2004 NEWS

2004 News > 8/6/04

MADDUX & GLAVINE: MASTERPIECE THEATER

By Joe Goddard, Chicago Sun-Times

New York Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson, a budding artist before turning to baseball, took advantage of an off day in Chicago to visit art museums and stores on Michigan Ave. He found one store that featured both Picasso and Rembrandt.

"I'm using a magnifying glass to look at a black-and-white sketch done by one of them and thinking Glavine,' " Peterson said. 'Then I'm looking at a sketch by the other and thinking Maddux.'"

"I hadn't thought of Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux that way before. I do now. They're baseball artists while everyone else is air- brushing."

And those artists, who were teammates on the Atlanta Braves, are eyeing the same signature achievement, though from different perspectives.

Maddux could become the 22nd pitcher to reach 300 wins Saturday when he pitches against the Giants in San Francisco.

The Mets' Glavine needs 41 wins to reach the magic number. With luck and health, the lefty probably can reach 300 in three years. He never has been on the disabled list.

Maddux and Glavine, both 38, have had similar careers.

Maddux won his first of four straight Cy Young Awards with the Cubs in 1992 before joining the Braves and Glavine, who has two.

Maddux has had two seasons of 20 wins and five with 19. Glavine had five seasons with at least 20 wins with Atlanta before moving to the Mets last season as a free agent.

No wonder, then, that the baseball world thinks of one when it thinks of the other, especially with the two having been Braves teammates for a decade. They're as well-known as a right-left rotation punch in the 1990s as Don Drysdale-Sandy Koufax in the 1960s.

They even look the same physically with slight builds and young faces.

"Greg and I wouldn't even be drafted today," Glavine said. "We're not big, we don't throw hard, and we don't even look like athletes."

But they are athletes. Maddux has won 13 Gold Gloves for fielding and Glavine four Silver Bats for hitting.

Glavine was like everyone else on the Braves when Maddux pitched for them for 11 years and against them for seven while with the Cubs. He watched and learned.

"Greg has a routine on the mound and a routine off it," Glavine said. "Everything has to be just right when he's on the mound. He takes the ball the same way, hides it in his glove the same way, delivers it the same way and gets into [fielding) position the same way.

"In the clubhouse, he plays cards, horses around with his teammates, and talks hitting and pitching to anyone who wants to listen. He's very thoughtful. He's a consummate pitcher.

"I have my own routines. They're not as elaborate as his, but they work for me."

Glavine admires Maddux's cutter the most, a fastball that is gripped and released differently.

"He throws it the same way as he throws the sinker and change," he said. "They all look the same coming out of his hand. It's when they get to the batter that they change. It's sad for me to say, but I never got the hang of the cutter like Greg did.

"Maybe I'd be closer to 300 if I did, do you think?" he laughed.

Maddux and Glavine are similarly stoic on the mound. They don't give anything away with their throwing motions and deliveries. They don't twitch their feet, switch grips on the ball or play step-off- the-rubber mind games with the batter.

They step up, deliver and sit down. They don't waste energy.

"Don't get me wrong, I have my moments," Glavine said. "I just go inside after a bad inning or down the runway to let it out. I feel better after that and get ready to go back out. Greg has more [angry] moments than I do, but he regains control, too."