Best news I've heard all week, Greg Maddux turned the Arizona Diamondbacks down for the pitching coach position today. Obviously Maddux was a great pitcher. There is no disputing that. Could Maddux teach a group of young pitchers how top pitch at this level? Absolutely. Could he improve the Dbacks pitching staff? Without a doubt.
So why am I happy? Just think 1998.
1998. The year the Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball as an expansion team. I remember it well, like it was yesterday. There is one very specific issue why I bring up that specific year in relation to Maddux and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Late in the season, Maddux, as a starter for the Atlanta Braves, came in to Arizona for his first start here. He got whipped against an expansion team. He lost 5-0. How do I remember? I was there. It was one of the few bright memories of the first season in Arizona.
So let's forget the fact he really didn't pitch well at Chase Field in his career. That's not the reason I'm glad he turned down the Dbacks. It has everything to do with his comments after that September 1998 loss to the Dbacks. When asked about his performance, he couldn't even remember the name of the team he was playing. He shrugged it off as he had just lost a a spring training game to a minor league team. Total disrespect. I don't remember being so mad in the 12 years since about an opponent's clear intent to be so blase about who he just got beat by.
So, when it comes down to it, the Dbacks don't need Maddux. They deserve better. I'm sure no one even remembers that night, especially Maddux. I remember though and all it takes is one to remind everyone else. Why do I care so much about a comment from 12 years ago? Because I'm a fan and I truly believe your opponent should be respected, every night of your career. I promised I would never let him slide for what he said. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.