- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon reacted with amusement when informed that Bobby Valentine had cited Maddon to deflect criticism that Valentine had shown up late at the ballpark Friday in Oakland.
Valentine had gone to pick up his 29-year-old son at the San Francisco airport, the flight was late, and they got hung up in traffic, all of which was reported by the media with the team.
Valentine said that while he arrived to the park around 4, three hours before the game, Maddon arrives for games at that time routinely.
“Apologies to the writers for being late to today's pregame session,’’ Maddon wrote in a tweet. “My pedicure appointment ran a little late.’’
When he met with the reporters covering the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported Maddon said, "I'm very flattered by the whole thing. I think it's very amusing, that's all. I'm amused by the moment and its flattering that somebody would include me in that conversation.’’
When does he arrive? "It varies by the day,” he said. “I'm here in plenty of time.”
Valentine, on WEEI, said this regarding Maddon:
“4 o'clock. That's so late for a 7:05 game,” he said sarcastically. “Joe Maddon gets there every day at 4 o'clock, just for the record.”
Valentine cited an interview he said Maddon had done once with Sports Illustrated in which he alluded to arriving at the ballpark around that time.
At the end of the WEEI interview, Valentine said, “All I'm going to say is I'm very disappointed and personally hurt that someone would actually report that that was a day of coming late. After 42 years on the job, to do something that was absolutely proper -- waiting for my son's late plane to get there. I know he's 29 and could have made it from San Francisco to Oakland on his own, but I wanted to be there when he got off that plane because that's what I promised.
“To get there the same time as another manager in my division gets there every day, just about. Joe Maddon. That's when he shows up every day. Not a day, every day, OK? And to have reporters report that's getting to work late, that's just irresponsible.”