It happens to all players. It’s inevitable. But even still, it’s never easy saying good-bye to one of your favorites…
You never want it to end. You’ll even deal with watching your favorite player’s skills and physical abilities diminish before your eyes as long as you’re able to still watch him perform. Saying good-bye to Greg Maddux is not easy to do. Maddux appears in every way to be a class act and a nice guy. In an era of ego and needles, Maddux has made the decision to leave the game of baseball on his terms at 42 years of age.
Today, we say good-bye to a man that stands for pitching excellence. Greg Maddux came as close to perfecting the art of pitching as any player I have seen in my lifetime. A true competitor and perfectionist, Maddux never settled for anything. When you look at the last few years of his career, you could begin to start to see his skills diminish but his approach never faltered. Obviously, it takes being on a winning team to provide support and help you earn wins. But, it wasn’t just the wins that started to slip away… Maddux’s ERA is also not what it once was and knowing he was the starting pitcher in today’s game no longer meant that we were in for a low-scoring affair.
If you add up everything that Greg Maddux has done in the game of professional baseball, there is no doubt of his place in Cooperstown. A 4-time(consecutive) Cy Young Award winner with 13 post season appearances. 355 career wins with a 3.16 ERA. Maddux finishes his career with 3,371 strikeouts and 999 walks, good for a 3.4:1 strikeout:walk ratio. Oh yeah, he is also pretty good defensively as he has earned the Gold Glove an incredible 18 times.
Greg Maddux is one of the only pitchers in today’s game that I have gone out of my way to watch. When his teams have come to town to play the Marlins, I make sure that I am in front of the television to catch a glimpse of him doing what he does best. This even means that I have sat through some San Diego Padres games in the last few years… YUCK!!! It will be weird to watch baseball next year and not get to see Maddux play. It will be strange to not see his name in any box scores. And who in the world is going to win the NL Gold Golve for pitchers next year?? My guess is that there are just a small handful of players(probably less than 10) that even played in the majors since the last pitcher to win this award was not Greg Maddux.
I am really going to miss Greg Maddux!!! Hell of a guy, and one hell of a career!!!