Guess who’s biz-zack?
Last time the boys picked up Maddux, he helped carry them to the NL Wild Card, whereas they lost in the first round of the playoffs, something they’ve done every year post-Kirk Gibson’s glorious fist pumping. Now that Brad Penny is done for the year (or could possibly return in the bullpen, though I doubt it), and Jason Schmidt never even got to play pepper in a major league stadium in 2008, this move is outstanding. It also sets up the boys to make a serious play to re-sign Manny next year, considering that Jeff Kent, Casey Blake, Maddux, Derek Lowe, Nomar and Rafael Furcal will all be unrestricted FA’s. To paraphrase celebrated thinker Adam Sandler, that’s alot of old balls ready to hit the market.
A few weeks ago, my favorite sports writer Joe Posnanski wrote a great piece on Greg Maddux and the best piece of pitching he’s ever seen. You can read the full story here. Some of the commenters had some pretty impressive stories about Maddux from his early days with the Cubs through his HOF years in Atlanta. Here’s some of my favorites from Joe’s blog:
- He did not throw a single wild pitch in 1997
- He gave up 4 homers in 1994 (albeit a strike shortened season)
- He did not balk in 1994 or 1995
- If you transplant 1994 Greg Maddux into 1968, the best year of pitching in MLB history, his numbers read: 29-4, 1.07 ERA, 233 K, 32 BB
- The last time he was on the Dodgers, he and Brad Penny agreed to let Maddux call the game, pitch by pitch, from the dugout. Penny pitched 7 shoutout innings.
- On July 22, 1997 against the Cubs, Maddux threw a 76 pitch complete game in 2 hours and 7 minutes. The Braves won 4-1
- On August 13, 2006 against the Giants on Sunday Night Baseball, Maddux (on the Dodgers) threw 8 shoutout innings, allowing 2 hits, 2 walks, retired the last 22 batters he faced, and threw 50 of 68 pitches for strikes!
- A fan ran into Maddux in an Atlanta restaurant. He’d recently bought a glove online (with a certificate) that Maddux had supposedly used in ‘92 with the Cubs, while winning his first Cy. He asked Maddux if he could go home and get it and bring it back to be signed, and Doggie agreed. When he returned, Maddux looked at it and told him it was a fake… he’d never in his career used a blue glove. The guy was understandably not happy, until Maddux told him to follow him home. In his garage, he said, he had a glove he’d used in ‘93 with the Braves (his second Cy season), and the he’d autograph it for him and give it to him.