Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All About Maddux

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN's (The Worldwide Leader in Sports's) renowned senior writer, just wrote an homage to Greg Maddux in a very clever, hilarious and consistently relevant manner.

(Note: much in the style of the awesome article I'm about to tell you about, take the opposite of everything in italics as the truth.)

Everything Maddux wasn't

The rest of the article can just be assumed after this line. But I mean, yeah, he wrote it anyway.

Am I going to miss Greg Maddux? Are you kidding? I couldn't stand the guy.

WTF?!?!??!! You COULDN'T STAND Greg Maddux? Are you out of your mind? What kind of writer are you? Maddux is like a canary-red leaf wafting in the breeze on a cool spring day while the hummingbirds are singing and the wind is composing a soothing melody as it soars through the tree branches, overlooking the greenest field you've ever seen with the most refreshingly blue lake, complete with sparkling sunshine! He's fucking media poetry! There's no way anyone in the world could hate Gre-.......


I see what you're doing here Gene.

You had me going there.

You're a clever boy, aren't you? Saying the opposite of what's actually true like you did. Your keyboard just radiates the brilliance of the gods, doesn't it?

First of all, he wasn't greedy enough. He signed for only $75,000 after the Chicago Cubs selected him with the 31st pick of the 1984 amateur draft. No messy holdouts. No nothing. And get this: He actually reported to Pikeville of the Appalachian League that season. For $175 a week. Loser.

Anyone want to read a lot more paragraphs in the exact same style as this one? Great!

He wasn't brash enough. The guy made his major league starting debut near the end of the 1986 season. The Cubs stunk, but the 20-year-old Maddux threw a complete-game victory. Hadn't been done by a Cub that young since 1966. He also got two hits and ended a seven-game Cubs losing streak. Instead of popping off about his big day, Maddux told reporters, "I'm kind of awestruck now."

Melts my heart. Go on.....

He wasn't intimidating enough. When the dinky Maddux first reported from Triple-A Iowa, the Cubs didn't know whether he was a player or there for Father-Son Day. "He's a good competitor and he's fun to watch," minor league coach Jim Colborn told the Chicago Tribune, "especially knowing he's just finished his paper route a couple of years ago."

Not being intimidating isn't exactly a positive quality for pitchers.....

He wasn't quotable enough. You can list the number of great Maddux on-the-record quotes on the back of a Sweet'N Low packet. He was polite. He was pleasant. But mostly he shrugged his shoulders a lot.

...Sweet'N Low packet? Are you trying to get tomatoes thrown at you?

Like, because there's zeroes on the back of a Sweet'N Low packet, and Maddux has delivered zero great quotes?

Because you can fit a lot of digits on the back of one of those.

Chad Johnson has about 913204234203 great quotes. I could list that number on the back of a Sweet'N Low packet.

He wasn't controversial enough. Would it have killed him to get caught carrying, say, a semi-automatic weapon, just once? Some sort of drug charge would have been nice. And is it asking too much to maybe oversee a money-laundering ring? But, no, not Maddux.

Top 10 problems facing baseball today.

10) Someone is paying Jason Marquis money.
9) Kevin Mench isn't going to play in America next year.
8) Brian Sabean has a job.
7) Too many people think "leadoff hitter" is an actual position.
5) Ryan Howard doesn't get 1/100th of the credit he deserves.
4) The Red Sox make too many assholes happy.
3) The economy
2) PEDs
1) Too many players overseeing money laundering rings.

I can't remember what the point of all that was.

He wasn't narcissistic enough. Even when he was winning four Cy Young Awards in a row or walking into the clubhouse the day after his 300th career victory, you never saw Maddux with a posse, entourage or security detail. Wait! There were those times
when he brought his two kids to the ballpark.

Haha get it! That's his entourage! His kids! He's a family man....he's...he's the everyman, and he wears Wrangler-brand jeans!

Oh. My. God.

Greg Maddux is Brett Favre.

He wasn't ill-prepared enough. In 1996, just before Maddux and the Atlanta Braves faced the New York Yankees in the World Series, pitching coach Leo Mazzone met with his starters and relievers and read them the detailed scouting reports. Maddux raised his hand after Mazzone read the report on Yankees slugger Bernie Williams.

"He wasn't ill-prepared enough."

See how stupid you had to make that sound just to fit a compliment to Maddux's pre-game prep into this article?

"That report is not correct," Maddux said. "I've been watching film of Williams for two weeks, and that report is not correct."

"Did everybody hear that?" Mazzone said.

The Braves pitchers nodded.

"Well, then the hell with this report," Mazzone said. "We go with what Mad Dog says."

Williams hit .167 in the Series.

While leading the Yankees in RBI.

(Hey, if he can use a stat that doesn't tell the whole story, so can I!)

He wasn't serious enough. Jimmy Farrell, who was the longtime umpires room attendant at Wrigley Field, told me about the time he asked a young Maddux to wiggle his ear if he reached base on a hit. The Cubs went on the road, so Farrell and his wife, Eleanor, watched the game at home that night. Sure enough, Maddux got a hit.

"He's not gonna do it, Jimmy," Eleanor said.

"You watch," Farrell said.

Maddux stood at first base. And then wiggled his ear.

"We just about fell off the couch laughing," Farrell told me.

Please, please watch Nick Swisher play just one inning of baseball, then tell me you are still amused by this.

He wasn't aloof enough. You'd think a guy with more wins than any living player (355) would keep to himself. But when I saw him this past March at spring training with the San Diego Padres, Maddux was doing his usual thing: working the clubhouse, cracking wise with vets and rookies, recruiting players for one of his golf pools. Same sort of thing happened when I saw him near the end of the season. He was a Los Angeles Dodger by then, but he was sitting in the dugout trading jokes with teammate Derek Lowe.

