Sic’ em Maddog

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W: Greg Maddux (2-0) L: Brandon Claussen (0-1) SV: Ryan Dempster (2) A game loss by the Reds more than won by the Cubs, but take them anyway you can. The Reds committed an abysmal 5 errors, a few of them caused by the speed of Juan Pierre. He bunted for a hit to leadoff the bottom half of the first and 2 batters later attempted a steal of third which Javier Valentin air-mailed over the 3rd basemen's head for the Cubs first run. Lee was also stealing on the play and advanced to third on the throw, scoring on a Barrett sac fly. Pierre reached again when his speed forced Tony Womack to rush a throw to 1st. although the error was apparently given to 1B Scott Hatterberg. A little bit more of the Reds defensive foolishness followed and the Cubs scored their third run of the day on a Barrett grounder to third that Encarnacion muffed. On the type of day you dread when Maddux is on the mound (wind blowing out 18 mph+ to right), Maddog proved an old dog can learn new tricks. He kept the Reds batters fooled all day, locating his pitches to perfection and even throwing a few pitches that barely topped 60 on the gun. The only blemish was a walk to Dunn and then a double to Edwin Encarnacion. The Cubs had Dunn at the plate, but a less than perfect throw by Cedeno short-hopped Barrett, who made little effort of his own to get the ball despite having plenty of time to get the lumbering Dunn, and the ball skipped away. Barrett more than made up for it with a 2 out single to score the Cubs final run, ending the day 1 for 3 from the plate with 3 RBI's (I believe currently tied for the NL lead with 13). The bullpen went back to being fantastic, 2 scoreless innings by Scott Eyre and a rather uneventful 9th for Dempster. Eyre got through the 7th inning on a mere 8 pitches, so Dusty rightfully put him out for the 8th. He got himself into a little trouble by giving up a single to Brandon Phillips and a walk to Ryan Freel (who replaced Ken Griffey in center after Griffey left with stiffness in one of his knees). This left Eyre with the dubious task of having to face Dunn as the tying run, but Eyre quickly dispatched Dunn on a groundout to 2nd. Not the prettiest of games, the Cubs caused some havoc on the bases with their speed but also ran into some outs. The defense was generally solid beyond the one run scoring play for the Reds, Ronny Cedeno and Angel Pagan both making nice plays in the 9th to secure the victory. The Cubs try to win the rubber match tomorrow with Big Z going against Homer Happy Milton. The Cubs have now won 5 games, Glendon Rusch has lost two.


Regarding Maddux and the wind blowing out, I just posted these numbers on the Game 7 Thread.

Traditionally, Maddux has not been a HR-happy pitcher, and that has been a key to his success. In his career he has only given up 0.61 HR/9. His last three years in Atlanta, his HR/9 rate was 0.80. Those are solid numbers.

When he returned to Wrigley, his HR/9 rate boomed, to 1.48 in 2004, and 1.16 last year. In albeit only 12.1 innings so far this year, he seems to be back to form, giving up only 1 HR for a 0.73 HR/9 rate.

Interestingly, the 4+ ERA Maddux we have seen the last two years is almost entirely attributable to this HR/9 rate. Since returning to the Cubs, his rate for the other "true outcomes" (strike outs and walks) have stayed pretty much the same as his last couple of years in Atlanta.

So while it is clearly too early to draw any conclusions, there is room for hope here that "the old Maddog" might have one good, low-HR season left in him...Maybe not Cy Young quality, but certainly something like his 2002 season in Atlanta (2.62 ERA).

wouldn't that be nice, I'll take anything in the mid 3's to be honest.

I do expect him to have a pretty good year, he is playing for a new contract and it really sounds like he wants to prove that he can still pitch next year. What a boost that would be...

"Not the prettiest of games"

pretty big understatement. Both teams looked foolish at time.

