Maddux open to helping Braves during Spring Training

Braves manager Bobby Cox has said that he’d like to have Greg Maddux serve as a special instructor during Spring Training and it appears the four-time Cy Young Award winner is interested in the possibility of spending at least a week or two in this role.

“I would 100 percent think about it, absolutely,”  said Maddux, who played for Cox in Atlanta from 1993-2003.   
    
After ending his 23-season Major League career with his retirement in December, Maddux opted to spend a week this year serving as a special Spring Training instructor for the Padres, who had utilized him in their starting rotation during the 2007 and ’08 seasons.

“It was pretty easy for me to get to Arizona,” Maddux said. “I played with that team the last two years so I knew all the players. It was more of a fun thing than an actual coaching experience. Having an opportunity to sit back with the coaches and hear what they say about the players, it was something I enjoyed.”

This Spring Training assignment with the Padres provided  Maddux the opportunity to remain close to his Las Vegas home.  But Cox remains hopeful that he’ll be able to lure the legendary hurler to Florida for a few weeks to benefit the Braves pitchers with his great intellect. 

“We’d love to have him,” Cox said. “He’s welcome any time.” 

While Maddux hasn’t completely closed the door on the possibility of accepting a full-time coaching role in the future, it seems he’s currently more interested in spending time with his wife and two children.
  
Along with watching his 12-year-old son, Chase, play baseball, Maddux has enjoyed the regular father-son outings that they’ve regularly shared on the golf course. 

“I don’t miss (playing) as much as I thought I would, which is a good thing,” Maddux said. “I’m enjoying being home. It does feel like it’s still the offseason. I still consider myself a baseball player, but it’s the offseason still. I’m enjoying going to my kids’ games and playing catch-up.” 

Cox was certainly moved on Friday, when the Braves inducted Maddux into their Hall of Fame and then retired his No. 31 jersey.   The 11-0 win his club claimed over the Mets only brightened a day the 68-year-old manager will seemingly never forget. 

“I’d have to say that was one of the best days I’ve ever experienced in baseball,”  Cox said. 

30 Comments

When are we gonna release Norton?! There are a ton of players down on the farm that could do a much better job than he has and that deserve a shot… C’mon he sturck out with the bases loaded today on two straight fastballs.. He has a .115 avg for pete’s sake.. Daggum..

Tough loss yesterday. I think we are starting to see why Gonzo, Moylan and Soriano are overused. Acosta was good until he started to get tough game situations. Now he has really struggled in the last two games.

Can somebody tell me why Prado was not guarding the line at the end of the game? Miscommunication? Instead of focusing on Escobar not swinging at a pitch that almost hit him, let’s think about this. Hit and run on a 2-0 pitch with your best (yes best) hitter up is silly. Would Bobby have asked Chipper to do this? Escobar could not do anything with that pitch, except break a bat or maybe a weak ground ball. Esco is one of the most discipline hitters on the team and forcing him to swing at a bad pitch is not fair. If he missed a sign that is another issue.

Even though it was a 4 run loss, if Norton or McCloud would have done something, we would have been looking at Soriano, not acosta. And probably a win.

Anyhow, the Braves have the pitching match-up in their favor today so they need to take advantage and beat the Mets. The offense needs to show up today early. Maybe McCloud needs a day off?? Probably not since Church in Center may get exposed.

Keep up the momentum and Bobby please leave Esco in the line-up. The difference between he and Hernandez is significant and could cause the game.

GO BRAVES!!!

Yeah, that was a tough loss yesterday. just one question, why would you bring acosta in if you are only down 1 run in the top of the nineth inning? i think he has average stuff at best and is known to give up hits and walk batters. anyway, right now the biggest weakness on the braves side is first base. kotchman, offensively, is a liability at best. how about putting prado at first and brooks conrad at second? the way conrad has been fielding and hitting, i find it hard not to have him in the line up.

Regarding Kotchman. That was terrible baserunning on Anderson’s single. He completely misjudged the ball and should have scored. I don’t think I have ever seen a bloop down the left field line that a runner at second misread so badly. He was 30 feet away from making the catch and kotchman needed to realize that and not freeze. He is the weekest link on the team offensively. I have not found him to hit well in the clutch and his power numbers have been disappointing. Keep one thing in mind though – his defense definitely makes a difference. If you don’t believe me, as Esco or Chipper. Addditionally, he would have stopped that balll down the line at the end of the game because he has great instincts for the position (sorry Prado). Kotchman does not need to be benched (as KF, JF and Schaeffer), but he needs to figure out why he is not hitting with power. I have seen him hit 430 foot homeruns so I know he has it in him.

Bobby is trying to save Soriono and Gonzales for leads since Gonzo is hurting, but that won’t last if Acosta keep struggling.

Today they need a W bad to keep the momentum going.

Must win today with vazquexz going…. was always going to be tough beating santana

Is Gonzalez available tonight?

I was disappointed in the Braves last night but it doesn’t take away from what we did – if we can win tonight. We can take 3/4 from the Mets, which is always a good thing, and start the second half rolling.

