Category: “Maddux Notes”

Maddux Notes: Number Retired Today

My wife and I are about to head down to the ballpark to see Maddux get his number retired tonight. Gotta say, it has been a number of years since I’ve been this excited about going to the ballpark. I’ll have pictures up from my wife’s camera tomorrow. Meanwhile, here’s some news from around the web about old number 31:

  • Ray Giler of the NY Times tries to stir up further trouble between the Frank Wren and Tom Glavine while discussing Glavine’s absence from tonight’s ceremony. Nobody bites. (Glavine will miss the ceremony since his kid is in a baseball tournament out of state. I think he’s doing the right thing, but people are so mad at Glavine right now that they aren’t thinking straight.)
  • Mark Bradley has a poll up at the AJC website along with a short discussion about which of the Big Three was the better pitcher. It was clearly Greg Maddux. Anyone who truly knows baseball knows this of course. Still, 269 people have voted for Smoltz and 62 have voted for Glavine. (Yes, Maddux won the poll in a landslide.) After reading the comments, I’ve come to two conclusions. There are many Braves fans who don’t really know baseball very well and most Braves fans lack a proper understanding of just how great Tom Glavine was for so long. I think any objective consideration of their careers would point to a Maddux then Glavine then Smoltz list … but any chance of that is out the door at this point. People will remember the glory days the way they see fit. So be it.
  • Bill Price, a writer for the pathetic NY Daily News had the following quote about the Braves ceremony tonight, “Tonight’s Met game will start at 7:45 as the Braves are retiring Greg Maddux’s number before the game. You just wonder if Maddux will ask out of the ceremony before it’s over.” If you’re going to make a joke, at least try and be funny. (His comment on the picture of Frenchy and David Wright at the link IS funny however.

Maddux Notes

  • Josh Banks, a young right hander recently recalled by San Diego from AAA, spoke to The Capital about his experience with Greg Maddux during a stint in the big leagues last Summer …

    As a 25-year-old former Toronto Bluey Jay, Banks kept to himself in the bullpen and dugout until Greg Maddux – a 355-game winner and Hall of Fame lock – offered him an open seat. The two sat together, played cards on the plane and went to dinner, all the while talking pitching and analyzing every possible scenario.

    “He’d always ask me why I’d throw guys certain ways,” Banks said. “He said, ‘If you throw 95 percent of your pitches down and away, you’ll win 15 games a year.’ ”

    Maddux would know better than most. Known for his control and intellect, Maddux collected four consecutive Cy Young Awards, 17 straight 15-win seasons between 1988 and 2004, boasted a 3.16 career ERA and won 18 Gold Gloves.

    Banks, who throws between 88-92 mph, developed a changeup and a split-finger fastball to complement his curveball knows better than to overthrow on the mound – thanks, again, to Maddux.

    “He always said, ‘Never sacrifice location for stuff. I don’t care how hard you throw; if you can’t locate it, you’re not going to win,’ ” Banks said. “He always said that.”

    I still think that if he wants it, Greg Maddux has a future as a pitching coach.

  • Trevor Hoffman, who is pitching like the future Hall of Famer he is for Milwaukee this year, was hoping Greg Maddux would play again this season.
  • It seems that every time a pitcher has to rely on movement rather than speed, he’s taking a page out of the Greg Maddux playbook. According to Carlos Zambrano, that’s what he was doing recently.

    I was throwing a lot of split fingers. I saw the speed gun was only 88 mph, and I thought, ‘I have to pitch like Maddux and move the ball, and have a Jose Contreras split finger’. I told [Alfonso] Soriano before the game, ‘I don’t have my explosive fastball, but I have movement, so I’ll use that.’

Maddux Notes: Braves to Retire Number

On July 17th, the Braves will retire Greg Maddux’s number 31. He’s the best player I ever got a chance to see play and I think its great that I’ll get to see him at the Ted one more time. He’ll join Murphy (3), Spahn (21), Niekro (35), Mathews (41) and Aaron (44). How’s that for good company?

I just picked up my tickets. Will you be there?