Results tagged ‘ Greg Maddux ’

1/7 Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, the Hall of Fame will release the voting results of the Baseball Writers Association of America and we’ll find out who gets into Cooperstown. The results will be announced at 1 p.m. CT on MLB Network, and simulcast on MLB.com. The ballot features 36 players, including 19 new candidates. A player needs 75 percent of all ballots cast to be enshrined. Induction ceremonies will be July 27.

This year, I voted for eight players. Let the discussion begin. My ballot, in alphabetical order:

Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Tom Glavine
Greg Maddux
Tim Raines
Frank Thomas
Alan Trammell

Maddux, Glavine and Thomas are on the ballot for the first time, and were no brainers for me. The others are holdovers, and I know people won’t agree with Bonds and Clemens. Everyone in baseball ignored the PED issue for a long time. Even if you deduct a percentage of Bond’s statistics, he’s still one of the best hitters of all time. Clemens most likely did things he regrets, yet you didn’t want to miss his starts. It seems hypocritical to ignore the PED issue then, and punish those two players now.

It’s a privilege to be elected into the Hall of Fame — and to be able to vote for the players. We’ll find out who gets in on Wednesday.

– Carrie Muskat

9/17 Late night at Wrigley

Did you stay awake for the Cubs game? The start was delayed 3 hours 37 minutes because of rain, and first pitch was at 10:42 p.m. CT. It’s the latest a game has started at Wrigley Field since July 26, 2005, when the Cubs faced the Giants, and play began at 9:48 p.m. CT. In that game, Greg Maddux picked up his 3,000th strikeout, and play ended at 1:16 a.m. CT. This was the last trip to Chicago for the Pirates, who do not have an off day for the rest of the season. The fans who waited out the weather in the upper deck were moved to the lower level so some of the ushers could go home.

Fans who stayed were offered a 25 percent discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages. Cubs reliever Michael Bowden stood in the rain to sign autographs and pose for photos for fans who braved the weather.

Next up for the Cubs are the Reds, who had checked into their hotel long before first pitch. They’ll be rested for Tuesday’s night game.

“That’s a nice ballclub,” Dale Sveum said of the Reds. “That’s the same kind of ballclub we saw in Washington. You make mistakes and they have a chance to beat you up. It’s a really good ballclub and that’s why the Reds and Washington have the best records in baseball.”

The Cubs had a tough time against the Nationals, who swept a four-game series Sept. 3-6 in Washington, and outscored Chicago 31-10. The Reds’ magic number to clinch the National League Central at five.

“Nobody wants anybody to clinch on your turf, that’s for sure,” Sveum said. “It’s inevitable that they’ll clinch, you just don’t want them to do it on your place.”

 — Carrie Muskat

3/18 Brotherly love in Texas

Greg Maddux said it was hard for him to leave the Cubs organization but he couldn’t pass up the chance to work with his brother, Mike, who is the pitching coach with the Rangers.

“We’ve always wanted to be on the same team and we could never do it playing but we have it worked out now,” he said. “I know before I took the job with the Cubs three years ago, there was some discussion about it and it never really set up right. This time it did.”

Maddux was a special assistant to then Cubs GM Jim Hendry; now he has the same job with the Rangers. Mike Maddux had interviewed for the Cubs managerial job. Did he and Greg talk about Greg possibly being the pitching coach?

“I’m not ready to go all in yet,” Greg said. “It definitely would’ve been a good opportunity. Where his family life was at the time didn’t make sense for him. He’s got his family together again for the first time since he moved to Texas. He didn’t want to lose them again. I think he’ll be a good manager one day. When the time’s right, I think he’ll be good at it. He’ll gain some more experience and knowledge and down the road sometime he’ll be even more of a candidate.”

Did Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, talk to Greg about staying?

“I think everybody understood,” Greg said. “When Jim and [scout] Gary Hughes and everybody kind of left, that was kind of my click. The thing here opened up with my brother and it just felt like the right thing to do for me personally and have him help me out doing what I’m doing and maybe I can help him a little, too.”

Greg is doing more coaching than scouting now.

“I enjoy working with the players here, just like I did in Chicago,” he said. “I enjoy being around the coaches, I enjoy learning around the coaches, just like Chicago. It’s pretty much the same thing, just new faces.”

Does he feel he’s still part of the Cubs?

“Always, always, always,” Maddux said. “Chicago’s a huge part of my baseball career. Always. We just got a new house last month and redecorated and there’s a lot of Cubs stuff there. I have a lot of great memories. Absolutely.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/22 Maddux unsure if he’ll return

Greg Maddux, the four-time Cy Young winner who was a special assistant to Jim Hendry, isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the team. Maddux spent the last two seasons as a special assistant to the GM and would help with Minor League pitchers and do some scouting. However, Hendry was dismissed on Friday as the Cubs GM.

