Apr 13, 2008

Greg Maddux: man, magician, messiah

Tim Keown's addition to Greg Maddux's burgeoning hagiography is a great way to wrap up your week of baseball stat-harping, if such is your passion. No pitcher is--ever was?--smarter, humbler, goofier.
The first pitch glanced off the top of Risinger's mitt and hit him in the mask.

"That's enough," Maddux said, walking off the mound.

"One more," Risinger said.

The second pitch hit Risinger square in the pocket, but something went awry. Either Akerfelds' "Now!" was too late or Risinger's mitt squeeze was too slow. The ball dropped at his feet.

"That's enough," Maddux said.

"One more," Risinger said. "Please?"

Maddux wound up and threw. By now, pitching coach Darren Balsley was watching, along with a few other Padres who had received word that a strange experiment was taking place involving a catcher attempting to catch without the benefit of vision. The ball left Maddux's hand, and Akerfelds yelled "Now!" and Risinger clenched his mitt around the ball.

He opened his eyes. There it was, in the mitt.

Arms were raised in celebration. It was a beautifully stupid scene. Risinger laughed so hard he fell down. Akerfelds was doubled over, laughing to the point of tears. Maddux looked on with a wry smile, shaking his head.
More, much more, in the entirety. Read it all, and marvel at the man named Maddux.

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