Joe Maddon’s first spring with Angels a page from mid-eighties

Joe Maddon has a way of describing things in a simple way. On a recent podcast, he broke down his approach to Spring Training before it was shutdown due to the coronavirus.

Joe Maddon compared his team’s Spring Training workouts from this past spring to the mid-1980s California Angels instructional league. The manager appeared as a guest on the Angels Recap Podcast with Trent Rush on Wednesday.

Rush mentioned how he noticed a different vibe in camp this spring. It seemed to the commentator that Maddon was taking a different approach in terms of situational hitting and base running.

Maddon agreed with Rush’s assessment but explained that while things might appear different, they are very much the same.

“What you’re seeing right now, honestly, 100 percent, mid-1980s instructional league California Angels,” Maddon said. “That’s what you’re seeing being taught right now. That’s were I learned it.”

Maddon said if you put video from the mid-eighties next to what the Angels were doing this past spring, it would be close to being identical.

The manager credited his coaching staff from Brian Butterfield working on base running and the infield to Jesus Feliciano working in the outfield to “our hitting trilogy of coaches” of Jeremy Reed, John Mallee, and Paul Sorrento.

Maddon offered a lot of nuggets in a wide-ranging conversation with Rush about how he plans to manage the team this season. He emphasize the importance for the manager to stay out of the players way, using hit-and runs as an example of something the players can call on their own based on what they are seeing on the field.

“From my perspective, I think the manager, we should teach proactively in advance, and then stay out of it as much as we possibly can when the game’s being played,” Madden said. “Only interfere when it’s necessary.”

Next: Four players the Angels could trade for in 2020

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