On the other hand, Maddux looked great on the mound. also bunted into a double play though.

a very funny video by the Mariners using Jamie Moyer

Barrett is tied with A.Jones for the ML lead in RBI's at 13. Thought for sure the Cubs would drop another egg today after seeing the lineup but was greatly pleased with Maddog's performance as well as Eyre's who reached 94 on the gun against Dunn. Things seem to be aligning for the Cubs considering today was the first day that Pierre swiped a bag and Murton, Pierre and Aramis haven't really begun to hit like they should. All we need right now is for Wood, Prior, Miller or Guzman to take Rusch's roster and rotation spot...I don't even want him in the bully...he should be on a team like KC...not in Chicago.

I bow to no one in my total worship of the Madog
but I don't think you can attribute his penchant for
giving up homers in the last two seasons exclusively to
Wrigley. I know one of you nice stat heads can break this down
but I think he gave more than a few of those dingers
in the last two years on the road.

You mentioned the Reds making errors because of Pierre's speed...

If you'll remember back to game 2, Ross, the Reds catcher dropped a foul ball off Lee because at the last minute he looked to see where Pierre was and the ball bounced out of his mit. A few pitches later Lee hit a homer.

Pierre is great to have on the bases.

not sure how Pierre's speed caused Ross to drop a high pop up, it's not like Pierre could have gone anywhere. But speed is good to have on the bases, it just has to be on the bases.

It shouldn't have, but look at the replay.

I was at the game today - beautiful day, good outcome, though a sloppy game. But one thing I did like: they pulled off the double steal twice. The first time, Valentin threw the ball away and Pierre scored; the second time, both runners advanced without a play - maybe Valentin was spooked, who knows? Anyway, just sign me up as a charter member of the Juan Pierre Fan Club!

Get in line Brown Line.

i got the 1st arroyo game and the barret slam game on DVD from a friend, and yes, the man has a very small head. it must lend an advantage for both wind drag and speed...though hes wearing a helmet, but still.

i thought it was odd how we put pressure on them with running, but also managed to goof a few times also.

the double-play involving murton and cedeno, brenly had said with the ball hit to his left it was a natural reflex for murton to lean toward 3rd, unfortunately that reflex cost us. i have no idea how ronny got out though. snap throw? cripes.

then neifi getting doubled off. heard he wasnt going with the pitch, but started off when maddux came around to bunt, and the timing just worked out in cinci's favor. oh well.

as far as dereks failed swipe of 3rd goes, i still havent read anything to help me understand this. 1 out, derek at 2nd, up by 3 runs late in the game, rbi co-leader at the, makes no darn sense! but oh well. mistaken sign maybe?

whatever though. no use crying over home runs by arroyo and glendonfailingtokeeptheballdown/cubbiehittersnotliftingballstoright which are basically the reason for our two Ls. so far weve been quite fortunate.

tomorrow lets hope carlos can just calm down and "throw it" letting his nasty stuff do its thing, instead of try to "pitch" so hard and get all fussy over the strike zone.

oh, and tomorrows starter for cinci eric milton led the NL last year in both homers and runs allowed...hmmm...


I found a hilarious comic strip at D-Rays Bay:

I admit, I was there because I was guilty of wondering what the hell someone would talk about on a D-Rays blog.


PS - Glendon Rusch should go on a humble pie diet!!!


I did not mean to blame Maddux's deteriorating HR/9 rate on Wrigley. I just meant to point it out that so far this season, Maddux's HR/9 rate is back to where it was before 2004, when it did spike, especially on the road.

In 2004 he gave up 16 HRs in 113.2 Wrigley innings (1.27 HR/9) against 19 in 99 road innings (1.73 HR/9). In 2005, Maddog gave up 14 HRs in 110 innings at Wrigley, compared to 15 in 115 innings on the road, a statistical tie. In his career, his Wrigley HR/9 rate is 0.70, versus .58 in all other ballparks.

It might be that Maddux simply does not want to give up his 300th home run. He has given up 299. I am willing to let him motivate himself this way as long as it suits him.

#13, that's a comic from the Perry Bible Fellowship:

john knonkkonononkornkornkornoknornko gets a win vs LAofAofAAAofAAAAofAAAAofAAofAAAAAofA.

he threw a nice game in 6ip of work.

