Friday, October 10, 2008

Lives Defined: The Rays' Joe Maddon

The American League Championship Series starts tonight and a bit of news hit my bicycling radar -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon is a bicyclist. Here's a guy who, when he was a bench coach for the Angels from 1996 to 2005, would haul his bike to road games, taking it apart for the trip and reassembling it in hotel rooms to ride to ballparks. From last month's USA Today:

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."
By the way, Maddon now can afford to rent bikes when the Rays are on the road, and he rides on average over 80 miles per week. The Rays face off against the Boston Red Sox tonight in Tampa Bay at 8:37 p.m.

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