ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Joe Maddon spent most of his professional career serving in various capacities in the Angels' farm system. Given the background of the Rays manager, Maddon was asked if he appreciated the balance Tampa Bay's organization has achieved, particularly by winning and developing talent in light of the many challenges of operating that way.
"Honestly, it's very gratifying to see all that, and believe me, I thought about that before I came here," Maddon said. "Having been on a Minor League run for so many years and having been a part of some really good stuff that occurred on the Angels in the mid '80s that eventually led to the '90s, which eventually led to the team you see there today, we really turned it over, I thought, with some great players and staff members.
"So when you see what we're doing today, it's not just about being here in this particular moment, but it's about the entire picture with scouting -- developmentally speaking, the kind of organization we have to be, and that's who we are. We have to rely on all these different sources and not just go out and spend an exorbitant amount of money to make up [for mistakes]. We have to be right as often as possible, which I love. I really love the pure form."
Maddon pointed out he is a big Branch Rickey "disciple."
"I've read a lot about his stuff, about what he did in the early [years] as he began with the Cardinals and moved onto Dodgers, and eventually the Pirates and how he did things," Maddon said.
"Really, I mean, we're accused of being a little bit progressive, but at the end of the day, we're very basic. We're very basic. We're very much like that in regards to what we want. We want to be that team that is consistent from rookie ball through the Majors Leagues -- that if somebody were to get hurt, we could replace him from within the system. And we want to play a particular style or brand of baseball, and that's what we're trying to do."