Wasn't on the site much yesterday (jury duty, natch), but I guess in the rush of the Winter Meetings, the retirement of Greg Maddux got overlooked. Probably didn't help his cause with the McCoven that the last team he pitched for was the Evils, and the last game he pitched against the Giants was this gem, which wasted yet another fine Matt Cain start.
But let us be fair and generous (or not, if you're so inclined---Scott Boras is his agent, after all). I mean, jeez: 355 career wins, 23 major league seasons, 10th all-time in strikeouts, 20 consecutive seasons of 13 or more wins...he was never as awe-inspiring as, say, Pedro Martinez during his prime, but he was (almost) always very good, very steady and for those of you in the STATS lair, feast on these numbers.
ERA+ from 1992-1998 (minimum 1,000 innings pitched):
1. Maddux, 191 ERA+ (1,675 IP)
2. Clemens, 153 ERA+ (1,490 IP)
3. Unit, 146 ERA+ (1,370 IP)
4. Pedro, 145 ERA+ (1,146 IP)
5. Kevin Appier, 141 ERA+ (1,265 IP)
6. David Cone, 141 ERA+ (1,379 IP)
7. Tom Glavine, 137 ERA+ (1,533 IP)
8. Kevin Brown, 135 ERA+ (1,568 IP)
9. John Smoltz 129 ERA+ (1,495 IP)
10. Mike Mussina, 129 ERA+ (1,481 IP)
The brilliant Joe Posnanski has a wonderful tribute to Maddux here.
I hated how the guy always seemed to shut down the Giants (remember he won his 300th Game at the Big Phone), but I'm glad I was alive to see him pitch. We'll probably never see another 300-game winner again, although here's hoping Timmy makes a run at it.