Congratulations to the Dodgers—they picked up a lock for the Hall of Fame in exchange for some shiny rocks. He’ll pitch every fifth day, going about six innings then turning the game over to the bullpen.
A Dodger bullpen still in limbo without their closer, Takashi Saito. Ahh, not all that much to get excited about after all, is it?
Of course all the other pitchers on the team will be happy (except for Eric Stults, sent down for roster space) to have a legend around they can ask questions of and observe from. THAT may be the best aspect of this transaction Dodger fans can look for courtesy their hopefully lame duck gm Ned Colletti.
Whether Greg Maddux will want to pitch next season is an unknown for now. I would like to see him in a Dodger uniform next year, just not necessarily on the roster. What could be quite nice indeed is if he would replace the perpetually clueless pitching coach now plaguing the Dodgers, known more commonly as Rick Honeycutt.
There has been many player-managers. Joe Torre was one as a Met. My question is have there been any player-pitching coaches? Not a grizzled vet languishing in the bullpen a la Roberto Hernandez dispensing how to advise verbally and how not to lessons from the mound.
No, an actual active pitcher who would have the teaching ability as well as being able to command the respect to serve as a major league pitching coach.
The biggest obstacle could be if Maddux would even want the job as there are family factors to consider and it may just cut into his golf game a bit. That shouldn't stop Torre and McCourt from trying and convince him to take it however.
Too many times the TV cameras have caught Honeycutt looking like a freshly shaken Etch-A-Sketch while a pitcher is struggling. Young pitchers coming up and being effective under Honeycutt are rare, except for the now injured Cory Wade.
Veterans effectively adding anything to their arsenal is even rarer. The reason given why Honeycutt was kept on staff was for "continuity" purposes, hardly a ringing endorsement. Hell, that’s one step above “We couldn’t find anyone else willing to take the job.”
So I hereby nominate Greg Maddux for Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach 2009. If we have to give him a playing contract to take the position, well, that’s OK too.