Monday, December 8, 2008

My Maddux memory

Greg Maddux retired Monday. He was the greatest pitcher of this generation and the greatest of any generation.

His numbers are staggering: 355 wins, the second most by a right-hander; 10 plus wins for 20 straight seasons; less than 1,000 walks and more than 3,000 strikeouts.

Here is my Maddux memory:

It was July 18, 2000 at Tropicana Field. Maddux was carving up the Devil Rays on his way to another complete game for the Braves when he faced Jose Canseco in the ninth and drilled Canseco in the butt. At least it was a drilling as far as Maddux was concerned.

Canseco was stunned.

“Me?” he kept asking as he looked toward the mound.

Yes, you.

The Rays pitchers had been hitting Braves batters during the three-game series.

Maddux hit Felix Martinez earlier in the game as sort of a, “Hey. C’mon guys.”

Nope, the Rays hit Walt Weiss again, the second time in the game.

So in the ninth with the game well in hand, Maddux drilled Canseco, who, at the time, was the Rays best player.

Canseco finally walked to first base while Rays manager Larry Rothschild argued Maddux should have been kicked out for throwing at a batter.

Get real, Larry. He’s Greg Maddux.

After Rothschild was tossed, Maddux went back to work and finished off the Rays.

Just another day at the office for the hall of famer.

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