Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Greg Maddux

Who pitched the Dodgers’ top games each year in the 2000s? Some names will surprise you

Clayton Kershaw is by far the most dominant pitcher for the Dodgers — if not all of Major League Baseball — in the 21st century. Not surprisingly, he has pitched the game of the year for the Dodgers more times than anyone else.

But using the tried and true Game Score formula as a barometer, Kershaw has topped the charts in only four of his 11 big-league seasons. During the Kershaw era, some unexpected names have stolen the spotlight from Kershaw, if only for a moment.

In fact, in the 13 seasons from 2001 through 2013, 13 different pitchers had the top Game Score for the Dodgers.

Here’s a year-by-year rundown of the Dodgers’ best Game Score performances each year, dating back to 2000.

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In case you missed it: Putting the sock back in Joc

By Jon Weisman

The full Dodger squad, minus newly signed Yaisel Sierra, fell into place on what appeared to be a beautiful day a Camelback Ranch. Here’s the latest news and notes …

  • There’s few Spring Training pieces more timely than a systematic look at what went wrong for Joc Pederson in the second half of 2015. Bill Plunkett of the Register talked to Pederson and several people within the Dodger organization for his story.
  • Chase Utley’s hard edge as a competitor doesn’t leave much room for friendships with rivals, but when he’s on your side, there are few better, according to this profile by Andy McCullough of the Times. “I went from being scared to death of him,” A.J. Ellis said, “to loving being his teammate.”

Greg Maddux helping me play sports. Via @jon.soohoo

A post shared by Brett Anderson (@brettanderson46) on

  • New special assistant to president of baseball operations Greg Maddux is spending all of Spring Training at Camelback, writes Ken Gurnick of Before taking that position, Maddux received an inquiry from his former Braves colleague, Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten, about whether he might want to be part of the Dodger managerial search last fall.
  • Eric Gagne is also at Camelback as a guest instrutor, notes Gurnick.
  • The Dodgers said it earlier this winter, after the trade with the Reds and White Sox that did not bring Todd Frazier to Los Angeles, but today it was reiterated by Dave Roberts that the team plans for Justin Turner to remain at third base and Corey Seager at shortstop in 2016, rather than moving around the diamond. Kiké Hernandez is currently the backup shortstop.
  • Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has a humorous recap of Brandon McCarthy’s throwing session today.
  • MLB is hosting an its annual Honorary Bat Girl Contest, “which will recognize one fan from each MLB club who has been affected by breast cancer and has demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease.” Dodger pitcher Scott Kazmir will be one of the guest judges. Entries are being taken through April 14. Click for more details.
  • How does the Dodger video production team set up shop at Camelback? Very quickly, and with lots of hashtags …

That time Greg Maddux kinda threw a no-hitter for L.A.

[mlbvideo id=”541520083″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Greg Maddux averaged 12 pitches per inning in his first Dodger start. (Al Behrman/AP)

Greg Maddux averaged 12 pitches per inning in his first Dodger start. (Al Behrman/AP)

By Jon Weisman

News of “Greg Maddux III: This Time, It’s Tutorial” unavoidably brought back memories of his first appearance in a Dodger uniform — one that almost became the most memorable of his 740 career Major League starts.

Ten years ago this August, pitching for the Dodgers three days after they traded Cesar Izturis to the Cubs for him, Maddux took the mound on a humid night in Cincinnati after a 65-minute rain delay.

The 40-year-old then needed only 72 pitches to complete his first six innings, walking three (two of whom were eliminated by double-play grounders, including only the second 3-5-1 double play in the past 50 years) and striking out three.

He had allowed exactly zero hits.

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Greg Maddux, Raul Ibanez join Dodger front office

Greg Maddux finished off the Dodgers NLDS Game 1 victory at Chicago on October 1, 2008. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Greg Maddux finished off the Dodgers NLDS Game 1 victory at Chicago on October 1, 2008. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Raul Ibanez finished his MLB career with Kansas City in 2014. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Raul Ibanez wrapped up his MLB career with Kansas City in 2014. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

For the third time, Greg Maddux is a Dodger.

The Hall of Famer and two-time Dodger pitcher, as well as 19-year MLB veteran Raul Ibanez, have been hired as special assistants to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and the entire department.

