<
>

Angels' coach interviews for Boston job

BOSTON -- Anaheim Angels coach Joe Maddon interviewed to be
Boston's manager on Wednesday, meeting with Red Sox general manager
Theo Epstein at the GM meetings in Phoenix.

"You're talking about one of the most desirable, fascinating
franchises in professional sports," Maddon said on a conference
call.

"People keep asking, when am I going to be a major league
manager, and I say, 'Well, when someone asks.' Why the Red Sox?
Because they asked, and it's a tremendous opportunity."

Maddon, 49, is the third candidate to interview for the job that
opened when Grady Little was let go. Los Angeles Dodgers coach
Glenn Hoffman and former Philadelphia Phillies manager Terry
Francona have already spoken to Boston management.

No other interviews have been lined up, Red Sox spokesman Kevin
Shea said. The team has said it would like to have a new manager in
place by the end of the month.

Little averaged 94 wins in his two seasons but his contract was
not extended because team management felt he didn't rely enough on
statistical data in determining game strategy. The problem came to
a head when Little left tiring ace Pedro Martinez in for the eighth
inning of Game 7 of the AL championship series against the New York
Yankees.

Martinez blew a 5-2 lead, the Yankees won in 11 innings and
Little never managed another game for Boston.

"I really liked Grady. He's a baseball guy, and he's a
gentleman," Maddon said. "Whoever comes into the situation next
has very large shoes to fill."

And he will be expected to win right away in one of the most
pressure-packed jobs in sports.

"It intimidates anybody. Anybody who says it didn't, I think
would be a liar," Maddon said. "It's ominous ... I think it's
something you need to grow into. It's an intimidating job, a big
job. In a baseball sense, it's at the top of the baseball world."

Maddon is a former minor league catcher who spent 29 years in
the Angels organization, the last 10 with the major league staff.
He was 33-26 in three stints as Anaheim's interim manager, the
longest for 29 games after Terry Collins resigned in 1999.

He also took charge of the Angles when manager -- and former Red
Sox skipper -- John McNamara had a blood clot in his leg and missed
22 games in 1996.

Maddon has also worked as the Angels first base coach, director
of player development, minor league field coordinator, roving
hitting instructor, coordinator of Arizona League and manager of
the team's Double-A and Class A affiliates.

Maddon's candidacy is bolstered by his long-held affinity for
computers. He is also known as an extremely well-prepared and
well-organized coach.

"I've always been an organization freak. When the computer came
along, I saw it as a better way to organize my stuff," he said.
"It was a very, very useful tool. It just evolved from that."

But Maddon also said the information he stores on his computer
is not a substitute for the other skills a manager needs, like
handling the personalities in the clubhouse.

"We're just trying to get an edge," he said. "The stuff you
get of the box is great. It's cool. ... Once you get it, once you
dispense it, you have to determine who can handle what."