Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rays Manager Loves To Bike

The answer is "yes."

Yes, I have inquired with the Tampa Bay Rays to see if manager and avid cyclist Joe Maddon can appear at the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay on Oct. 19 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

A story about Joe Maddon in today's USA Today mentions Joe's bicycle riding ways:

"The manager of baseball's surprise team is an out-of-the-box thinker who insists he doesn't make those decisions by the seat of his pants. The seat of a bicycle is another story.

"An avid rider, Maddon often cruises around major league cities trying to conjure ways for the Rays to win. This season it has worked, as he has managed Tampa Bay to its first winning season and playoff berth in its 11 seasons.

" 'It's therapeutic,' " Maddon says. "Managing definitely is a passion. But bike riding (is), too, if that makes any sense."

And the New York Times also mentioned Joe and his love for bicycling in a recent profile:

"ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — That bike. Of all the items that teammates would watch Joe Maddon lug on trips with the Angels — books without pictures, wine magazines, an iPod pulsing with Springsteen and Green Day and Pavarotti — none made them smile and shake their heads more than his beloved mountain bike.

The Angels’ bench coach from 1996 to 2005, Maddon would, before most every trip, take it apart — wheels, chains, from seat to nuts — so that he could pop it on the plane. Upon arrival, he would lay the pieces out on his hotel room floor and, quite happily, put it all back together again. Then bike to the ballpark.

“I can still see him doing that,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He just loved that bicycle.”

Maddon has retired his wrenches because he now can afford to rent bikes on the road for his 80 or so miles of weekly riding."

The Tampa Bay Rays will be participating at the 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay and I am waiting to hear back about Joe Maddon's availability. Thing is the Rays have qualified for the MLB playoffs and Joe's Rays might be still playing by the time the Bicycle bash by the Bay rolls around on Oct. 19.

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