Joe Maddon was on 670 The Score with Bernstein and McKnight, discussing – among many things you can check out here – Addison Russell’s recent flubbery and his comments about missing/not knowing the team’s signs.
It sure seemed like Maddon wanted people to know the failing was not on the part of the coaching staff (and I believe him).
“Honestly, it’s really in the player’s hands at this point,” Maddon said. “He’s been here for several years, and I assure you the conversations have been there constantly. We’ve worked through this in the past and at some point it’s up to the players to make this adjustment, too. Again, staff-wise, I know, I was there. The conversations between he and I and also infield coaches and baserunning coaches, we’ve had these conversations. We just need to get Addy to, it’s more of a how do you go through the permutations mentally before the play occurs? How do you visualize in advance? That’s what I’m really, really after is to get him to the point where he sees things before they occur, which would equal focus. That’s where we’re at ….
“He’s so talented. He’s really a great athlete, people have no idea. But from the beginning, he’s had issues on the bases. And so from the time I’ve known him, we’ve really been into it a lot from that perspective ….
“Some guys just have a hard time with that (baserunning). The conversation has to continue, but in a lot of these situations – and sometimes it’s not necessarily reported in this way – but the player has to be responsible for his own actions, too.”
Fair enough. What else is Joe Maddon supposed to do at this point? Either the player can do it (five years into the league!) or he can’t.
At this point, after so many issues, it’s also not a leap to suggest that this is not only in the player’s hands, but also the guys who shape the roster.