“I’m not real worried about how this affects me,” Maddux told the Chicago Tribune on Monday. “Jim is a good man and he did a good job not only for the Cubs but for the city of Chicago. He’s got a lot to be proud of.”

Maddux did not want a full-time job with the Cubs so he could spend time with his family. His contract with the Cubs expires in December.

“I don’t know [if I'll come back], and I would feel the same way if Jim was still there now,” Maddux said. “I’m just trying to get my feet wet and figure out what I want to do in my post-baseball career.”

He is eligible for Hall of Fame ballot in 2013.

– Carrie Muskat

3/7 Cubs extra bases

Manager Mike Quade on Carlos Silva after his rough outing Monday:

“I tend to give a guy who has this kind of career and the longevity he’s had some space to do that,” Quade said. “It’s not his first rodeo. He was fine today, he went about his business great. He worked through a little trouble in the first couple innings and just couldn’t make a pitch or two to get out of the third inning. I make nothing out of this other than it’s a rough day. He’ll be fine.”

Silva gave up eight runs on 10 hits over 2 1/3 innings but did not get the loss as the Cubs rallied from a 9-0 deficit to beat the Angels, 14-13, on Bryan LaHair’s walkoff RBI single.

* Marlon Byrd was thrown out at home trying to score on Aramis Ramirez’s double in the fourth. The ball went deep into the left field corner, an area known as Satan’s corner, Quade said.

“It’s Spring Training for everyone,” Quade said. “I think [third base coach Ivan DeJesus] pulled the trigger a little soon.”

* Tyler Colvin is expected to make his next start at first base Thursday. He was charged with his third error this spring in right on Monday.

* Closer Carlos Marmol is trying to work on his fastball command. “If he gets really good fastball command-wise with this [his slider], it’s game, set, match,” Quade said. “Any improvement ‘Marm’ can make on his fastball command is going to help him and why don’t we say this about everybody? We all talk about breaking stuff, but it boils down to fastball command. I don’t care if it’s a bunch of these kids trying to make the club or if it’s [Ryan Dempster]. The better your fastball command, the better your game is.”

* Here’s some trivia: Greg Maddux faced 20,421 batters in his career. Just 310 of them saw a 3-0 count. That’s roughly one every three starts. Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors for the research.

– Carrie Muskat

2/26 Cubs extra bases

Manager Mike Quade won’t be calling for a hit and run early in Spring Training. “I told the club today, it’s not rocket science,” Quade said Saturday on the eve of the first Cactus League game. “[I told them] ‘The first week or two, you guys play, show us what you can do, use your judgement, my catchers will run the running game.’ I want to watch guys play and think on their feet. If I’m creating a bunch of robots, that’s not good.”

* By posting lineups for three games in advance, players get a heads up. “No one can say they weren’t ready,” Quade said.

* Sunday’s game will start at 1:05 p.m. Mountain Time at HoHoKam Park.

* Greg Maddux, a special assistant to general manager Jim Hendry joined the Cubs on Saturday. He will work with the pitchers and do some scouting.

– Carrie Muskat

1/15 Could Big Z & Maddux be roomies? No

Greg Maddux plays a large role with the Cubs as an extra coach and talent evaluator but one thing they won’t ask the four-time Cy Young winner to do is be Carlos Zambrano’s spiritual advisor. During a question and answer session Saturday at the Cubs Convention, a fan suggested Maddux, now a special assistant to GM Jim Hendry, be matched up with Zambrano as an emotional coach. Everyone knows how calm Maddux was on the mound and how Zambrano often is not.

“I expect Carlos to handle himself the way he finished up last year,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said of the right-hander, who finished 8-0 in his final 11 starts. “Whether he explodes, or whatever the thing is, all right, so he explodes? Take a walk, see you in five days, pitch well.

“If it becomes a re-occuring thing, then we have a problem,” Quade said. “If we’re going to have individual guys taking care of each guy who has emotional issues, man, we’re not going to have a big enough plane.”

That prompted more than a few laughs from the crowd at the Continental Ballroom.

Zambrano did undergo anger management therapy last season after a tantrum in the dugout June 25. Quade said he likes Big Z’s enthusiasm for the game.

“One thing I don’t want to do is take all the passion out of Carlos Zambrano,” Quade said. “If a little bit of over-excitement results in him pitching and performing well, we’ll deal with that. There’s no question Greg Maddux will benefit him and everybody else. But I don’t want to make them roommates.”

– Carrie Muskat

1/14 Cubs Convention schedule

Are you headed to the Cubs Convention this weekend? Here’s the schedule for Saturday and Sunday seminars at the Hilton Chicago:

Saturday

* The Ricketts Family Forum. Tom, Pete, Laura and Todd Ricketts will answer questions about the Wrigley renovation plans, the state of the team, and the possibility of a Ron Santo statue.

* Meet Cubs Management. It’s your turn to ask GM Jim Hendry and manager Mike Quade questions about player moves. What do they do with all the pitchers? Who will lead off? Greg Maddux was scheduled to attend but he had to cancel because of a family emergency and will not attend the convention.