Speaking of former Cubs pitching for Texas:

5 G, 5 IP, 3H, 1BB, 1K, 0.00 ERA.

I'll give you six guesses.

uh, that would have to be tony six-fingers.

just cuz im bored at work, heres what happened in order:

Game 1) vs BOS, takes mount top 9th, lowell groundout, ortiz line-out, manny fly-out. (BOS wins 7-3)

Game 2) vs BOS, takes mound top 7th, lowell line-out, cora groundout, youkilis double to left, bard ground-out. (TEX won 10-4)

Game 3) vs DET, takes mount top 9th, inge groundout, granderson walk (then caught stealing), polanco bunt-out to pitcher. (DET won 5-2)

Game 4) vs DET, takes mound top 7th, santiago flyout, granderson hit to right, inge K looking, I-rod liner to short. tony gets a hold. (TEX won 5-3)

Game 5) vs ANA, takes mound bot 7th w/ man on 2nd none out, gets salmon on grounder, kennedy hit to left; 1st/3rd, figgins sac fly scores run, cabrera flies out. run charged to benoit, tony gets a hold (2). (ANA won 5-4)

>>Maddog proved an old dog can learn new tricks

Who saw Koronka's web gem? He caught it behind-the-back!

Personally, I've been in awe of Maddux these first 2 starts. He's consistently hit the bottom of the strike zone with the sinker and caught the edge with his backdoor whatchamacallit (2seamer?, sinker?). He's ran his pitches in & out changing speeds and rarely missing his location.

Even last year when he struggled with his command (the cause of the increased HR rate), I still knew he "had it" after that 10K game against the Mets.

He's filled in admirably as a #2 starter and has been on top of his game so far this year. Example: In his first start this year I saw him throw 2 curveballs, but each one had a different trajectory. One was a 12-6, one was a 1-7. You just get this feeling that he has about 15 different pitches he could throw.

It's encouraging indeed to see Maddux off to a fast start, especially when he hasn't seemed to hit his stride until mid-summer the past few years. I wonder if his reported hiring of a personal trainer over the offseason has had something to do with it, though I imagine it would affect arm strength and durability more than pitch movement. Still, I'm not complaining, and I can't wait to see if he can keep this up even when he moves back into the 3rd or 4th starter role.

I can't wait to see if he can keep this up even when he moves back into the 3rd or 4th starter role

First, I can't wait to see if he keeps it up as well, but it will just be a question of endurance and skill, not role. After the first week, there's absolutely nothing different between the first and the fourth starter "role," so that should have no effect.

After the first week, there's absolutely nothing different between the first and the fourth starter "role," so that should have no effect.


"his reported hiring of a personal trainer "
I was please when I saw that in January, and I would believe it could do nothing but help him.

But the cynic me also knows that he got a trainer during his walk year, but if he wins the Cubs win so great.

If he wins 15 this year I would have no problem with Cubs offering him a one-two year deal but I don't know what number he would want annually.

I can't see the Cubs offering Maddux a deal, especially with all the young, talented, near-MLB-level arms in the minors.

Of course, with both Maddux and Wood possibly leaving after this year, the Cubs rotation could be:

Zambrano, Prior, ?, ?, ?

Two of those spots could easily be filled with someone from the Marshall/Ryu/Guzman/Hill pool. Anyone know where to find a list of decent FA pitchers after this year?

"Anyone know where to find a list of decent FA pitchers after this year?"

Walmart - Always low prices

Young pitchers or not, I think if Maddux has a solid year and his contract demands aren't outrageous, he will be back with the Cubs next year.

This Cubs management team is pretty PR-savy and if Maddux proves he still has something left, I don't think they will let him walk in favor of some unproven prospects.

Who said Maddux wants to pitch next year? I don't think he ever did. What with the allure of pro-am golf tournaments and all. I always assumed this was his last contract. If he wins 20, maybe not. If the Cubs get close and just miss, maybe not. But I wouldn't say for sure Maddux is pitching next year.

