The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

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The Man Who Pitched Ground Balls
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Greg Maddux is retiring, after 355 wins, four Cy Young awards for pitching, and 18 (!) Gold Glove awards for fielding. (Maddux has more wins than any living pitcher; does he have more Gold Gloves than any living player?)

The NYT story also links to this appreciation by sportswriter Joe Posnaski, who breaks down Maddux pitch-by-pitch in a 1997 Braves-Yankees game. I especially like his reading of Maddux’s fluttering “wiffleball” cut fastball; the way Maddux earned and got deferential treatment from umps; how three pitches strikes out Tino Martinez, who “was so baffled during this at-bat it was probably better to just send him back to the dugout where it was safe”; and how he managed to retire Mark Whiten:

When Maddux was going good, the only way anyone seemed likely to get a hit off him was if they could somehow fist his up-and-in fastball over an infielder

7 comments

Answer to the Gold Glove question: Maddux’s 18 is the most ever at any position by any player living or dead; more than Pudge Rodriguez, Brooks Robinson, or Roberto Clemente.

Whoah. First sports post… ever? at Snarkmarket?

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

You blogged about the Red Sox-Yankees series… um, four years ago.

Yeah, but I filed it under ‘Society/Culture’ as camouflage 😉

And the NCAA tourney, same year. (Still love that decision tree.)

So election years = sports years, apparently.

grover says…

Pos is one of the greatest sportswriters around.

PoN says…

I don’t think I’ve ever watched any sporting event with that kind of observational intensity. I’m impressed.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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