Yoda wrote: kaiser wrote:
Yoda wrote:the Braves pitchers were completely polished and finished products by the time they got to him.
Holy cow. As a Braves season ticket holder since 1989, I completely disagree with this statement. Maddux was certainly the most polished of the three when he got to Atlanta, but even he had the three best seasons of his career after joining the Braves.
So being a ticket holder for 20 years somehow qualifies you to be an expert on this subject? You can be 100% sure that Mazzone made them into HOFers? What do you base this on?
Did I say Mazzone was solely responsible for making Glavine, Smoltz and Maddux Hall of Fame pitchers? Maybe you could find where I said that and show it to me?
What I actually said, to start this debate, was "Mazzone was responsible for a great portion of the success of guys like Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine."
Lord, Yoda. The debate is not whether Mazzone made them into Hall of Fame pitchers. It is whether he made them better than they were before they started working with him. The numbers are there for anyone to look up. Let's take a look, shall we?
Tom Glavine was 18 years old when he was drafted by the Braves in 1988. He made his major league debut with them in August of '87. He was 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA that year. This does not qualify as a "finished product." During his 15+ seasons in Atlanta he won at least 20 games 5 times, was named Cy Young winner twice, and was named MVP of the 1995 World Series. He was also named to the All-Star team eight times. All of this, from age 18 to age 36, occurred while under the guidance and tutelage of Leo Mazzone.
John Smoltz was 18 years old when he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers. He never pitched at the major league level for Detroit, and was traded to Atlanta in 1988, where he made his MLB debut in July of that year, at the age of 20. He went 2-7 with a 5.48 ERA. This, too, does not qualify as a "finished product." During his 20 seasons with the Braves, he won at least 14 games 10 times. He also garnered 154 saves, breaking the NL saves record with 55 in 2002. He won the NLCS MVP in 1992, the Cy Young in 1996, and was named to the NL All-Star team 7 times. Again, all (except the last two seasons) while being coached from age 20 to age 40 by one pitching coach- Rockin' Leo Mazonne.
Greg Maddux was easily the most experienced major-leaguer of the three when he came to Atlanta in 1993 after 7 years in the Cubs organization. He of course won the Cy Young his last year with the Cubs, and then won it three more times with the Braves. Mazzone's influence on Maddux was certainly the least influential of the three, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you don't win the Cy Young four years in a row, or hold a season ERA of 1.63 (in 1995) or 1.56 (in 1994) or finish in the top five of Cy Young voting for three years (1996-1998) without having good coaching, whether it was Mazzone or others. Maddux says so himself, in the quote I've already posted.
And yes, dang it all, I would say that being a 20 year season ticket holder makes me an expert on the Braves, if nothing else.
Can I be 100% sure? Of course not. But Baseball success is measured in numbers. I can base my opinion on the numbers, and the numbers are there.