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April 18, 2024 46 mins

In this episode of 'The Book of Joe Podcast', Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci welcome Hall of Famer Greg Maddux to the podcast. How was Greg able to only miss 8 days due to injuries in his career and avoid a major arm injury?  Greg explains his pitching routine and how his focus was always on location and using different pitches. Greg looks back to his approach to velocity on the mound and how he managed it during games. Find out how Greg feels about the difference in pitch totals between his career and today's game.  

Maddux joins John Smoltz and Tom Glavine in the field of 40 celebs that includes Roger Clemens, Albert Pujols and several other MLB stars at the Invited Celebrity Classic.  The tournament is unique in PGA TOUR golf with celebrities and pros paired together while playing in separate competitions.  Almost $500,000 has been raised for charity over the first two years.  April 19-21 on GOLF Channel, with live coverage Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
The Book of Joe Podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:15):
Hey there, and welcome back.

Speaker 1 (00:16):
It's the latest edition of the Book of Joe podcast
with me, Tom Verducci and of course Joe Madden and Joe.
I'd like to continue the discussion we've had, and it's
been a really good one, and actually all of baseball
has been having it about how to keep pictures healthy.
And we have the ultimate guest, especially for a podcast
that loves golf almost as much as baseball, Nobody better

(00:38):
to talk about this issue than the great Greg Maddox,
literally the winningest pitcher alive. He pitch twenty three years
in the major leagues in more.

Speaker 2 (00:49):
Than five thousand innings.

Speaker 1 (00:51):
We are going to get to Greg Maddox in our
second segment, and right now, Joe, I want to review
what we talked about in terms of velocity and keeping
pictures healthy. I'd mentioned that eighteen of the top twenty
one hardest throwing starting pitchers in the last five years
have broken down. Well, you can make it nineteen out
of twenty one now because Bobby Miller of the LA
Dodgers is now on the IL.

Speaker 2 (01:12):
That's a ninety percent attrition rate.

Speaker 1 (01:15):
I went back, and I looked at the guys who
have average below, which is between ninety three and ninety four.

Speaker 2 (01:20):
Their attrition rate is about sixty percent.

Speaker 1 (01:22):
So there's no question that throwing harder puts pitchers more
at risk. So, Joe, you've heard all the data, you
see what's going on in the game. Do you have
suggestions about how baseball can Obviously you're not going to
stop it, but at least mitigate the risk of injury.

Speaker 3 (01:39):
Well, I mean this is we talked about it, the
velocity and all that other stuff. You just brought it
back up. I still tried and true pitching. It's going
to be. You just can't put the velocity back in
the genie bottle, right, you just don't want to do that.
You've come so far right, so you can't just overlook
it put it back whatever. However, it always starts in
the minor leagues for me and the program that gets

(02:01):
these guys to the point that they're throwing a hundred
an hour, I don't think they innately do that. I mean,
that's a rare occurrence when a guy has an arm
that just God says, here, here's one hundred miles an hour.
I can see a raw this Chapman as an example
being that guy just based on his size whatever. But
at some point, I don't know if it's the training techniques.
It goes all the way back to when they're a
little bit younger. We don't even care that kids in

(02:22):
high school are getting Tommy John surgery anymore. It's okay
because the carrot is that eventually they're going to get drafted,
give them a lot of money. And of course it's
always going to be about money and the perception about winning.
But you don't win because these guys are keep getting hurt.
Roundabout answer, I still like pitching taught, not throwing taught.
Grank's going to be a perfect example of that, and

(02:43):
I yeah, one of his pitching coaches that he loves
is a good friend of mine, Dick Paul, and I
don't understand why that's not taught. I mean, I going
back to recently, even with the Angels watching bullpens, I
could honestly say there was some because it wasn't many
hundred mile hour dos there, so there was a lot
of like pitching shaping, hitting corners, moving the ball around,

(03:04):
things like that, and the ability to do to pitch
into the sixth or seventh inning the third time through,
because I have more weapons and I don't run out
of gas because I'm just I got my the pedal
to the floor on every particular pitch. So the answer
is teach pitching. Teach. And we've talked to about the
mechanical dissertation too. But I mean my buddy Jimmy Colonel,

(03:25):
and I gotta give him credit. Man, he keeps throwing
me pictures where pitcher's arms are way behind their head.
It's almost like they're overrotated on the top. And he
every like the kid with Atlanta. He just showed me
pictures of recently.

Speaker 2 (03:36):
It's so yeah, you're absolutely right, Joe.

Speaker 1 (03:39):
I mean you can look at this and I call
it forearm flyout, where that right the hand and forearm
get way too far beyond the head. You can see
injuries about to happen before they actually do. You made
a lot of good points there, Joe, And you mentioned
Dick Paul, one of Greg's best pitching coaches. I remember
Greg telling me that when he was in trouble, he
never thought about throwing harder.

Speaker 2 (04:00):
He thought about locating better.

Speaker 1 (04:02):
And we have to get back somehow to that philosophy
about pitching and not throwing. But you're right, it's hard
to put the genie back in the bottle. Everybody's chasing
v low because it.

Speaker 2 (04:12):
Is harder to hit. I get it.

Speaker 1 (04:14):
I actually think Joe, we're at a point here where
signing up to be a pitcher it's basically like signing
up to be a hang glider or a rock climber.
It's inherently risky, and you sign up knowing what that
risk is. You're going to push the envelope on velocity,
knowing that you're a breakdown waiting to happen because the
body just cannot withstand the upper limits of velocity that

(04:35):
we're seeing.

Speaker 3 (04:36):
So how many how many guys you have to sign?
How many pitches you have to get ready in a
major league season because you know the attrition's going to curve.

Speaker 1 (04:41):
Absolutely, it's a great point. It does become a war
of attrition. And let me bring up this, this hypothetical situation.
You've got Paul's skeins now within the Pirates system and
pitch the LSU upper nineties one hundred miles an hour.
He throw the ball through a brick wall. He is
just dominating Triple A hitters. For the life of me,
I don't understand why he's there in Triple A. You know, now,

(05:04):
college baseball, especially if you're in the SEC, it's like
the equivalent I think of Double A baseball minor league baseball.
And the instruction that these kids are getting is amazing
for a guy who throws again upper nineties. And if
you watch Paul Skeen's pitch, his mechanics are not clean.
He picks the ball up in the loaded position with

(05:25):
his elbow. In other words, his elbow raises above his
back shoulder. That's inherently stressful. I'm not saying he's a
breakdown waiting to happen, but it is a bit of
a red flag that you look at. And given what
we've talked about, we've seen all his data. When starting
pitchers are throwing in the upper nineties without clean mechanics,
I don't know why the Pittsburgh Pirates don't bring him

(05:45):
up right now, because Joe, you put him in the
Pirate rotation right now. He's one of the ten best
pitchers in Major League Baseball. His stuff is that good.
I don't think he has anything to prove by blowing
the ball by triple A hitters, and that clock is
ticking as it is with all young pitchers, not just
hard throwers.

Speaker 3 (06:01):
Well, I mean being all that that is meant that
that is may that we're gonna get all these guys
throwing trying to three hundred miles an hour. That's what
organizations want. There's only there's still a limited amount of
those guys too. But you know they're eventually going to
break down almost one hundred, like you said, ninety percent
of the time. So why okay, let's get those guys.
We're gonna We're still gonna go sign those guys. We

(06:21):
want those guys are We're gonna try our best to
keep them healthy as long as we possibly can. But
in the meantime, why do we get more guys that
are more tuned to pitching. Guys that maybe are in
that ninety one to ninety three range, maybe hit ninety
four nicasia, but know how to shape pitches, hit corners,
hit edges, have multiple pitches that they could attack hitters
with the third time into the battle to why not

(06:43):
try to build a cachet of those two they're more
easily reddible or findable. You could find these guys in
every university, even in high schools of course junior colleges,
so maybe it might be wise. They're like, yeah, we
still want this animal, which is what we wanted when
I was coming up. And at that time Charlie Kerf
fell through ninety seven miles an hour and that was

(07:04):
considered heavy in the early eighties when he was at
the Abapai Junior College. But then again, I could just
go up and down a list of the guys at pitch.
I mean Oka, Mark Langston, How good was Langley? And
Langley was a low ninety kind of guy, maybe a
little bit higher than that on occasion, but his ball
had great low I caught him in bould a great
low carry, great low carry than his outstanding curveball and

(07:25):
a change up that nobody ever talked about. And that's
why Langley was able to. Plus he was great athletes,
So why not build both models? Why do we have
to just go after one because you know the ones
probably going to break down and you have to have
this backup plan with guys that you have to believe
are going to be more consistently healthy than the other.

Speaker 1 (07:43):
Great points Joe, and just to back up your points,
what if someone like Greg Mannix was available for the
draft this year. We're talking about a high school pitcher
at six feet tall, maybe one hundred and sixty one
hundred and seventy pounds, throwing right around ninety, maybe topping
out at ninety. He went in the second round of

(08:03):
the drivet. And what kind of scout is going to
beat the drums for a picture like that today?

Speaker 2 (08:10):
A seventeen year old throwing ninety. I don't know.

Speaker 1 (08:14):
But it's a fascinating discussion. And when we get back
we will continue it with the man we just talked about,
Greg Maddocks, will join us to talk, of course, golf
at baseball, two of our favorite subjects.

Speaker 2 (08:27):
Right after this.

Speaker 3 (08:27):
Hope you could help me? Hope you could help me?

Speaker 1 (08:41):
Well, we promised you the winningest pitcher alive, and here
he is, Greg Maddox.

Speaker 2 (08:45):
One of our favorites and one of our favorite topics
is golf.

Speaker 1 (08:49):
Greg, So I'm glad you're joining us from the Invited
Celebrity Classic. It's actually a PGA Tour champions event where
you've got seventy eight PGA Tour champions in the field
and forty celebrities from the sports and entertainment world, and
Greg Mannix is one of them. It's this weekend, April
nineteenth to twenty first, a beautiful Las Colinas Country Club

(09:10):
in Irving, Texas.

Speaker 2 (09:12):
Greg, thanks for joining us.

Speaker 1 (09:13):
Tell me, I know you love You've loved golf for
a long time and had a lot of chances to
play when you were playing Major League Baseball.

Speaker 2 (09:20):
How much do you play now compared to when you
were playing MLB?

Speaker 4 (09:24):
Well, actually I play a little bit more now I
don't have to go to the park anymore. So you know,
I got my group of guys back in Vegas, and
you know we got the second third tea time every
day and try to get out there at least four
or five times a week and enjoy retirement.

Speaker 2 (09:39):
So that means your game is better, right.

Speaker 4 (09:41):
No, that's the same. Just because you're play more, it
doesn't mean you get better. But you know, I like
the game. I love playing.

Speaker 5 (09:47):
I like watching it on TV.

Speaker 4 (09:48):
I loved watching the Masters last week, and it's pretty
cool coming down here to Los Kalinas, and you know,
playing with all the senior players. I mean, we watched
these guys in our clubhouse in the nineties for like
ten years, you know, when they were out doing their things.
So it's kind of it's kind of our fantasy camp
this week.

Speaker 2 (10:05):
Very cool.

Speaker 1 (10:05):
I got to ask this, Greg, when you're in a
tournament like this, does it I don't know if it
replaces or come close to the competitive ititch that you
had as a major league pitcher.

Speaker 3 (10:14):
Not really.

Speaker 5 (10:14):
This is just fun, you know.

Speaker 4 (10:16):
I mean, you know, pitching is what I did. You know,
that was how I made my living, and you know
it was all about, you know, seeing how good you
can be on the mound. And you know, golf is
pure pleasure, just fun. And you know, I don't want
to make it too stressful, you know, I want to
sit back and enjoy the game and enjoy the company.

Speaker 2 (10:33):
Very cool.

Speaker 1 (10:34):
Well, you got a great one and a great course
this weekend. I'm sure you will enjoy it. Meanwhile, I'm
sure besides watching the Masters, you've probably followed some of
the chatter around Major League Baseball this year with as
it relates to the breakdowns of major league pitchers when
it comes to elbow injuries and velocity.

Speaker 2 (10:50):
You're a guy pitched.

Speaker 1 (10:51):
Twenty three years more than five thousand innings. Greg, how
many times were you on the injured list eight days.

Speaker 4 (11:00):
I missed the first eight days of kind of my
backup the last week of spring training, and I think
I ended up starting like the seventh game of the
season something like that one year. But pretty fortunate to
never have any serious injuries. And you know, I guess
all those shoulder exercises paid off when I was you know,
back in.

Speaker 5 (11:20):
The day when I was doing it.

Speaker 1 (11:22):
Yeah, and pretty good mechanics helped too, I'm sure. So
tell me, Greg, as an observer of the sport and
obviously annoying pitching, so, well, how do you explain the
accelerated rate of breakdowns what you're seeing in the major leagues?

Speaker 2 (11:35):
What are some of your theories?

Speaker 4 (11:37):
Well, I just think, you know, being around a lot
of young college guys and high school guys, it's all
about the VLO.

Speaker 5 (11:44):
You know. It's all about how hard can I throw it?

Speaker 4 (11:46):
What can I do to throw it and get my
spin rates up and all that, and that's kind of
what most of the pitchers are kind of shooting for.
I think when we were growing up, we were learning
how to pitch. We were learning how to locate our
fastball and change speeds. You know, we threw hard enough
to have success. We weren't trying to force extra velocity.
We're trying to force extra pitch collection and location and

(12:08):
movement and game planning and all those things. So, you know,
I think that's a big part of it. Also, I think,
you know, the kids today, they play year round. I
mean they were growing up, played a lot of basketball,
played a little bit of football, played all the sports,
played baseball for four months a year.

Speaker 3 (12:27):
You know.

Speaker 5 (12:27):
I think the guys now are playing you know, ten
twelve months a year, you know, with all the club
ball going on and the travel and all that.

Speaker 4 (12:34):
So you know, that's a lot of throws from the
time year fifteen to twenty two, you know, when you've
been playing year round like that, so there's only so
many throws in your arm. And doesn't seem like they
take the time off that we took.

Speaker 3 (12:48):
I love the liberal arts approach where you're doing more
than one thing and participating and we're than one sport.
It comes right down to even having different coaches with
different philosophies and different attitudes and the different kind of
people that you have to cohabitate with. So I love
that approach. It's curious I'd be with all this stuff
going on and all the training regiments, and you've been
around it. I know you've been to different camps or

(13:09):
you've talked to different guys whatever, but briefly, your routine.
I mean, I'm just curious, like your routine has a
major league started for that many years. Okay, you're starting today?
What is today? Wednesday? Right? You start today? Then to
you up into your next start, what did your routine
look like?

Speaker 4 (13:24):
Well, I mean obviously Thursday, I would be pretty sore
and tired from pitching, you know, the day before, so
I took it pretty easy. I would do like an
easy thirty minute bike ride, maybe a forty minute walk,
didn't do a whole lot the day after, kind of
rest and recovery day, and watch a little video for
my next start in five days or four days and Tuesday,

(13:46):
then you would start to take care of your body,
do what you have to do for your arms and legs,
did the shoulder exercises every day regardless, and.

Speaker 5 (13:57):
Had your side day that day, and.

Speaker 4 (14:00):
You know that was to try to improve on wasn't
as good as you wanted it to be your last start,
and then you know, stick to your strengths, which was
locating fastballs and have a feel for your change up.
You know, third and fourth day was again taking care
of your body, doing your legs, your your abs and
and all that stuff, and you know, getting your game

(14:20):
plan ready for when you have to pitch on Monday.

Speaker 3 (14:23):
On the side day, specifically when you're when you were
out there, whatever the work was, but you were very
the way you pitched, you were very You had to
be very specific in your work on that on that
side day. And did you ever skip the side day
as the season went on, did you have to cut
back on your throwing at any point?

Speaker 5 (14:40):
Absolutely? Yeah.

Speaker 4 (14:42):
If my arm didn't feel right, then I would totally
skip the side day and I would throw balls maybe
ten feet away against the outfield wall, you know, just
to get.

Speaker 5 (14:53):
Some exercise in with it.

Speaker 4 (14:55):
But you know, yeah, I was not afraid to skip
a side day, that's for sure. But I enjoyed throwing
on the side need to, you know, I enjoyed spending
that time with my coach and you know, having a
good side day and sitting down there in the bullpen
talking ball while the other team's taking batting practice.

Speaker 5 (15:14):
You know, that was some of the funnest days of
the year.

Speaker 3 (15:16):
Did you like, were you a weightlifter? Did you run
a lot in between starts? What was your method of
staying shit? You talked about walking the day after whatever,
But yeah, did you have anything more more exact than that?

Speaker 5 (15:26):
Mostly sprints, very little distance. I think I did mostly sprints, A.

Speaker 4 (15:31):
Lot of power shagging, believe it or not, enjoyed during
batting practice, going out in the outfield and power shagging,
and and mostly running sprints.

Speaker 5 (15:39):
That was it.

Speaker 4 (15:40):
I did enough running where if I had to run
the bases and say, score a lot, then I wanted
to be able to, you know, come out next inning
without you know, being winded or anything like that.

Speaker 3 (15:51):
You could hit So you had to take some VP too.
That was part of your program back then too.

Speaker 4 (15:54):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, BP yeah, home run Derby for the pictures.
A lot of fun doing that. Get your buns down
and see how far you can hit it.

Speaker 3 (16:02):
So, I mean, but you guys were so athletic. It
was a I mean, everything you're talking about there was
like kind of almost like almost a position player routine
in between. Yah, we were doing a lot of different things.
I love the shagging part of it. That guys don't.
I'm not banging on anybody right now, but that a
lot of that is not how it works these days.
And yeah, I just prefer like the athletic, the normal
body movement routine kind of a thing that you're describing

(16:25):
right there. I don't even know how much Back then
you had to run with your pitching coach a lot
of times too. They would be out there watching that
whole thing and some of that. Some of that, I
just think it's getting to the point where it's way
too lopsided and not really incorporating things like that that
we had done in the past that I think are
really more vital than than is realized.

Speaker 5 (16:44):
Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 4 (16:45):
I mean I know on Sundays we had pitchers enfield
where you know, Smoltsy would play short, I'd go to second.
We had Avery at first, and yeah, we sat there
and played the killed on Sundays because that was an
optional hitting day for the guys. So you know, we lived. Yeah,
we had a lot of fun being a baseball player,
just a pitcher.

Speaker 1 (17:05):
Greg, give me your idea on how you treated velocity,
because I always thought earlier in your career you weren't
give enough credit for the quality of your stuff. Locasion
they talked a lot about the quality of your stuff
was really really good, and give me an idea of
what you were throwing in terms of, you know, the
percentage that you had in the tank, and was there

(17:29):
times maybe it was each time you took the ball
that you sort of paced yourself in terms of you low,
knowing you were probably going to get the same hitters
out three or four times.

Speaker 4 (17:39):
You never really paced yourself, but you had to do
something a little different the third and fourth time through
the lineup. You know, hopefully you pitched the inside enough.
You know, in a perfect world, when it's late in
the game, you realize you're a little tired, so you
have to rely on your command more than your velocity.
And at the same time, your changeups usually probably going

(18:01):
to be better than your breaking ball.

Speaker 5 (18:02):
So you know, that was than I understood.

Speaker 4 (18:05):
So, you know, the first two times through the lineup,
if I could stay away from, you know, throwing too
many fastballs away, I wanted to show the guys in.
I wanted to show them a breaking ball because I
knew later on in the game that I was going
to have more success throwing fastballs away in change ups,
So I didn't want to abuse that the first couple
of times through the lineup.

Speaker 1 (18:24):
And I mentioned the fact that I remember you telling
me once when you were in trouble you thought about
not throwing harder but locating better.

Speaker 5 (18:31):
Absolutely. Yeah, I mean execution wins.

Speaker 4 (18:35):
I know velocity is nice and big sliders are nice,
but you know, execution still wins even in today's game.
You know, the pitcher that's going out there and executing
the most quality pitches is the one that's going to win.
You know, I always told the guys, look, it's not
a speed contest, it's a pitching contest. You know, if
that was the case, Nolan Ryan would have went, you know,
five hundred to no.

Speaker 5 (18:56):
Nobody threw harder than him.

Speaker 4 (18:57):
So you know, you have to be able to execute
pitches and you know, get your break the ball down
and locate some fastballs.

Speaker 3 (19:06):
Quick quick question too. I mean, okay, your overarching philosophy.
You go out there, you start the game to get
I mean you were famous for going through eight nine
innings with the limited number of pitches. Hitter comes up
to the plate, obviously your first thought is not to
strike him up, but to elicit soft contact with the
ball player early. Make your defense player or how did
you what was what was your overarching philosophy with that.

Speaker 5 (19:29):
I mean, it's pitch selection.

Speaker 4 (19:31):
You know, you can't get a strike out until two
strikes anyway, so most of the time you're trying to
get strike one or two.

Speaker 5 (19:38):
So you know, it was, what's the safest pitch to throw?

Speaker 4 (19:41):
What's the easiest pitch I can throw right now to
get a strike and if he hits it, it stays
in front of the outfield. You know that That was
how I did my pitch selection, and you know the
hitter would determine that or the count, you know, and
then two strikes again, you know, you try to beat
them with location, and you know you accidentally get.

Speaker 5 (20:00):
A lot of strikeouts that way.

Speaker 4 (20:02):
You know you're not necessarily trying to strike the guy out,
but you know there's something in the back of your
mind going, if I put that ball right there, he
might not swing at it. So you know, it was
just really tried to keep it simple. Oh two, I
figured it's the hardest it's the hardest count to hit in.

Speaker 5 (20:19):
So I always thought that's the easiest.

Speaker 4 (20:21):
Count to throw a strike in. You know, so too,
it's the hardest count.

Speaker 5 (20:26):
To hit it.

Speaker 4 (20:27):
You know, I never understood the setup pitcher the waist pitch.
You know, that made no sense to me. You know,
you know, every time you throw a setup pitcher a
waste pitch, it puts a lot of pressure on the
next pitch if if you don't execute it.

Speaker 5 (20:39):
So you know, why give away a free pitch?

Speaker 2 (20:42):
Greg?

Speaker 1 (20:42):
I remember late in your career in spring training year
with the Padres, and David Wells was there as well,
and the two of you were having a conversation and
somehow you got around the talking about all the complete
games both of you threw in the minor leagues.

Speaker 2 (20:55):
Yeah, Greg Mannix wasn't in the.

Speaker 1 (20:57):
Minors for a long time, but he had seventeen complete
games in the minor leagues. Most pitchers now, most pitchers
are getting to the big leagues now without ever seeing
even the seventh thing, without ever seeing.

Speaker 2 (21:10):
A one hundredth pitch.

Speaker 1 (21:11):
Yeah, give me your take on where you think the
game is gone in terms of dialing back the workloads
of starting pitchers, even in terms of how much rest
they get as well.

Speaker 4 (21:21):
Yeah, I mean there's kind of a fine line between
developing and also teaching the guys how to win you know,
I think, I think you have to teach winning as
you're developing. And you know that that's the one thing
that I didn't see in the minor leagues. I've been
to a few games, even in Vegas the last couple
of years. The Triple A team of the A's is

(21:43):
out there, and you don't see you don't see players
doing things to win. It's more like, well, I got
seventy pitches and I need to throw twenty two percent
off speed, and you know I need to throw you know,
five percent fastballs up. You know, it seems like it's
not let's read the hitter or the situation, wait and

(22:04):
execute a pitch off of that.

Speaker 5 (22:06):
It just seems it seems too prescripted.

Speaker 4 (22:08):
And you know, I would love to see the minor
league coaches like develop their players and how to win
baseball games instead of just how to stay healthy and
you know, throw the number of pitches they're supposed to throw.

Speaker 3 (22:22):
Your your two seam or your front hip to the lefty.
I mean I didn't I saw you like a little bit,
and even in instructionally back in the day too, because
that was what the Angels then. But that's that is
beautiful that's Kyle Hendricks has some of that in him also.
That's been very successful in the change up off of that.
When how did you develop that? When did that come about?

(22:43):
Who was the instigator? I love watching that, We all do.
Bartolo Colo and I used to sit in a room
with bart part and he would just play front hip
come backers on lefties and giggle the whole time.

Speaker 5 (22:54):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (22:55):
It's a beautiful and a lot of guys aren't it
courageous enough? Do they work on enough? But I mean
if I'm a righty and I could come back a
lefty like that, man, it frees him up. Yeah, wow
with a weapon.

Speaker 4 (23:07):
Yeah, you know, it's weird because you know, the old
school of thought was you can't pitch a lefty down
and end, you know. And I was a very young
pitcher and I tried that pitch with two strikes. Of course,
it leaked over the middle and the guy hit it out,
and you know, I kind of got scolded a little bit.
What are you doing nothing around? Down and into a lefty?
And sure enough, man, that night, I'm watching the Dodger

(23:28):
game in Hersheiser's pitching and he's doing it, and I
saw oral you know, get about two or three punch
outs that night throwing that pitch. And you know, I
had a conversation with my coach the next day and said,
you know, I don't want to give.

Speaker 5 (23:42):
Up on that pitch. I want to keep throwing it.

Speaker 3 (23:44):
And good for you.

Speaker 4 (23:45):
You know, it's if you throw it I mean, it helps,
it helps if you can throw it.

Speaker 2 (23:50):
Greg, give us an idea.

Speaker 1 (23:51):
Besides, when you're now playing golf, what you're doing these days.
I know for a while there you had been working
with a lot of young pitchers. You still have your
hand in baseball.

Speaker 5 (24:01):
You know what. No, this spring I didn't really do anything.

Speaker 4 (24:05):
We actually had our first grand kid about ten days ago,
so I wanted to.

Speaker 5 (24:10):
Be around for that.

Speaker 4 (24:11):
I was with the Rangers the year before with my
brother down there for you know, about twenty days of
spring training twenty five days, and I kind of missed it,
you know, but I wanted to be home next to
the next to the kids and see my first grandkid
being born.

Speaker 5 (24:26):
And you know, we travel around a little bit.

Speaker 4 (24:29):
We spend some time in California and you know, watch
a lot of Netflix.

Speaker 3 (24:34):
Me God live the same life, my God, only I'm
not as good at golf as you are.

Speaker 1 (24:40):
Hey, Greg, before we let you go here, you know,
Major League Baseball has put together They've gathered about one
hundred different experts in the field when it comes to biomechanics, coaching, doctors, trainers, managers,
you name it. They're trying to get their arms around
the issue here and and where they go forward from
here to try to keep pictures healthier. If I include

(25:02):
you in this group, you're Greg Mannix. You pitched twenty
three years without an arm injury. I want to hear
what Greg Mannix has to say about how we move
this game forward. What kind of suggestions ideas could you offer?

