Daily Herald wrote:Maddux wonders: Why not a return to where it all started?
Posted December 03, 2003
By Barry Rozner
Imagine a rotation of Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano, Matt Clement and ... Greg Maddux.
Hey, who needs a lefty when you can add the perfect guy at the perfect time?
It's true that the Cubs probably don't have much money left to spend after stealing yet another pitcher, LaTroy Hawkins, from yet another small-market team Tuesday.
And they're already a 95-100 win team in the wretchedness known as the NL Central, but the symmetry is so right that even Maddux makes signing with the Cubs sound lyrical.
"It'd be kind of cool to finish up where you started and all of that. I could see that. It kind of cleans everything up,'' Maddux said Tuesday night from his Las Vegas home, referring to the painful breakup of 1992. "It'd be great fun to be a part of that rotation.
"You never know. Right now, I don't think anything's out of the question.''
The 37-year-old Maddux, who is sitting on 289 victories, isn't exactly washed up.
He made more starts (36) and threw more innings (218) than anyone on the Cubs' staff in 2003. He had more wins (16) than anyone but Mark Prior, and now that you mention it, only seven other pitchers won as many as 16 games in the NL last season.
After starting 0-3 with an 11.09 ERA, Maddux went 16-8 with a 3.34 ERA, which isn't far behind Kerry Wood (3.20) and Carlos Zambrano (3.11), and considerably better than Shawn Estes (5.73) and Clement (4.11).
Maddux is the active leader in average pitches per inning (13), and is a good bet to extend his record of 16 straight seasons with at least 15 victories.
Maddux also is thought to be the best pitching coach in baseball, and with 11 postseason victories, a World Series ring and 20 years of professional experience, he wouldn't be a bad addition to a young Cubs rotation.
"We'll wait and see if there's a decision to make and what the options are, but it's early,'' Maddux said. "It's like the first inning.''
Maddux hasn't ruled out Midwest and East Coast teams, including Atlanta, just because he'd like to be close to home.
"I think more than anything I want to win. I love winning,'' Maddux said. "I haven't gotten over that yet. I guess I never will. I want to be on a competitive team. I want to be with good guys who have fun. I want a chance to win, and location is a part of it, but not all of it.
"I don't want to be far from the kids, but what's the difference between flying two hours to see them and four hours to see them?'' Very little...come on home...
Maddux probably knows he's not going to get $14.7 million again in 2004, and having made more than $100 million in his career, he probably doesn't care as much about that as he does a chance to win another ring.
The White Sox can't really sell it, but the Cubs certainly can offer a chance to get to the Fall Classic.
Please come home Greg.....