Guess what bestselling nonfiction book the new manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays is reading? (Hint: It isn’t Moneyball)
And, actually, it isn’t Freakonomics either. It is Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.
My good friend Jimmy Golen, a sportswriter for the AP, forwarded me this interview with Joe Maddon, the new manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Q: Are you doodling lineups, doodling rotations —
JOE MADDON: You know what? No, not yet. We’re talking about that on the way over here. Remember the book “Blink,” you guys read “Blink” yet? Got to read “Blink”. Anyway, it’s about thick slices and thin slices. Put all this stuff in the back of your brain. Kind of like cooking in that stew pot. So all I’ve been doing is like gathering portions for the pot right now. As we get closer to this moment, we’ll start doing the doodling kind of stuff, putting it on paper. Right now it’s all just in the pot and just trying to gather as much information as I possibly can, listening to as many people as I can and think when it comes down to it all of a sudden, boom, all these answers present themselves to you if you really do the homework. That’s like how I want to approach it. You have things up in the air, there’s going to be a little bit of uncertainty, yes.
Q: “Blink,” who is that by?
JOE MADDON: Malcolm Gladwell, I think is the name.
Q: He’s from New York.
JOE MADDON: The thick slicing is basically the gathering of all the information, you got it in your mind. When it comes down this making a decision a lot of times you [inaudible]…that you believe to be a first impression by the seat of your pants but it isn’t. I really gathered all this stuff and basically reacted to the moment. If you can think in the moment it’s always a better way to do it. Obviously you talk about the season.
Josh Paul [a catcher for the team] recommended it to me and whenever JP recommends a book, I read it. He was absolutely right about this thing. It should be required reading for all coaches, I think, and a lot of players.
Q: Are you going to require your coaches to read it?
JOE MADDON: Some of the guys are really not readers, you know. Maybe I’ll get them a DVD.
Q: Get it on tape.
JOE MADDON: Pop this in your car on the way to the ballpark. That kind of thing. Yeah. I did tell [3rd base coach Tom] Foley to read it.