He is the "it" manager in baseball, the most innovative, most interesting and one of the most successful.
The Rays' Joe Maddon writes lineups with obscure journeymen batting cleanup. Builds quality bullpens with unheralded relievers. Shifts his infielders with such manic zeal, it's as if he can't stand to see the same defensive alignment twice.
Yet, for all his mad-scientist tendencies, Maddon is one of the most normal managers you'll ever meet, taking baseball only so seriously, pursuing cycling and other interests, working to build a community center to unite the white and Hispanic communities in his hometown of Hazelton, Pa.
And oh yes, he also fancies themed road trips -- the latest of which was the "Ken Rosenthal/Nerd" trip to Boston for this weekend's series against the Red Sox (MLB on Fox, Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET).
The Rays not only wore bow ties and made a contribution to BowTie Cause -- the non-profit company that supplies me with bow ties to raise awareness for various ...