Maddon was not in the clubhouse to hear Montero’s comments Tuesday, instead first learning of them via text message on the bus ride to the team hotel. After his initial reaction of wow, the manager called president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and the decision to part ways with Montero was jointly made.
Maddon is known for his candor with the media but rarely criticizes his players publicly. While Maddon emphasizes freedom with what his players can say and do, he acknowledged the potential negatives of speaking to the media.
You’ve got to put the limits on yourself and work with some type of internal monitoring system regarding what you think you can say or cannot say, Maddon said. Then you take chances some times. I’ve had my butt put in a sling a couple times myself. I never want anyone to withhold saying what they really think, if they want to.
Veteran players can really elevate a group, and veteran players can really drag down a group. It depends on their agenda.
Maddon, the owner of two World Series rings and the claim as one of the highest-paid managers in baseball history, is a proud member of the Stage 5 club in coaching. He created the system as a young coach in the mid-1990s with the Angels, realizing that he could better understand players by categorizing their development in a five-step way.
Stage 5 players also have the important responsibility of being role models for players in Stage 1-4, who have less experience in the majors and are aiming to reach Stage 5 themselves. The players with the most malleable minds, according to Maddon, are in Stage 2. Past the Stage 1 point of just being happy to be here, Stage 2 players focus on taking in their surroundings and absorb messages from older teammates in an effort to shape their futures.