"THAT BETTER BE POOP ON YOUR HAT, YOUNG MAN." Those were the words echoing through the head of Overmanagin' Joe Maddon as he spied a dark spot on the bill of Joe Blanton's cap. So what did the meddling one do? Did he send Gabe Gross out to talk to the ump? No he didn't get that cute, but he did go out and say something himself.
Maddon said: "We did notice, it was rather dark. I did bring it to their [umpires'] attention. I asked them to just watch it and be vigilant about it, and nothing happened. But I was concerned about it early on." Hallion replied to Maddon that he would check the baseball, and if he found a foreign substance on the ball, MLB.com reported, he would act on it. Later last night, MLB.com removed the story from its Web site. Geoff Grant, the managing editor of MLB.com said the story was removed because it was obtained "prematurely" by viewing a feed from Fox, which broadcast the game. Grant said that MLB.com would post a new story after the game that would include more reporting and quotes.
Of course Maddon had to get his La Russa on in the World Series. Of course he did. That comparison makes so much damned sense I can't believe I haven't used it before. Maddon following in the footsteps of the original hipster doofus overwrought manager. Also you have to love the Geoff Grant aside in that above paragraph. "Hey uh.. sorry I copied the story from Fox... I'll uh... get some quotes... and um... reporting! Yeah that's the ticket!" It's a shame he's working for a site like MLB.com that has no access.
The reaction from the Philly dugout was predictably "aw shucks it's dirt" making this whole dance one of my least favorite things in baseball. From Charlie Manuel:
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn't aware of what Maddon was protesting about. At a postgame news conference, Manuel took his own cap off and pointed at the bill. "You can look at my cap, it's got the same kind of stuff he's [Maddon] talking about."
Gross, dude. Why is Joe Blanton licking his fingers and wiping it on Charlie Manuel's hat? That is one weird clubhouse.