Rays manager Joe Maddon has long been known as one of baseball's most statistically savvy skippers, but extensive Googling suggests that despite doing a two–part interview at BP, he has never stated explicitly and on the record that sabermetrics rule. Until now.
This is what an egraph personalized by Maddon for BP author R.J. Anderson looks like:
And now you're probably wondering what an egraph is. An egraph is sort of an autograph on steroids. (But not literally on steroids! That would be prohibited by the CBA.) It works like this: a fan picks out a picture of a famous baseball person from the egraphs website, then spends some money to send him a message. Before long, the famous baseball person boots up an app on his iPad, reads the message, and writes and records a response. Then the photo the fan picked out is sent back with the written and recorded messages attached. The fan gets their egraph, and the famous baseball person gets paid.
Joe Maddon is one of the famous baseball people participating. In an attempt to drum up some interest in the product, he and some other participants sent complimentary egraphs to various media members and celebrities. (Evidently, the attempt worked.) One of those media members was R.J.,* whose analysis for Rays blogs DRaysBay and The Process Report brought him to the organization's attention. And that's why we can now hear Maddon giving R.J. roughly as much credit as Andrew Friedman for the Rays' success before declaring that 'sabermetrics rule.' Here's what Maddon says:
Hey R.J., I met my Waterloo with Algebra III and trig, but thanks to guys like you and Andrew and all the boys upstairs, I've got a shot. Be well. Sabermetrics rule. Later.