Wild Thing:
"I can't see the Cubs offering Maddux a deal, especially with all the young, talented, near-MLB-level arms in the minors."

With the Lee signing, I think there is a better chance Maddux would come back with a home town discount. I am not sure what would be fair for the Cubs to pay him, but with Lee saying he wants to stay here and win a championship and taking less money, it might convince Maddux to come back for less. Also, like Lee who said it in his press conference, Maddux seems to really like Baker and with his upcoming extenstion might help the Cubs case of getting maddux cheaper. On a side note, Lee came out and flat out said he wants Baker reupped. I would be shocked if that wasn't talked about during negotiations.

Who knows, maybe it is wishful thinking, but I would love Maddux to retire as a Cub.

Here are a few, I believe:

Mark Mulder
Jason Schmidt
Barry Zito
Jose Contreras
Andy Pettite
Doug Davis
Vicente Padilla
Kerry Wood
Greg Maddux


Also, like Lee who said it in his press conference, Maddux seems to really like Baker and with his upcoming extenstion might help the Cubs case of getting maddux cheaper.

On what are you basing that Maddux "seems to really like" Baker? I'm not saying he doesn't, I just haven't seen any word or sign that he's particularly fond of Dusty. Give evidence, please.

Also, you still haven't responded to why you have suddenly switched from your "Dusty and Hendry should make the playoffs to get extended" position to "Dusty should now be extended ASAP". Is this change purely because Hendry got extended?

Finally, I hope you read Blockhead's note to you in the comments of the TCR West Coast Get Together thread.

Contreras signed an extention a week ago so he's not a FA and Davis and the Brewers have begun discussions on an extention so he likely will not be a FA either.

Contreras isn't a FA after this year. I believe the Sox worked out a 3 year extension.
Maddux has said that he wants to continue playing as long as someone will have him. I think the Cubs would be wise to bring him back next year if he'll take a reasonable 1 year deal. Even with the youngsters looking to break in, Greg is a sure thing and at the very least, he'll be a back of the rotation innings eater.

Contreras signed an extention a week ago.

Indeed, you're right. Thanks for the correction.

I had thought that Maddux planned to play as long as he possibly could. I had also assumed that Baker wasn't one of his favorite people after he started whispering about Maddux retiring late last season.

Here are excerpts from a February article that addresses both points, killing two proverbial birds with one proverbial stone:


It wonít be long before people start talking about a farewell tour for Greg Maddux. But if he leaves anything in 2006, itíll be Chicago, not baseball. Maddux will turn 40 in April and if the Cubs donít want him back in 2007, it doesnít mean he has any intention of retiring.

ìThey can assume anything they want. Iím not,íí Maddux said with a hearty laugh as he left a Las Vegas golf course and headed for his kidsí school Tuesday afternoon. ìI just told my wife (Kathy) yesterday that I need to have a good year so someone will give me a job and I can play again next year.

ìThatís my thinking. If I do well enough, maybe I get to play again. I love it. Itís fun. Iím not ready to give it up.íí

Cubs manager Dusty Baker tried to imply last August that Maddux was considering retirement after the 2005 season, though Maddux says that was a figment of Bakerís ó or someoneís ó imagination. And to know Maddux is to believe it was total nonsense.

ìI donít know where it came from. (Stuff) happens, you know?íí Maddux said. ìI think what I always think when people say stuff. Theyíre entitled to their opinion."

And in 2007?

ìIf someone will give me a shirt to wear, Iíll be there,íí Maddux said. ìWhy not?íí

what new trickes is Maddux learning - a new pitch - it certainly isn't his performance.

Not giving up a bunch of bombs when the wind is blowing out, some weird curveballs i haven't seen him throw in awhile as described above, the 60 mph junk he threw a couple of times to fool the hitters. He's not reinventing himself or anything, but whatever, just a cliche as you said.

Who said Maddux wants to pitch next year?
Maddux said it a few times in spring training, I believe when they were asking him about pitching (or not pitching) for the WBC. He said he wanted to show enough this year that someone will hopefully give him a job next year or something like that...

