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August 7, 2004

Mad Dog 300?

In a moment, Greg Maddux will take a second hack at win number 300. Whether today, next week or thereafter, whenever he notches this one up, he will become only the 22nd pitcher in Major League history to do so.

On this occasion, FOXSports offers some former teammates' thoughts on Mad Dog...

Eddie Perez on the cunning:

We were playing the Astros in the middle of the season and Jeff Bagwell was coming up, and Doggie had told me before the game, "We're not going to pitch this guy inside. We're going to stay away. He's pulling everything, and if we go in he'll hit it out."
So it's late in the game, we're up something like 8-0, and Bagwell is batting with a runner on. All of a sudden, Doggie wants to go inside. "What?" He nods that's what he wants to do. So he throws it in, and Bagwell hits a bomb. We still won the game, but I was mad. "Why did you do that? I wanted you to pitch a complete-game shutout."
He said, "You know what? Two months from now we're going to meet these guys in the playoffs, and he's going to be up there with runners on and he's going to be looking for that pitch, and we're never going to throw it."
I said, "Whatever, dude. I wanted the shutout."
Sure enough, two months later and Bagwell is hitting. They've got two men on and Doggie strikes him out. He says, "Do you remember two months ago?" I had already forgotten about it. He said, "You got mad because we went inside and he took us deep, but he was looking for that pitch today, and we won the game because of that."
No other pitcher can do that. No one can get away with that kind of stuff. It's almost illogical. You don't throw inside changeups to major league hitters. He'll hang a slider on purpose. He wants people to get hits because everything he does is setting up the hitter for a situation later on.

John Smoltz on the attitude:

Funny thing is, he's this mild-mannered, soft-spoken guy who can go out on the town and nobody hardly recognizes. But he's not even-tempered when he's pitching. He gets mad and throws some good tantrums. Greg is extraordinarily competitive, and if he ever got in a fight he would be the dirtiest fighter you ever saw. He'd plot revenge, and he'd make his revenge so incredible you'd never do it again.

"Mad Dog 300?"
Posted by Dan at 03:17 PM

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Referenced in this post:

FOXSports: Maddux excelled beyond the physical—Dennis Tuttle
MLB: Players—Greg Maddux