Brett. Favre.

Here's the rest. Read it, and be sick of it. I sure am. I couldn't even make it through the entire damn article.

He wasn't one-dimensional enough. After a while you really got tired of watching him earn Gold Gloves (18 of them -- nobody has more), lay down perfect sacrifice bunts, or even steal bases. The nerve.

He didn't listen well enough. Colborn said back in 1986: "He's not a strikeout pitcher, and he probably won't ever win 25 or 30 games in the big leagues. But he should have a good big-league career." Maddux, who just had to make Colborn look bad, finished his career ranked 10th all-time in strikeouts.

He wasn't buff enough. Didn't he get the memo about steroids? Sammy Sosa had nose hairs with more muscle tone than Maddux. Maddux had a bit of a paunch. I'm not sure he could bench press a fungo bat.

He wasn't flashy enough. After Maddux won No. 300, reporters asked how he'd celebrate. "I don't know," he said. "I'll do something." What, take the family to Pizza Hut?

He wasn't into legacies enough. He once said he actually valued pitching 200-plus innings per season more than the wins. And if you asked him about the Hall of Fame, you usually wouldn't get much on the subject. But his former teammate Glendon Rusch once told me, "In my opinion, he's a first-ballot, 100-percent-of-the-votes Hall of Famer."

He wasn't unprofessional enough. Maddux probably could have squeezed another season and paycheck out of that 42-year-old right arm of his. Others would have taken the money. But not Mr. Integrity.

Nope. Won't miss him at all.

Until spring training 2009.

BOOM! That's the fantastic line at the end of the article that lets the reader know...."Hey, I was just joking about all that stuff before! I really think Greg Maddux is a great dude, and I have 37 posters of him hanging in my room!"

ESPN Senior Writer.


Bengoodfella said...

I feel like Gene W. has ruined all positive memories of Greg Maddux by writing column. Couldn't he have just written something normal about Maddux.

Also, the story about the 1996 World Series is one of the worst Maddux stories. There have to be like 10,000 better ones. I could even elaborate one, but I will not.

My one question is this: Where the fuck was Maddux on the Jim Leyritz scouting report? He really dropped the ball on that one when he could have easily told Mark Wohlers what to throw Leyritz so the Braves would not have lost Game 3 and a 2-0 lead in the World Series. Where was the genius on that one? I hate Jim Leyritz and he deserves to be in jail.

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know why sportswriters like Gene feel the need to come up with some "cute" idea to frame their article around. How can he look at that and think, "what a wonderful piece of journalism?"

Sorry, for the rant, I just really hate Jim Leyritz.

Jeff said...

He didn't beat the shit out of Gene Wojciechowski enough.

Low hanging fruit.

Bengoodfella said...

Yes, beat the shit out of Gene Wojciechowski, but leave Maddux alone. He can't help that he was boring as a player, but Gene W. can help that he wrote a shitty article about it.

Chris W said...

He didn't hold out when he was drafted? In 1984?

That's like lauding Shakespeare for never getting a DUI.

Chris W said...

Also, the "comedic" formula "(so and so)'s (body part that usually doesn't have or can't possibly have muscle distinction) has more muscles than (so and so's) WHOLE BODY HAHAHAHAHAH" is stupid, played out, and unfunny.

But rarely is it so egregiously pathetic as "Sammy Sosa's nose hairs have more muscle tone than Maddux."

Jarrett said...

It's sort of surprising that somebody can sit down and type out that whole article, read it over looking for errors, send it off to the editor, and think "Job well done!," go home to the missus, say "Honey, I knocked another one out of the park! Go read it!," and not want to beat the living shit out of themselves when looking in the mirror.

Long way to go for a joke, but I can't understand how you read that whole thing more than once, pnoles.

cs said...

I was going to comment on the ridiculous Maddux holding out in 1984 line, but how do you top "Shakespeare never getting a DUI"?

Chris W said...


Then he says, "Don't worry son--you can do it on the BOAT!"

CitizenX said...

Watch Nick Swisher play? WHY YES. YES I THINK I SHALL.


+ CC.

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese said...

I think the comments are half the fun on this blog.

I can't believe Wojciechowski didn't find a way to mention this.

pnoles said...

ZOMG VBC I forgot all about that commercial!!!! Ahhhhh memories.

CitizenX - I have the following to say about that comment.

faosihejfkalewf;afihkj;oaewhaj;lewfhaewkj;lhawkehawekj;hasdkjflfjdfwiuer2893fy23uf0 3289u23fiu32ifija3fi23;fkja32[f8ua328fh23fpo23hf32iupfh32fha8932fpiojawef8u[a2ij3f2io3fhj[2o3fha8[932fiho2i3;fhjwiohaew[0fj23iof2hj38ufn3p9832fha32fi;aksefhjawoe;fhew

That is all.

pnoles said...

Also, Chris W, can we please start a site for BGF? (I'm assuming you're in charge of this sort of thing for some reason).


- Noles

cs said...

Man, how naive and innocent we were in 1998...

Andy said...

X, as a tribe fan...enjoy CC :'-(

But don't say I didn't warn you about his arm falling off in start #6 of next year, or his 7.92 postseason ERA.

Andy said...

VBC: Probably one of my all-time favorite commercials. Well done, sir.

cb said...

So how did the Jags and Packers manage to play one more game than everyone else in the NFL? The Jags are 4-9 (Easterbrook says 4-10) and the Packers are 5-8, not 5-9. No one else noticed that?

cb said...

Wow. I just went down in flames and commented on the wrong article, and my comment was false to boot. Check and mate.

cs said...

You bring shame to the non-registered, two lettered posting name starting with a "C" and ending with a consonant community.

pnoles said...

sick diss bro!