Joe Maddon could care less about an American League pennant. Managing next year’s all-star game is but a trifle to him. All the Rays’ skipper really wants is to be recognized. Not recognized in the sense of getting the credit for steering a young, flawed team to the World Series. Just recognized, as in someone knowing who the heck he is.
(”I’ll be in full uniform the whole time, to help people find me.”)
Maddon will leave this weekend for his honeymoon, with stops in Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy (he says he wants to put a Rays cap on Michelangelo’s David). And all he really wants for a wedding present is for someone to treat him like the celebrity he is:
“I’m hoping to be recognized in Europe, because that would truly indicate that the Tampa Bay Rays have arrived on the continent,” the 54-year-old Maddon said. “That was one of my goals prior to the season.”
I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were him. Maddon probably doesn’t get recognized outside of Hillsborough County. Hell, I watch sports for a living, and I don’t think I could pick him out of a lineup if he weren’t wearing his emo glasses. And Joe, it’s your honeymoon! You don’t need to make your lady think you’re a big deal to get yourself some at night.
Maddon says he’ll settle for finding one, just one Rays fan among the millions of Europeans:
“My main objective is to see somebody wearing Rays gear,” he said. “So in one of those places, I want to see somebody wearing some form of it. And I shall take a photograph. I’ll ask that person to pose.”
Again, setting his sights too high. I’m not sure there are any Rays fans outside of Tampa-St. Pete. And as for finding them in Europe, I think their idea of a cultural vacation is a trip to the David L. Mason Children’s Art Museum, across the Bay in Dunedin.