Glynn Carrigan posted this comment to Chris’s outstanding post on Jim Hickey:
I believe a comment is in order for both Hickey and Maddon. Please talk with Rodney about him wearing his hat cocked like a gangbanger or a hoodlum instead of a straight on his head like a professional player! Grow up and act like a major league pitcher, not a punk!
I think his comment touches on something every Rays fan has discussed at some point this spring. What’s the deal with Rodney’s hat? Here’s the thing. I absolutely agree with Glynn AND absolutely disagree with Glynn. I suppose that kind of logic only makes sense in an election year.
I agree with Glynn because I am decidedly old-school. I don’t pretend to be a sociologist but, the forced schtick in today’s sporting world wears me out. I can barely stand more than one NFL game a week anymore because every single tackle leads to some contrived dance or taunt. Rodney’s hat seems to be right in that mold. It’s like Rodney is saying “Yeah, I know we are supposed to look uniform but F that. I am unique. You’ll look at me because I look different.” Forget letting your play do the talking. Do the talking before, during, and after you play so that no one remembers whether you were actually succesful. That is sports in 2012.
But, on the other hand, Rodney’s hat hits right in the sweet spot of Joe Maddon. Joe manages performance, not process. Joe seems to inherently understand that his primary role as a manager is to keep every player in a good mental state to keep their brains from screwing up their game. In some ways, Joe is like a less attractive Annie Savoy. And Fernando Rodney is the perfect example of what makes Joe a genius. In this last two stops, Rodney battled with grizzled-old baseball men over non-baseball related issues. His personality (and presumably his crooked hat) ruffled the feathers of Jim Leyland and Mike Scioscia leading to ugly public divorces. None of those scuffs had anything to do with Rodney’s ability. Rodney just couldn’t live under the strict parenting rules imposed by Leyland and Scioscia who, like Glynn, probably thought Rodney was a punk.
So, I leave the question open. Is Rodney a punk that needs to fix his hat? Or, is he just another jewel in Joe’s crown as a the best personality manager ever?
Also, does the answer to this question change if Rodney stops getting guys out?