We hear from certain people, that certain pitching methods are destructive to kids arms, that MLB is quietly going over to a "pronated pitch" "Look at the sinkers now being thrown", "It's directly attributable to Guru X".
As I laugh at the premise, I just want to share a little about a guy who has used those terrible, destructive mechanics for 23 years and NEVER, no NEVER had an arm issue...and by the way was one amonst 3 pitchers on his rookie team (The Cubs) to use this innovative ("Directly attributable to Guru X") style of pitching 23 years ago...That would be The Professor, The Great Greg, Mad Dog...and no he didn't learn a thing from Guru X..neither did Fernando, Viola or Mike Morgan...success brings copying...I think 23 years of success have lessons Guru X can't even dream of.....as his followers and he attempt to frighten and cajole this multi-billion dollar industry into their "method".
I don't watch baseball like I used to, or play baseball video games (I loved one of those '99 games for N64). However, my favorite player still remains the same and I just heard recently in the news of his 350th career win, which is certainly a milestone.
Some math: He is the only pitcher ever to win 15+ games in 17 straight seasons. That's only 255 wins, at the minimum (15). Not a ton of pitchers even have careers that long, which is a very long career for a pro athlete. People may say baseball isn't overly demanding on your body, but pitching is going to be crazy on your shoulder. Your eyesight will most likely decrease, along with coordination. Any athlete lasting that long definitely has longevity. Greg has been in the MLB for 23 years, averaging over 15 wins per season which is amazing.
-He was the first pitcher in Major League history to win the Cy Young Award for four consecutive years (1992-1995), during which he had a 75-29 record with a 1.98 ERA while allowing less than one runner per inning.
-Maddux is the only pitcher in MLB history to win 15 games in 17 consecutive seasons
-In addition, he has been awarded a record seventeen Gold Gloves.
-A superb control pitcher, Maddux won more games during the 1990s than any other pitcher.
-During the strike-shortened 1994 season, Maddux posted an ERA of 1.56, the second lowest since Bob Gibson's historic 1.12 in 1968. (The lowest ERA since the mound was lowered five inches in 1969 is Dwight Gooden's 1.53, for the 1985 New York Mets).
-It pleased Maddux that his 1994 batting average, .222, was higher than his ERA.
-In the following season, 1995, Maddux was 19-2 and posted the third-lowest ERA since Gibson's: 1.63. Maddux became the first pitcher to post back-to-back ERAs under 1.80 since Walter Johnson in 1918 (1.27) and 1919 (1.49); Johnson is the only other pitcher in history to do so. Maddux's 1.63 ERA came in a year when the overall league ERA was 4.23.
-Since the introduction of the live-ball era in 1920, there have only been five pitchers to have full-season ERAs under 1.65: Gibson and Luis Tiant in the anomalous 1968 season, Gooden in 1985, and Greg Maddux, twice.
-From 1996-1998, Maddux finished fifth, second, and fourth in the Cy Young voting.
-In August 1997, Maddux signed a $57.5-million, five-year contract extension that made him the highest-paid player in baseball.
-From 1993 to 1998, Maddux led the National League in ERA four times, and was second the other two seasons; his career ERA of 3.07 is third among active starters, behind only Pedro Mart?nez and Roy Oswalt.
-Only a spectacular year by Pedro Mart?nez prevented Maddux from winning what would have been his fifth Cy Young Award in six seasons.
-In June 2000, Maddux made his 387th putout to break Jack Morris' career record.
-In September 2000, he had a streak of 39 1/3 scoreless innings.
-In July and August of that year, Maddux pitched 72 1/3 consecutive innings without giving up a walk.
-Maddux was the jewel in the much-vaunted Braves triad of Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, who pitched together for over a decade, as the core of one of the best pitching staffs in the history of the game. The three were the lynchpin of a team that won the National League East division every year that Maddux was on the team (1994 had no division champions)
-On July 26, 2005, Maddux struck out Omar Vizquel to become the thirteenth member of the 3000 strikeout club and only the ninth pitcher with both 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts.
-Maddux became one of the four pitchers to reach 3,000 strikeouts while having allowed fewer than 1,000 walks. The other three pitchers who have accomplished this feat are Ferguson Jenkins, Curt Schilling, and Pedro Mart?nez.
