Greg Maddux Got Lonely On The Mound

August 22, 2013, 8:02 pm

From ESPN:

Maddux was so dominating, he practically eliminated the need to hold mound conferences.

“One time,” [Leo] Mazzone [the Braves pitching coach] said with a laugh, “he said to me, ‘Come on out and visit me. I haven’t seen you [on the mound] in a couple of months.’ He said, ‘You know, Leo, it gets kind of lonely out there. So why don’t you come out and visit me in the sixth inning.’

“So sure enough, he’s shutting out the Mets, and he looks in the dugout with one out in the sixth. And Bobby [Cox] says to me, ‘Mad Dog is looking for you. Go out there and make sure he’s all right.’ So I go out there and he says, ‘I’m glad you came out. My catcher doesn’t speak English. I’m tired of talking to Chipper. So it was nice of you to come out here. You got anything you need to ask me?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, you planning on going seven tonight or all nine?’”*

I also love that Maddux, perhaps one of the most inoffensive players around, was known as “Mad Dog.”

Update: In fact, Mazzone has told it a number of different ways. To the USA Today in 2009:

Former Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone said he and Cox rarely had to visit the pitcher they called “Mad Dog” on the mound. Mazzone said Maddux once complained “It gets lonely out there” and asked that Mazzone come out to the mound in the sixth inning.

“Sure as heck in the sixth inning he’s got a three-hit shutout going and he gets the first guy out and then he’s looking in the dugout,” Mazzone said. “Bobby goes ‘Leo, Mad Dog is looking for you. Go out there and find out if he’s OK.’

“I go running out there and he said ‘How you doing coach?’ I said ‘Hey, Mad Dog.’ He said ‘How do I look?’ I said ‘You’re doing a great job. You’ve got a three-hit shutout.’ He says ‘OK, well it was nice talking to you,”‘ Mazzone said.

This is why historians don’t trust primary sources.

*It’s a great story, perhaps a little too great. Mazzone told it differently to the Seattle Times

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