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Joe Maddon doing his part

Joe Maddon did his part for the Dino Mirabal Fundraiser yesterday when he handed off a door prize/raffle item: a black Louisville Slugger fungo bat he signed.

The beloved Cubs/Former Rays skipper noted that he had just received a shipment of the bats, which he has always used as a prop during pre-game conversations, curling the fungo underneath one leg while standing on the other.

Maddon empathized with Dino. Remember, he spent most of his professional career in the bushes as a scout/coach/manager en route to his first Major League managing job with the Rays. Along the way he threw countless batting practice pitches. Thus, he could almost feel the pain in Dino’s shoulder. In a sense they are kinsmen in the number of rounds of BP each has thrown.

Maddon looked good and seemed excited about his new job. He also expressed how much he loves the Tampa Bay area and the people who live here.

We shared a laugh about the Letterman-style “Top 10 Reasons the Cubs Hired Joe Maddon” as delivered by Ryan Dempster during a Cubs function last weekend. In case you missed it, here it is:

10. “We misheard and thought he knew (actor) Eva Longoria.”

9. “We’re trying to set the Guinness Book of World Records for most fired managers.”

8. “We needed someone who would take the leftover Harry Caray glasses.”

7. “The Cubs’ bus keeps breaking down so we figured, ‘Hey, we can use his RV.’ “

6. “Most managers take shots from the media; Joe Maddon buys shots for the media.”

5. “We have a young team here in Chicago, and if 60 is the new 40, well, we need someone to manage all of our toddlers.”

4. “(Model wife of former Cub/current Rays OF David DeJesus) Kim DeJesus told us to.”

3. “He’s the son of a plumber and, let’s just face it: the Wrigley bathrooms need a ton of work.”

2. “We just feel bad for anyone who lives in Florida.”

1. “Well, because of all the other managers we tried to tamper with, none of them called us back.”

Finally, for those who have not heard, the Dino Mirabal Fundraiser will take place Sunday, February 8 at Anthony’s Cold Fired Pizza on South Dale Mabry from 1-4 p.m.

Paying it forward is a nice concept, so the goal for the future is to start the Dino Mirabal Foundation to help those in the Plant baseball family who might need a little boost.

If you can’t make the event, or you want to donate ahead of time, make the check to Dino Mirabal Fundraiser and mail to:

Dino Mirabal Fundraiser, P.O. Box 18261, Tampa, Florida 33679.

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Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bobby Ross. The former college and pro football coach led Georgia Tech to a share of the national championship in 1990 and later led the San Diego Chargers

©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography