Friday, August 15, 2008

I Love Greg Maddux

Padres vs. Phillies: Since the outcome of this game will have no impact on the Cubs, normally I wouldn't even have it on. But it's my beloved, future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux and the San Diego Padres battling Jamie Moyer and the Phillies. These two pitchers both began their long, successful careers as Cubs in 1986. My team has the dubious distinction of having traded the inimitable Greg Maddux away twice. Oh, break my heart!

Since I may be watching the end of this baseball legend's career, it's time to review all the reasons why I love him:

His single-minded focus has gotten him into the All Star Game 8 times, 4 Cy Young Awards, a record 17 Gold Glove Awards, and six MVP Awards.

He has the face of a Precious Moments doll, but the body of the Pillsbury Doughboy. I love him for this because it means NO STEROIDS. Unlike Roger Cheater McCheaty Pants Clemens, who he simply must surpass on the all time win list before he retires. (As I write this, Greg Maddux is 9th, one game behind that prima donna fart Clemens.)

He's not just a pitcher, he's an all-around ball player. He covers first base better than any other pitcher I can think of, and he's a decent hitter and base runner, too.

He's still married to Wife #1, Kathy, his high school sweetheart. They have two children, Amanda and Chase. When it looked like his career with the Cubs was ending in 2006, he brought Chase out to play catch ON Wrigley Field. I loved that he shared what Wrigley Field meant to his career, and to major league baseball, with his boy.

For years when he pitched, he wore a Mickey Mouse watch, a gift from Amanda.

He raises money through The Greg and Kathy Maddux Foundation and then donates it to charities that help kids and victims of domestic violence. He also donates Padres tickets to children's groups.

His demeanor on the mound is always the same. Whether he is up or down, he is concentrating on the next pitch, the next batter. He appears imperturbable, oblivous to the crowd. He's just gloriously into the game.

He is always modest in interviews. When he wins, it's because of the good fielders behind him. It's never about him, it's about the team. Etc., etc. There's an edge to it, though. When he speaks softly into the mic, I can almost hear Tim Matheson from Animal House, insincerely pumping pledges' hands and saying, "I'm Eric Stratton, damn glad to meet you."

He respects his parents. I heard this from the Atlanta limo driver who took me to the airport this past spring. He performed the same service years ago for Ma and Pa Maddux, and was impressed that Son Greg brought the bags out to the car himself. (I am ready to discuss Greg Maddux with anyone at any time in any situation.)

Is he perfect? No. All vulgar Cubs locker room stories I've heard over the years involve Greg Maddux. He explains this by saying that, with the exception of a high school stint flipping burgers at Wendy's, all of his professional life has been spent in baseball locker rooms. And he simply cannot hold a runner on base. I hate it when rookies steal off him. (Perhaps more than he does.)

When he retires, he will take a piece of this old Gal's heart with him. I know that when he goes into the Hall of Fame, it will be as an Atlanta Brave. But Greg Maddux will always, ALWAYS be my all-time favorite Cub.

DAY 15 -- August 08 Happiness Challenge

The sky. Today it's a clear, cloudless, bright blue. A perfect summer sky. So beautiful I could just sit here and admire it, peering through the tree leaves. I wish the Cubs were in town, for this sky is made for homerun balls.

Shhh! Don't tell! I should be working.

But instead I'm doing this, once again stolen from Kwizgiver. I believe she may be a bad influence on me.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how good are you at Guitar Hero?
Never played. I know: LOSER!

What tv show do you watch most?
Mad Men. I love you, Don Draper.

Do you have a job?

If you had a paid vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
New York City. I dream of doing it up right, and on someone else's dime.

Do you think the guy should always pay?

Have you ever wanted to be on a game show?

Randomly click on a song from your playlist. What's the first line of that song?
"I don't know what it is that makes me love you so. I only know I never want to let you go."

Who was your first kiss?
I know this is awful, but I'm not sure I remember.

Describe your dream house.
Top floor, hardwood floors, a big beautiful bathroom

Where did you last go out to eat?
Brian's Deli

What did you order?
Chicken salad san on wheat, lettuce but no tomato

Have you ever been in a car wreck?

What do you plan on naming your baby girl?
My baby ship has sailed, but my girl cat's name is Charlotte

Your baby boy?
My boy cat's name is Joe

What's your musical guilty pleasure?
God! I have many! I live in fear that someone will learn that I downloaded Bobby Sherman songs onto my iPod.

What was the last book you read?
Jack and Lem, by David Pitts

Are you happy with the way you look?
No. And you wouldn't be either if you looked like me.

How long does your morning routine take?
20 minutes if I'm enthusiastic about leaving the house. An hour if I'm not.

What is the dumbest thing you've ever done?
Fall in love with Stevie

Do you return the buggies at Wal-Mart?
I don't shop at Wal-Mart. But I am a religious cart returner.

What is your favorite fast food place?

Do you have any plans for tomorrow?
I'm getting a massage! Yea!

Are there any movies you've seen more than ten times?
Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music

What are your biggest pet-peeves?
People who smoke in front of the signs that say, "No smoking within 8 feet of this doorway."

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Can of Slim Fast (well, I don't actually EAT the can, but you knew that, didn't you?)

Do you like to cook?

What music genres could the world do without?
Rap and opera

What do you want to do for the rest of your life?

Do you get along with your siblings?

Are you good at Sudoku puzzles?
See Guitar Hero answer

Are you a pack-rat?
Dear God, YES!

How late did you sleep this morning?

Are you a creative person?
My employers seems to think so (God bless them, it's payday).

Do you like to sing?

How many songs are on your ipod?

What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
Dark Knight

Was it any good?

What color are your pants?

What did you do to celebrate last Valentines Day?
Felt bad about myself. Lately it's become a tradition

Is your house clean?

How old are you?
I have passed the half century mark

Do you agree with gay marriage?

Do you have any plants in your house?
No. The cats view them as a salad bar.

Are you afraid of getting old?
Old, no. Frail and helpless, yes.

What did you have for breakfeast this morning?
Didn't I answer this already?

Who's in the room with you?
Alone in my office. (You don't think I'd be doing this at work if people were in here with me, do you?)

On a scale from 1-10 how's life right now?

Do you drink coffee?

Are you allergic to anything?
Bee stings