Speaker 5 (25:16):
Well, I mean, all you can do is speak from experience.

Speaker 3 (25:19):
You know.

Speaker 4 (25:19):
I think, you know, the decades before we got there,
the pitchers were throwing three hundred innings a year. You know,
we're trying to get to like two thirty two forty.
The guys before us were thrown over three hundred. So
you know, that's just kind of the way the game
has been going, you know, for the last you know,
few decades, and you know it's a shame. I don't

(25:40):
really have an answer why these guys are getting hurt.
I mean, It's easy to say they're overthrowing or they're
trying to throw it too hard, you know, But you
watch somebody like Jacob deGrom and you watch him throw
and it's an easy ninety eight coming out of his hand.
He's not overthrowing, but it's still ninety eight. So you know,
that's tough question, you know. I think that's best left

(26:01):
up to the medical guys and all that. But I
know I know if you're able to repeat your delivery,
I think you'll arm.

Speaker 5 (26:08):
Your arm will learn to take care of itself.

Speaker 2 (26:10):
Well said Greg Madnix. Always a pleasure. No one knows the.

Speaker 1 (26:15):
Art of pitching and did it better than Greg Mannix.
Thanks so much for joining us on the Book of
Joe podcast and and good luck.

Speaker 2 (26:21):
Bring back a trophy from this weekend at Las.

Speaker 4 (26:23):
Colinasky, well, I'll buy shirt and the pro shop.

Speaker 3 (26:26):
I'll take that home with Thanks Greg, I appreciate it. Man.

Speaker 5 (26:30):
All right, guys, thank you, guys.

Speaker 2 (26:32):
Bye, all right.

Speaker 1 (26:32):
Thanks to Greg Maddox all time winning his pitcher Alive
three hundred and fifty five wins in the major leagues
and most astonishing given today's climate, twenty three years in
the Big league's five thousand innings without.

Speaker 2 (26:48):
An arm injury.

Speaker 3 (26:49):
It is incredible thanks.

Speaker 1 (26:50):
To Greg Maddix. And we'll wrap up this edition to
the Book of Joe when we get back. Welcome back
to the Book of Joe podcast with Me, Tom Verducci,
and Joe Medden. Well, Joe, that was It's always fascinating.

(27:12):
I've always said people ask me a lot of times,
you know who youre, what interviews to you are your
favorite over the years, and Greg Mannix has always won
for me because I always feel like each time I
talk to him, I learned something, you know, and that's
what I want to do as I cover Major League Baseball.
I want to learn how these guys do what they do.
I want to learn inside the game. I don't want
the superficial stuff. And Greg Mannix is playing three D chess,

(27:35):
that's what he did on the mound, and you know,
I always learned something from him. So I'm curious for you, Joe,
listening to Greg talk about this issue here, what stood
out for you from his perspective on pitching today.

Speaker 3 (27:47):
No, he kind of agrees with what we had been
saying regarding the velocity and the chasing of velocity and
how that kind of leads to the issues that we're in.
And then on top of that, he talked about pitching overthrowing,
and that's what he did. Also, I saw him, like
I said, in instruction leagues of some as a very
young pitcher. Didn't realize at that time, I wasn't that

(28:08):
good of a scout that he's going to be as
great as he turned out to be in the fact
that he was going to go all that way without injury.
But again, he, like you said, he wants to do
in simple terms, do simple better. His methods so easy.
You know, day after a walk a lot, get the
soreness out and have a side day. But I took
it off if it wasn't feeling that good. I would
work on things specifically on my side day, and then

(28:30):
two more days and then he would pitch pretty simple.
I mean, there's not a whole lot going on there.
He'd pick up the other team regards to scouting and
how he would do it. But the simplicity of it
really stands out to me, and I, as you know,
do simple better, I'm all about it. There's not a
whole lot going there, and I know some of it.
I knew one of its pitching coaches from particularly mister

(28:51):
Dick Pole, and now mister Pole did things and I
could see those two guys hitting it off because things
were kept simple and to the point and not a
lot of fluff and fanfare. It was just pitching. It
was baseball and Fleet. He was a hitter. He did everything.
Him and that group of Atlanta pitchers were all good
golfers apparently too. They were athletes, man, and they did

(29:12):
things athletically, and it wasn't a training situation that took
them away from being baseball players. So I know that's
not done in that manner anymore. Specialization is specialization, and
we always oftentimes I guess people think it's better. But
he just also explained the liberal arts component of growing up.