As far as Gonzo, I’m going to bet tendinitis isn’t the only thing wrong. I might expect Valdez to be up here a bit longer, and without our combo of Gonzo/Moylan/Soriano finishing up games, we’re going to blow a lot more games…

Lineup? I don’t see it on gameday..

Line-ups:

Braves:
1. Nate McLouth*, CF
2. Martin Prado, 2B
3. Chipper Jones#, 3B
4. Brian McCann*, C
5. Garret Anderson*, LF
6. Yunel Escobar, SS
7. Casey Kotchman*, 1B
8. Ryan Church*, RF
9. Javier Vazquez, RHP

Mets:
1. Angel Pagan#, CF
2. Luis Castillo#, 2B
3. Daniel Murphy*, 1B
4. David Wright, 3B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Jeremy Reed*, LF
7. Alex Cora*, SS
8. Brian Schneider*, C
9. Fernando Nieve, RHP

What are the #’s and *’s?

#= switch hitter, *= LH Batter

Can someone get Anderson some O2… I think it has been awhile since he ran 270 feet at one time.

Nice at-bats by Escobar tonight. Maybe yesterday’s missed sign will be the thing that finally removes his head from his backside.

Just win the series Braves. That’s all you have to do.

Joe Morgan is so terrible. Though Steve Phillips has annoyed me more tonight (first time ever).

I would like to officially start the “Joe Morgan is a Moron” Fan Club. I get so sick of his inane comments that I could wretch. I am thinking Gonzo got to pitch tonite as a showcase for a trade. After the comment he made about being pitched too much, I am sure he is in Bobby’s Doghouse. Not that he wasn’t absolutely right, But I am sure he is being shopped.

Why do you trot out Gonzo and Soriano with a 6 run lead? Seriously. Ridiculous.

Since the did not pitch yesterday, I think Bobby wanted to keep them sharp.

He’s let them go longer, and we’re gonna need them against San Francisco..

Gonzalez hadn’t pitched in 10 days so I sort of get it. But Soriano shouldn’t have been used. I know he got 2 WHOLE days off before, but he wasn’t needed. And he WILL be in this upcoming series.

Like PWH stated above, very understandable that Gonzo pitched since he had been given some time off and needed to throw.

Also agree with raising the question about Soriano. He will be needed in this next series quite often. Lots of pitching and low scoring affairs more than likely.

Also can we stop with the shoppinn Gonzo stuff. he’s not going anywhere. Wren is looking to add, not subtract.

And adding means something reasonable and finacially prudent. So no calls for Adam Dunn or his ilk.

I’ll withold trade speculation until we have a better idea of a)
our needs (1B or OF in addition to a reliever) and b) who will be selling. Too many teams in the race to know who will be available.

Well if nothing else goes right this season, i can always go back and say we absolutely beat down the Phillies and Mets on ESPN.

No that’s not our problem. Our problem is that we can’t beat, Washington, Baltimore, Houston and Pittsburgh. I mean Washington for crying out loud. That team may go down in history this year(Not a good record). WE CAN’T BEAT WASHINGTON. I don’t know what happens to this team when they play weak teams but it seriously looks like they lose focus, get sloppy and can’t hit average pitchers. They need someone in this clubhouse to stand up and chew some a**. It’s time to either “get busy playing or get busy giving up on this season. The Phillies are playing too well to give up any more slack. And wild card, a dicey proposition at best. Now is the time for all good hitters to come to the aid of their team.

I say we dangle Gonzo in front of the Dodgers and see what we can get.

Yunel talked to us after batting practice and indicated that he’ll make a better effort to communicate with the media in the future. This is a two-way street and speaking for myself, I understand the need to overcome the language barrier and make better attempts to communicate with him.

How about Gonzo and prospects for Matt Kemp…haha never gonna happen but hey I can dream

Hey I was just on ajc and Mark Bradely had a nice blog entry on Heyward. Here is a link to it http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2009/07/20/the-top-prospect-baseball-america-says-hes-a-brave/
I was thinking although I understand the motive to keep him in the minors and not rush him to the majors why not give him a september call up when the rosters expand…Andruw Jones got a call up and he was only 19 Heyward will have turned 20 by that time.

Braves10,
So many reasons. 1) he’s not ready to contribute at the MLB level. 2) you start his arbitration clock so when he’s ready you have to leave him down for another month (most likely). 3) By the time he hits his prime he’ll be hitting Free Agency and that’ll put a huge damper on the club financially. 4) Most players need ~2000 minor-league PA’s before they’re ready (Heyward will need less than that but), he only has 849. 5) What do you gain?

I agree PWHjort, its not time for him yet, no need to rush. Trust our fantastic farm system to mold this guy into the next big thing, no need to push the envelope.

Kotchman does not need to hit for power, in the gaps 7-8 hitting is fine for our style. Let Mac, Chipper, and Yunel collect the RBIs, just clean up the scraps and set the table for the top of the order….. As far as hit baserunning, I seem to remember a few other first basemen that are not good baserunners and they get away with it because they hit 20+ homers. He is fine, every player doesn’t need to be a superstar. He’s a gold glove caliber player with .280-.300 capability. There’s nothing wrong with that.

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