Joe Maddon's Rays go minimalist on road
April, 29, 2012
By Greg Hardy | Special to ESPN.com
For road life as a major leaguer, those are Crash Davis’ perks of paradise in “Bull Durham.”
But this weekend, Joe Maddon challenged his Rays to put a dimmer switch on the bright lights.
Mark Cunningham/MLB/Getty ImagesJoe Maddon is watching what his players are packing for road trips.
The brainiac manager issued a “minimalist” theme when packing for a three-game swing to Arlington, Texas:
"One pair of jeans, three shirts, some socks, and those who wear underwear bring underwear.”
Sounds like a laser-sharp way to focus for a series between two hot-starting squads. Each is a division leader that’s 8-2 over the past 10 games.
It could be a great subliminal way for Maddon’s starting pitchers to aim for the ultimate minimalist box score: 27 batters faced, zero runs, zero hits, zero RBIs.
Just so long as it doesn’t backfire for the offense. “Sorry, Skipper. We thought minimalism meant swinging on every first pitch.”
We could drone on and on about the genius of the minimalism mindset -- but obviously, that’s missing the point of minimalism.
Instead, we’ll steal a page out of Gregg Easterbrook’s haiku book with this minimalist salute:
- “Rays’ small-ball works well
at Ballpark in Arlington.
Underwear? Safe home.”