December 26, 2007


Appreciating Maddux, Glavine (Peter Gammons, December 26, 2007, ESPN)

In time, more names will come out, and some, like Roger Clemens, will have time to prove their innocence. But as we look askew at all the numbers and records and glory of "The Steroid Era," two men born three weeks apart in 1966, drafted in the same second round in 1984, and, ironically, paired for the infamous "chicks dig the long ball" commercial seem even greater today than they did when the 2007 season ended.

At this point in sports history, we cannot assume anyone's innocence, but no one has ever tied Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine to any scandal involving steroids, HGH or anything else. We have watched Maddux extend his career creating new pitches to mix with a fastball that on its good days hit 83 mph on the radar gun. And we have watched Glavine stoically speed-walk to 303 wins; only in the last two years has he adjusted to coming inside with his fastball and changeup and using his curveball better.

And here they are, without one question raised about whether or not they belong in Cooperstown. Before they retire in the next year or two, if they remain unquestioned, then their first-ballot elections may produce a higher percentage than one can now imagine. They will be held up as a couple of guys who won with resolution, creativity and guile in an era of power pitching and hitting.

As remarkable has been John Smoltz's ability to reinvent himself several times.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 26, 2007 1:38 PM
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