The Los Angeles Angels are once again failing to live up to their preseason expectations, and the mounting pressure to end their playoff drought might be getting to manager Joe Maddon.
After Monday night’s loss to the Boston Red Sox handed the Angels their 12th consecutive defeat and dropped them to 27-29 on the season, Maddon got a little testy with the media during his postgame press conference. During the presser, Sam Blum (the Angels beat reporter for The Athletic), asked Maddon a fair question about a team marred by a 12-game losing streak.
“Are you saying we’re not competing? … You must be thinking that if you asked the question.”
(?: @BallySportWest) pic.twitter.com/5t9jCo1KiU
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) June 7, 2022
“Do you feel the team’s still competing and fighting the way you want right now?” Blum asked.
Instead of answering the question with standard coach speak, Maddon tossed it back to Blum with a “what do you think?” The retort from Maddon sparked a lengthy back-and-forth with the reporter that even caused PR to intervene. Blum transcribed the entire exchange in the tweet below, which was necessary because the audio quality from Bally Sports West was terrible.
Here was an interesting exchange I had with Joe Maddon after the game today: pic.twitter.com/PswKyPcTIJ
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) June 7, 2022
Despite repeatedly asking The Athletic reporter for his opinion on the current state of the Angels, there’s no way Maddon actually cares that much about Blum’s assessment of the team. Tossing the question back to Blum was just a defense mechanism by a frustrated manager.
Blum’s job in the press room isn’t to offer his opinion, his job is to get information out of the manager. And he did that here by exposing Maddon. Throughout his career, Maddon has been a manager who stays even-keeled and isn’t easily flustered by the media. And veering away from those typically relaxed mannerisms during his exchange with Blum is telling about the current state of the Angels.