Joe Maddon isn’t trying to ‘vilify’ Angels in new book: ‘There was no attack anywhere’

Angels manager Joe Maddon speaks with reporters before a spring training practice in Tempe, Ariz., in February 2020.
Angels manager Joe Maddon speaks with reporters before a spring training practice in Tempe, Ariz., in February 2020. Maddon was fired by the Angels in June amid a 14-game losing streak following a promising start.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Joe Maddon still wants to be a major league manager. He’s said as much out loud, as well as in the closing pages of his new book, “The Book of Joe: Trying Not to Suck at Baseball and Life,” written by Tom Verducci, which was released Oct. 11.

“As I’ve been a manager, I’ve always compared it to Mick Jagger,” Maddon said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times about the book. “Big [Rolling] Stones fan. I actually saw him there at Anaheim Stadium in 2005. And he was 61 at that time, I was 51. And I said I want to manage as long as he’s performing.

“He’s still performing.”

Maddon’s book, which spans his managerial career from the minor leagues until he was fired by the Angels this summer, is more than just another baseball tome. It includes plenty of “Maddonisms” — his philosophies on baseball, life and the intersections of both — as well as brief looks into his childhood and high school football days, and the mentors who have guided him along the way.


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Of the insights, he discusses: How he turned the 96-loss Tampa Bay team into the 2008 World Series-bound team; Why he thought removing playing limitations on Shohei Ohtani eventually unlocked his greatness in 2021; His fizzling out in Chicago with the Cubs; and the disagreements between him and Angels general manager Perry Minasian that led to his firing, the final chapter of the book.

“I’m not trying to vilify anybody,” Maddon said. “There was no attack anywhere. All these people that maybe I disagree with, I really like. There’s a difference. I’m not angry. I’m not upset at anything right now. I wanted to clarify it and really speak on behalf of baseball.”

In the book, Maddon described the boiling point he reached with Minasian after the GM, in the middle of a May 9 game, called athletic trainer Mike Frostad and instructed him to tell Maddon to pull Mike Trout from the game.

Joe Maddon book: "The Book of Joe"
(Twelve Books)

Minasian, in his end-of-the-season media availability, neither confirmed nor denied the claim in Maddon’s book.

“I’m not gonna get into details,” Minasian said. “I enjoyed working with Joe. We have a really good relationship. He’s trying to sell books. I get it. I wish nothing but the best for Joe. I hope he’s on the New York Times bestseller list. That’s all I got for that.”

The success of that book, Maddon said, could determine what he does next in life.

“This is gonna, I think, indicate to me how employable I might be in baseball as a manager in the near future,” said the 68-year-old Maddon. “Or how unemployable I might be. Either way, I’m fine. Of course, I’d like to be employable.

“I think the reception that this [book] receives is going to set a path for me moving forward because I still have a long path.”


Maddon did not reveal a particular team or place he would want to go next, but said there are three unnamed teams he hopes to get a call from because he knows the people already there and how they operate.

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Maddon’s book had been years in the making, an idea that sparked as early as 2008, when the Rays lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

“I knew it wasn’t ready [then],” Maddon said in reflection. “So just kept moving it forward.”

In 2019, when Maddon was the manager of the Cubs, he ran into Verducci and asked if he could work on the book with him. The next year, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports and most of the world, Maddon had time to start recording the interviews for the book.

“I’d recorded about 100 hours riding my bicycle,” Maddon recalled. “You’re in a pandemic in Mesa, Arizona, and then Jaye [his wife], my wife’s sister, Louise, would transcribe it, send it to Tom and then Tom, [Twelve publisher] Sean Desmond, [literary agent] David Black would go over it and they’d get back to me … and tell me to drill down here or think more about this or what do you got here.

“And they’ve really directed me well.”