Maddux has NO intention of retiring
A few points
Hiring the personal trainer was I think
a tacid realization that he needed to do
a little more in the off season but was not
by any means a sign of complacancy in the
previous seasons. Maddux has always been
very adament that he knew exactly how to
deal with his body his own way, it worked for
over 20 years so it was hard to accept that
he might need a little help

He had no intention of retiring and never did
My favorite line when asked in about this in
2003 " I don't want to embarress myself by any
means, but I would rather pitch bad than not pitch
at all" Honestly not as scary as it sounds , he just
LOVES to play too much to think about giving it up

The thing with Dusty was stupid and initially
Maddux tried to "cover" for him by saying things
like everyone has to retire eventually but I think
it did annoy him more because the press kept asking
Dusty never mentioned it again

IF he Cubs and Maddux both have good seasons
he will stay, He is a creature of habit and dislikes
moving around and he actually really likes Chicago
and Wrigley.However winning and not money will
be the biggest factors in his decision of WHERE he plays
in 2007. He won't be sticking around for sentiment and
if the Cubs have problems don't be shocked to see him
wearing little red birds etc.

I think Maddog will pitch as long as he's not getting shelled on a regular basis or is relegated to the bully. He's got the ultimate rubber arm and the only physical health concerns will be the result of Krispy Kremes.

In Buster Olney's ESPN blog he talks about the availability of Willis and M.Cabrera claiming unnamed GM's have told him that the Marlins haven't contacted any club about a trade but are definitely "intently listening to offers on both of them". They claim to have little doubt that both will be elsewhere before Opening Day next season. Willis will be going into his 2nd arbitration year and has already received a record amount for a first time arb.eligible pitcher at $4m+. Supposedly the Red Sox and Yanks have aleady contacted FLA on Willis with Boston offering top P prospect Jon Lester and SS/2B Dustin Pedroia. I'm not so sure on Cabrera though, he only has a little more than 2 yrs of ML service so his big payday isn't exactly on the clock but I suppose it would also mean that the Marlins could get even more in trade considering he makes less than $500 a year. Before he all start salivating on Cabrera surrounding D.Lee in the lineup, we're looking at letting Aramis go for nothing and having to give up Pie and Guzman minimum with most likely another prospect.

Thome just homered again.

According to WSCR no Aram and Jones again today.

My 20006 rotation
Maddux(if he keeps up)
Guzman or Marshall

any word on whether it's going to be Walker or Hairston? Milton is starting.

Livan Hernandez is getting shelled by the Mets. 7-0 in the 1st with HRs by Beltran, Wright and Floyd in the 1st.

Frank Robinson might as well have Livan start plunking Mets batters before he gets the 1st inning axe.

"but with Lee saying he wants to stay here and win a championship and taking less money, it might convince Maddux to come back for less."

How did Lee take less money to come back to the Cubs? By all accounts, he got a sweet deal. He's getting paid roughly $14 million per year for the next 4 years after one breakout season at age 29. And he got re-signed at the very beginning of the next season after his breakout year. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic that we re-signed him, but it's not like any other team would have paid him much more than that, especially since we have no idea if he can repeat last season's performance at this point.

I believe Lee would have gotten $15-$ 17 million for 5-6 years from Yanks or BoSox(damn DH rule).
And alot of guys have been rewarded for one break out year (Carlos Beltran).
As long as Steinbrenner is alive and the Bosox feel inferior they will overpay.

According to WSCR no Aram and Jones again today.

And, apparently, Barrett sits for Blanco and Murton is batting cleanup. Oy.

How did Lee take less money to come back to the Cubs? By all accounts, he got a sweet deal.

Oh come on. You know as well as everyone else knows he could have gotten much more from the Yanks or Bosox.

Is Giambi still at first base for the Yanks? Give me a break.