In their roles, Maddux and Ibañez will assist in all aspects of baseball operations, including scouting, player development and working with the club’s players, both at the Major and minor league levels.

For the past four seasons, Maddux has been a special assistant to Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, after having been in a similar role for the Cubs and GM Jim Hendry. He was also pitching coach for Team USA during the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Maddux, who unbelievably turns 50 in April, pitched 114 1/3 of his 5,008 1/3 career innings with the Dodgers, combining 2006 and 2008 stints into a 3.94 ERA. As an Atlanta Brave, he was the last pitcher to win four National League ERA titles (1993-95, 1998) until Clayton Kershaw matched him from 2011-14.

The 43-year-old Ibanez played his final big-league game in September 2014, completing his 2,161-game MLB career with 305 home runs, hitting as many as 34 in 2009 for Philadelphia.

World Series Game 1 had something for everyone — even Dodger fans

By Jon Weisman

“I just hope for a memorable World Series, something we’ll remember for generations,” Mark Langill wrote Tuesday. Then that night, Game 1 between the Mets and the Royals delivered, offering so much that even Dodger fans still nursing their playoff wounds had to marvel.

Moreover, it wasn’t hard to find several Dodger connections to Kansas City’s marathon 14-inning, 5-4 victory over New York.

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Dodgers in the Hall of Fame vortex

Wheat horiz
By Jon Weisman

You’re familiar with the seven Hall of Fame players who have had their numbers retired by the Dodgers: Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Don Sutton, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale.

Who gets left out of the conversation?

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In case you missed it: Kershaw and Maddux at the top step


By Jon Weisman

Step right up …

  • Despite their 22-year age difference, the careers of Clayton Kershaw and Greg Maddux intersected in 2008. Bill Shaikin of the Times has a nice story on this. (Jon SooHoo’s photos above were taken during the introductions before Game 1 of the 2008 National League Championship Series.)
  • With this year’s Hall of Fame election behind us, Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk looks ahead to the new candidates for next year’s balloting. The group includes three former Dodgers: Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield and Nomar Garciaparra (not to mention 2010 Dodger Spring Training invitee Brian Giles). Next year will also be Don Mattingly’s final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.
  • Mike Piazza’s greatness, “both old- and new-school,” is assessed by Eno Sarris at Fangraphs.
  • The deckhead for Bryan Curtis’ story at Grantland: “We know what MLB players were doing during the steroid era. Here’s what baseball writers did.”
  • Lose yourself in a baseball stats whirlpool with Ben Schmidt’s Baseline Cherrypicker tool (via Deadspin).
  • On video at, Adrian Gonzalez talked about the importance of Don Mattingly’s contract extension and looked ahead to the coming season.

In case you missed it: Donnie Baseball extends his run


By Jon Weisman

It’s been a Hall of a day …

  • As anticipated, Don Mattingly’s contract extension through the 2016 season as manager of the Dodgers became official today. Ken Gurnick of has the details from Mattingly and Ned Colletti.
  • Greg Maddux’s 3.94 ERA in 19 games with the Dodgers — as well as his 3.14 ERA in 4,894 innings with some other major-league teams — allowed him to sneak into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, along with Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. (Craig Biggio missed election by a mere two votes out of 571.)
  • Clayton Kershaw’s potential for the Hall of Fame, summed up by Dan Szymborski for ESPN Insider: “Only an injury or a severe case of writer myopia can derail Kershaw’s Hall of Fame run. A 79.7 WAR puts Kershaw just below Bob Gibson and Curt Schilling and just above Tom Glavine and Old Hoss Radbourn.”
  • Here are some scouting reports of recently elected and would-be Hall of Famers, courtesy of Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus.  The take on Mike Piazza in 1986, offered by scout Brad Kohler:
  • At the Hardball Times, Frank Johnson writes about the improbability of Pee Wee Reese playing in seven World Series and having them all be against the New York Yankees. “Even given the Dodgers’ and Yankees’ proclivity for winning pennants in the ’40s and ’50s, that defies the odds,” Jackson says. “And there could have been three more matchups.”
  • I continue to be fascinated by the story of Chris Cotillo, the high school senior who has been breaking major baseball transaction stories. He writes about the experience for MLB Daily Dish.

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