Meet the Cubs Managerial Candidates: Mike Maddux
Mackanin is the first to interview and the first to be profiled. Next up is Greg Maddux's big brother, Mike Maddux who will interview sometime next week after he gets over a case of laryngitis. Gordon Wittenmeyer pegs him as the early favorite because he's a pitching coach and the Cubs need better pitching. I hope that makes as little sense to everyone else as it does to me.
Mike Maddux was a 5th round pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1982 draft out of UTEP. He managed 15 seasons in the big leagues, mostly as a reliever and played for 9 different organizations. He enjoyed his two best seasons in San Diego in 1991 (2.46 ERA) and 1992(2.37 ERA) and ended with a 39-37 career mark and a 4.05 ERA and 20 Saves.
He quickly moved into coaching once he retired in 2000, joining the Round Rock Express, a Houston Astros affiliate and the organization that he last pitched for...he acutally asked for the job and they gave it to him. That lasted until 2002. The Milwaukee Brewers must have heard and seen enough of him to offer him the big league pitching coach job in 2003 and he stayed on through 2008. That's when the Texas Rangers came a calling and he's been their pitching coach the last three seasons.
Some believe his presence would keep Greg Maddux within the organization and possibly convince him to take on pitching coach. I guess it wouldn't hurt, I guess it could, maybe they don't get along at all, but I doubt any of it will factor into naming Mike the manager. There's been a stigma that pitchers don't make good managers as well, but recent hires such as Bud Black and John Farrell are making that less of a taboo.
Baseball is all about results, so let's see how his teams fared under his tutelage starting with Milwaukee and including the year before he joined and the year after.
|Year||Team ERA||ERA+||Team BB||Team K||W-L|
And now with Texas...
The pitching coach is only as good as the talent he's coaching up, but certainly his tenure with Texas is encouraging.
To the quotables...
"I think the challenge is to put everybody on that mound with confidence to forget the ballparks and the negative things that come with a hitter's ballpark," Maddux said. "What I want to do is bring confidence for pitchers for them to pitch with confidence and conviction."
From Nolan Ryan...
"He's the hardest-working pitching coach I've ever been around, and with all of the knowledge and work ethic he brings, along with (bullpen coach) Andy Hawkins, you're seeing the results."
Murphy: Definitely. Fundamental stuff. He wants us to get ahead of hitters with first-pitch strikes. You have to be able to own your fastball. You have to have fastball command. The roots of pitching. You have to let your defense work behind you. As far as conditioning, he definitely wants to bring back long toss. He wants to implement long toss into all of our throwing programs -- something that we really didn't do before. He wants to get back to the basics.
Kiker: He wants to stress long toss. He also wants us to go deeper into games. He said that he was tired of us saying 100 pitches and we're done. He said if it takes 130 pitches to finish the game, then we're going to throw 130 pitches to finish the game. He said the hitters will tell us when we are done.
Pandering to Greg's fans...
"Even when I was 12, and he was just 7," Mike Maddux says, "I used to take Greg with my first pick on my teams. It wasn't because he was my brother. It was because he was better than anyone else."