-It [the 2006 season] was Maddux's 18th season among his league's Top 10 for wins, breaking a record he'd shared with Cy Young and Warren Spahn, who did it 17 times apiece.
-He achieved another milestone with the same win [a random win mentioned in the article], becoming the only pitcher in the Major Leagues to have 20 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins and placing him second on the list for most 10-win seasons, tied with Don Sutton and behind Nolan Ryan, who has 21.
-Also in 2007, Maddux reached 13 wins for the 20th consecutive season, passing Cy Young for that major league record.
-Further, through the 2007 season's end, Maddux is the winningest major league pitcher during the 2000's decade, with 126 victories between 2000 and 2007. Randy Johnson and Tim Hudson have two fewer, at 124.
-Maddux won a record 17th Gold Glove award in 2007.
-On May 10, 2008, Maddux became the ninth pitcher in history to win 350 or more games in his career.
-The right-handed Maddux is known for his pinpoint accuracy, and his ability to psyche out hitters. The speed of his pitches was never a strong suit, and has decreased with time, but Maddux's location has been peerless. Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs said of Maddux, "It seems like he's inside your mind with you. When he knows you're not going to swing, he throws a straight one. He sees into the future. It's like he has a crystal ball hidden inside his glove."
-Maddux was also noted for the late movement on his pitches, which, combined with his superb command, made him one of the most effective groundball pitchers in history. While his strikeout totals were average, hitters were often unable to make solid contact with his pitches. Due to his longevity and skill, Maddux ranked eleventh all time in career strikeouts with 3,273 at the end of the 2007 season, and was third among active pitchers.
-Maddux has been credited by many of his teammates with a preternatural ability to outhink his opponents, and anticipate results. Braves catcher Eddie Perez tells the story of Maddux intentionally allowing a home run to the Astros' Jeff Bagwell, in anticipation of facing Bagwell in the playoffs months later. Maddux felt Bagwell would instinctively be looking for the same pitch again, which Maddux would then refuse to throw. On another occasion while sitting on the bench, Maddux once told his teammates, "Watch this, we might need to call an ambulance for the first base coach." The batter, Los Angeles' Jose Hernandez drove the next pitch into the chest of the Dodgers' first base coach. Maddux had noticed that Hernandez, who'd been pitched inside by Braves pitching during the series, had shifted his batting stance slightly.
-In 2001, he set a National League record by going 72 1/3 innings without giving up a walk.
-In addition to his pitching skills, Maddux is an excellent fielding pitcher. He has won 17 Gold Gloves, the all time record for any position. Of his 17 total awards, Maddux won 10 with the Braves, five with the Cubs, one with the Dodgers and one with the Padres. Maddux has also been a reliable hitting pitcher, with a career .172 Batting Average including four seasons batting .200 or better.
-He won four ERA titles (in 1993-1995 and 1998), and led the NL in shutouts five times. He holds the major league record for seasons leading his league in games started (7). He also holds the record for most seasons finishing in the top 10 in the league in wins (1.
Here is a great article on Maddux.
I've had the privledge of watching him since he was a rookie....my son works with one of the catchers (Rick Wilkens) who caught Gregs first Cy (I know he's sick of me asking Greg questions). One thing that you don't see mentioned is that Greg is very secretive....He doesn't talk about how he trains and prepares for the season. The reason he uses personal catchers is that he doesn't want signals, he expects the receiver to know what his game plan is and how he's going to pitch individual hitters...It means his catchers have to put in quite a bit more work than most catchers.
When you consider that he pitched through the "live ball era" where every single advantage was given to the hitter so homers could bring in the crowds and TV, A person cannot think anything except...This man is the greatest most dominate pitcher in the history of the game...Just imagine him pitching in the time of Cy Young, when 18 homers for the season was respectable for an entire team...just takes your breath away...And he's not done yet...
My son was wondering if he could actually catch up to Cy Young (Even I don't think THAT can happen)..100 more wins...Greg is so addicted to competition that he may in fact give it a run...Just imagine.........You'll be able to tell your grandchildren that you saw him pitch...We're so lucky...
"A pitcher doesn't learn anything when everything goes exactly right" Greg Maddux
All this with mechanics that are assured to cause arm injury.
Just consider this the next time someone tries to spin facts to fit a personal agenda.