jason Collette has a full recap over at ESPN1040, and here are some of my favorite moments:
He recognizes the club is going to have a very tough time replacing the offense lost from Crawford and Pena and they'll have to tighten up other areas of the game to make up for the loss of power they will likely not be able to purchase on the open market. He also mentioned that if guys that platooned last season would be given a chance to play every day and specifically mentioned John Jaso and Matt Joyce when discussing the issue.
He said it was the team's plan to have Jennings with the club from day one but that nothing was guaranteed ... Additionally, he was quick to point out that Jennings, "is not going to be the next Carl Crawford; he will be the first Desmond Jennings."
He specifically mentioned the positional flexibility of guys like Sean Rodriguez, Ben Zobrist, and even Elliot Johnson as something he values and recognizes the advantage that is is compared to other clubs. He was non-committal as to where Zobrist would play in 2011 but refused to believe that the musical chairs Zobrist plays positionally affected his offense.
It sounds as though many members of the media were impressed by Maddon's knowledge and easy-going demeanor. It's so easy to get frustrated at a manager when you're watching him 162+ times a season, but it's moments like these that remind me to not take Joe Maddon for granted. He's one of the most progressive managers in the game, eking every small bit of talent out of every player on his roster. He knows his stuff - both old-school and new-school.
We'll share a link to the audio once it's posted on ESPN 1040.