The players have spoken and Joe Maddon is the most popular manager in Major League Baseball.
Well, to be precise, 291 players have spoken in a new poll by SI.com, and 14 percent of them voted the Tampa Bay Rays skipper as the league's most likable.
Maddon has a reputation for being a player's manager so the results aren't too surprising. Neither is his reaction to the poll, which was to deflect credit.
"My first response is it's really a humbling thought," Maddon told TampaBay.com. "The second one is that it means we're doing a lot of things right here ... and I want to emphasize the word we there."
Players clearly like Maddon in part for his unorthodox approach . Last week, he decided to incorporate a road-trip approach at home - allowing players to arrive later to the ballpark and do less onfield work.
"I just want to back off work," Maddon said last week. "Guys swing way too much. At this time of the year I would prefer them swinging the bat less. I want them to be fresh and ready to go at (game time). I prefer a fresh mind and body right now."
Sleep in and do less work? No wonder he's so popular.
Maddon also has a sense of humor. Last year, afteragainst the Rays, the Tampa manager had an interesting reaction.
"There's several thespians throughout baseball," Maddon said. "I thought Derek did a great job, and I applaud it, because I wish our guys would do the same thing."
In the SI.com poll, Red Sox manager Terry Francona was a close second with 12 percent of the vote. The other top 15 (of 30 total teams), in order:
3. Jim Leyland, Tigers
4. Mike Scioscia, Angels
5. Dusty Baker, Reds
6. Ozzie Guillen, White Sox
7. Joe Girardi, Yankees
8. Tony La Russa, Cardinals
9. Ron Gardenhire, Twins
10. Bud Black, Padres
11. Charlie Manuel, Phillies
12. Ron Washington, Rangers
13. Jim Tracy, Rockies
14. Bruce Bochy, Giants
15. Don Mattingly, Dodgers
As CBSSports.com's Matt Snyder points out, players weren't asked to rank the managers, just to pick one. So some managers could have been the second most liked by many players and not gotten many votes.