* Pitching Evolution. New pitching coach Mark Riggins plus Kerry Wood, Andrew Cashner, Randy Wells, Jeff Samardzija, and Sean Marshall will take the podium.

* Future of Cubs Facilities. Team president Crane Kenny and others will discuss Wrigley Field, the Mesa, Ariz., Spring Training project and the Dominican Republic academy.

* For Kids Only. This is always entertaining. Marlon Byrd, Justin Berg, Casey Coleman, Blake DeWitt and Carlos Pena will take questions.

* The “Q Factor:” This will be Quade’s first chance to deal with the fans as the Cubs manager. He’s been prepped this week with questions during the Cubs Caravan.

* Battery Talk: Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill will discuss the relationship with the pitchers along with Carlos Zambrano and Tom Gorzelany.

* On the Road with No. 10: WGN Radio’s Pat Hughes will join Cory Provus, Andy Masur and Judd Sirott to talk about Ron Santo.

* Meet Cubs Business Management: Kenney, marketing chief Wally Hayward and others will discuss plans for Wrigley and beyond.

* Remembering Ronnie: Santo’s former teammates will share stories. Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Jose Cardenal and Milt Pappas are scheduled to attend.

* Dominican Way of Life: Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena and Starlin Castro will discuss baseball in the Dominican Republic.

Sunday

* The 25 Club: Tyler Colvin, Darwin Barney, Scott Maine and James Russell talk about being young Cubs in Chicago.

* Down on the Farm: Player development director Oneri Fleita and scouting director Tim Wilken will discuss the farm system.

– Carrie Muskat

1/6 Cubs convention schedule

Want to ask Greg Maddux a question about his job with the Cubs? Maybe you’d like to talk to the Ricketts family? How about hearing Kerry Wood or Andrew Cashner discuss pitching? Or maybe you’d like to reminisce about Ron Santo? Those are some of the seminars scheduled for the 26th Cubs Convention, to be held Jan. 14-16 at the Hilton Chicago.

One of the best sessions may be Jan. 15 when Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins plus Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Milt Pappas and Jose Cardenal share some of their favorite stories in “Remembering Ronnie.” The former Cubs will celebrate Santo, who died Dec. 3 at the age of 70.

The Jan. 15 schedule opens with the “Ricketts Family Forum,” giving Cubs fans a chance to ask ownership about their plans. Maddux, a special assistant to GM Jim Hendry, will join Hendry, assistant GM Randy Bush and manager Mike Quade in a “Meet Cubs Baseball Management” session.

Other seminars include:

* “Pitching Evolution:” Wood, Cashner, Randy Wells, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija and new pitching coach Mark Riggins will explain the art of being a starting pitcher, set-up man and closer, the differences between the roles, and the pressures and rewards that come with each.

* “The Q Factor:” Quade and his coaching staff, including Riggins, Rudy Jaramillo, Lester Strode, Ivan DeJesus, Bob Dernier and Dave Keller, will discuss their techniques and philosophies heading into the 2011 season.

* “The Dominican Way of Life:” Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Carlos Pea and player development director Oneri Fleita will talk about their transition from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Fleita also will discuss how the organization scouts and develops international players to the U.S.

* “Down on the Farm:” Fleita and scouting director Tim Wilken will discuss future Cubs on Jan. 16. They will be preceded by a seminar featuring Tyler Colvin, James Russell, Darwin Barney and Scott Maine, who will talk about making the adjustment from the Minors to the big leagues. Both sessions will be completed in time to watch the Bears’ playoff game.

– Carrie Muskat

9/23 Maddux staying with Cubs

Greg Maddux will be back with the Cubs in 2011 in the same capacity as an assistant to GM Jim Hendry and be involved in scouting, coaching and player evaluation. New Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told USA Today he’d like to hire the four-time Cy Young winner as Arizona’s next bench coach or pitching coach. Hendry said Thursday he spent part of the last two days with Maddux at Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz., where he’s helping with the instructional league.

“Greg’s intent is to stay with the Cubs for 2011 and do exactly what he’s doing now,” Hendry said Thursday.

The two have had numerous conversations since Lou Piniella left, including discussions about Maddux joining the big league staff.

“[Towers' comments] didn’t bother me because I knew what Greg was going to do,” Hendry said. “I don’t blame anybody for wanting Greg Maddux.”

The former Cubs pitcher has not expressed a desire to get back in uniform.

“He could probably do any job in the game that he chooses to down the road,” Hendry said. “He made the commitment to his family to work this way. When he wants to come back, if he wants to be in uniform, I’ll always try to accommodate him. He made it real clear to me and we talked about it then, looking ahead. We already knew Lou wasn’t coming back and that he was going to retire. I said, ‘Hey there are going to be some changes’ and he said, ‘I’d prefer to be doing what I’m doing for another year.'”

– Carrie Muskat

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