Re # 39 Maddux & Krispy Kremes. Once in the Braves
clubhouse, they had one of those huge spreads
with every imaginable kind of food , meat, salads
energy stuff sweets etc incuding Dunkin Donuts
One annoyed Brave grabbed his car keys and said
he was going out to get Krispy Kremes, Maddux
looked up from his video game and said
"They want us to play like All Stars , they should
feed us like All Stars" ( I am sure he devoured upon
said players return).

Jessica, I think that's where I remembered it from. My girlfriend has a minor in dietetics and she said there is more fat in one of their glazed donuts than in a Big Mac. Probably the reason why their stock is way down.

"Also, you still haven't responded to why you have suddenly switched from your "Dusty and Hendry should make the playoffs to get extended" position to "Dusty should now be extended ASAP". Is this change purely because Hendry got extended?"

I have answered that question at least twice on here. You can look up the answer, but mainly I have said many times that Dusty and Hendry should be tied at the hip.

As for Maddux, I have heard him a few times in interviews that he really likes his relationship with Dusty. They have a very good honest relationship. A good example is how Maddux gets taken out of the games amny times. I have never heard his say I love Dusty, but I think from the few times I have heard him talk about him, Maddux does like him.

"How did Lee take less money to come back to the Cubs? By all accounts, he got a sweet deal. "

He did get a sweet deal, but I heard on ESPN radio yesterday morning that the Red Sox/NYY were thinking of offering him a deal of up to $100 million. Lee is a better player than Konerko and Konerko took less money to play for CHW, Lee got Konerko money, there is no reason to believe he wouldn't of gotten more in a bidding war.

Make that a 1b for Cintron.

is it just me or does jessica have a thing for the ol first-ballotter?

is it his eyes?

the way he licks his fingers?

No it is his taut physic physique and bulging muscles. Jeez can't a girl worship the greatest baseball player of our era without people thinking it is physical ( besides he doesn't have a British accent)

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  • in case it hasn't been mentioned yet, Twins are hiring Indians 32-year old Derick Falvey from the Cleveland Native Americans organization.

    Suppose McLeod could still be asked by another organization but likely staying put.

    Rob G. 43 min 4 sec ago view
  • Well put, both your remark, and Crunch's.

    Transmission 44 min 10 sec ago view
  • I saw the Gordon HR. It was like a funeral where the mourners were made to play baseball. So sad...

    CTSteve 48 min 21 sec ago view
  • i wanted to watch more of it, but it started to feel like i was going beyond witnessing a human experience that isn't often seen into an uncomfortable voyeurism. these guys are in pain.

    crunch 1 hour 7 min ago view
  • wow I am glad I missed the start of the MIA game.  I would have been sobbing.

    Transmission 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • Baez!!

    Brick 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • baez grand slam!

    crunch 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • lulz, MIA with a 5-0 lead after 2 innings.

    crunch 1 hour 48 min ago view
  • d.gordon leads off MIA inning with a HR...came up to bat wearing j.fernandez's helmet.

    he barely made it back into the dugout after crying his way around the bases.

    i can't watch this game anymore. it's too much...too real.

    crunch 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • FLA really doesn't look like they're mentally/physically prepared for this game. never seen anything like's not just a few people in the dugout still feeling it large, it's pretty much everyone.

    i doubt it will lead to some kinda error-filled little league quality game, but everyone looks drained and still draining.

    ...and onto the cubs game. go #100.

    crunch 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • The Marlins organization is obviously affected deeply by this. I feel for the people there. And I understand circumstances have changed.

    But retiring his number. Wow. Literally a week ago the rumor mill was fast and furious about how Fernandez was going to be traded this winter, with the front office in response doing almost nothing to deny it. And to turn around and retire his number, just like that, when they obviously felt the organization would have been better long-term without him, just reeks of insincerity.

    John Beasley 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • jose fernandez's number is going to be retired by FLA.

    there's custom jerseys on their way to tonight's game (and hopefully will make it on time). all the marlins are going to wear #16 tonight.

    this still sucks.

    crunch 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 9 hours 22 min ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 9 hours 53 min ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 11 hours 18 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 12 hours 10 min ago view