I recently read this article "23 Reasons The Tampa Bay Rays Are The Most Likeable Team In Sports" and it got me thinking. The article showed sides of player's personalities like David Price warming up in a bullpen wearing a football uniform, players wearing Chewbacca masks, or the team love of a giant bag of popcorn. To me this article captured that the players love to play for Joe Maddon and in turn Maddon has fun with them.
I contrast this to the absolute mess of the Buccaneers. Greg Schiano is the polar opposite of Joe Maddon. There is the atmosphere of fear and distrust in One Buc Place while Maddon has penguins roaming around in his office. Schiano is known as the strict disciplinarian while Maddon is known as the quirky, laid back guy. The article mentioned that when the MLB tried to stop Maddon from wearing hoodies in the dugout, the entire team wore hoodies in the dugout to support him. I have no reason not to believe that the Bucs players would not support Schiano like that if something similar were to happen to him. He's lost the locker room in my opinion.
In our controversial "10-6" season, the players genuinely loved to play for Morris. He was a player's coach and even though that eventually became his downfall, I think the team won because they were out having fun (against an easy schedule). I remember Winslow saying he would run through a brick wall for him. These guys loved Morris and we overachieved because of it. I think we're underachieving because of team hatred for Schiano. I'm pretty sure if we switched coaches, the Rays would not have made the playoffs with Schiano and that Maddon would have this team winning. And the Rays would have fired Schiano a while back too.
I'm not saying we should hire Morris back but I think we need to hire someone who is a "player's coach." It doesn't matter whether he's an offensive or defensive mind as long as he listens to his players. Like when they suggest they could be used in better ways. To me it's important that the next coach treat these players like grown ass men instead of teenage boys. Remind them why they love this game. Let them be themselves. If the man wants spaghetti instead of rigatoni, LET THE MAN HAVE HIS FUCKING SPAGHETTI! I get the feeling that if Schiano took the team out for a night of fun for the purposes of relaxing and team building, the players would view it more as a punishment than a reward for having to spend extra time with the man.
Dominik and the Glazers are a whole different story themselves. I mean would you ever see Brian or Joel doing this?
Go Rays! Go Bucs! Go Lightning!