(29:33):
He played all the sports, all the sports, different body movements,
didn't get stale, heard different voices, different coaches, learned different things.
All this stuff that I know for me is accurate
and the right way to do things. So maybe he
validated some of my points to myself. But I'd love
to see that resurface on a minor league level, and again,

(29:54):
more minor league players, more minor league pitchers with different
skill sets, including deception as being part of this cachet
of pitchers were trying to raise and understand that velocity's
kind of groovy, but it breaks down.

Speaker 1 (30:08):
Yeah, it's funny you're mentioning the liberal arts training, if
you will, for Greg Maddox, playing multiple sports growing up,
taking ground balls in the infield, shagging in the outfield,
right touching field, days on the mound, throwing, not trying
to max things out with an iPad behind you. But
the spin ray was. But then it also included playing golf.
I mean, these guys, the raised pitchers, played a ton

(30:30):
of golf. I even't played with them a couple of times,
and you know, as they told me, you know, that
meant getting up early, going to these really nice courses,
which means they weren't out late.

Speaker 2 (30:39):
They took care of themselves.

Speaker 1 (30:41):
But I think getting out there and playing golf was
part of that liberal arts training you're talking about. Joe,
and I remember years ago, I think it was Claude O.
Steen was the pitching coach of the Texas Rangers, and
he encouraged his pitchers to go out and play golf
with him. You know, they'd have a little side bets
and that put pressure on them. You know, they weren't
conceding a two foot putt. The idea of competition, of

(31:05):
freeing up the mind, that having the body move in
different ways, there was a benefit to that. And I think,
as you mentioned a great word you mentioned, Joe specialized.
Our society, not just our sport, have become so specialized.
We're doing one thing really well and missing out on
what I call the humanities or the liberal arts of athletics.

Speaker 3 (31:25):
Yeah. I mean the part of it too is okay,
if you don't go play golf. When they did go
play golf, what does that mean. They weren't sleeping in,
they weren't laying around a hotel room. They weren't just
basically doing nothing. Their body wasn't moving at all. And
as a latter part of my term as a manager
is when I finally started playing some golf and man,

(31:45):
I would get up early like that. I'd go play
golf and my body felt so much better for it.
I'd come back, you take a nap and you go
to the ballpark. I think it's frowned upon because it's
not understood. I mean, when I used to ride my
bike everymore, I used to take my bike on a
road for years, and I could ride my bike all
morning and I would go from Copley Square all we

(32:06):
have to bust in college and back as an example
in city of Boston, and that was looked upon as being, oh,
that's pretty cool, that's groovy. But the moment you want
to play golf somehow it's considered leisurely or the point
where you may get yourself tired. There's all these different
preconceived notions that I don't agree with. My if you
are okay, if you're a regular player, it's harder to
do that if you're a regular player often, but if

(32:27):
you do it once in a while, I think it
actually is beneficial as opposed to laying around all day.
So that's what I do dig on that. I thought
it was a great idea. I've talked to other pictures
about it primarily, but I do think there's something to
be said for that.

Speaker 1 (32:41):
Yes, hey, Joe, I wanted to go back to something
Greg said about Jacob de Gram. Of course, Greg mentioned
he worked with Texas last year with his brother and
Mike Maddocks, the pitching coach there. They know du Gram firsthand,
and de Gram to me has thrown a baseball when
he was healthy as well as anybody I've ever seen
in my life. I'm not saying the best picture ever,

(33:03):
but he raised the art the power of pitching like
nothing I've ever seen before. As Greg said, the ball
came out of his hand easily in the upper nineties,
He's throwing sliders at ninety five. As a starting pitcher,
he basically brought closer stuff to the mound for six
or seven innings. I've never seen that. Seen great pictures
Greg Maddox included, but at the level he was doing it.

(33:26):
But you know what, Joe, to me, that's not sustainable.
And it's not because he had poor mechanics. As Greg said,
easy gas coming out of his hand. But when you
look at Jacob de Gram, I mean, first of all,
he's shredded. The way he takes care of his body
is just crazy. He is a great athlete, played shortstop
in college before becoming a full time pitcher. The way

(33:47):
his body moves through his delivery is very smooth. I
don't see any red flags with it, but you know it,
it's like your hell cat, Joe. I mean, the engine
can only be so big in a chassis and I
think what's happening here, and Jake is a great example.
And I love Jacob de Gram, but I think he
throws too hard for his own good. And by that
I mean the UCL just cannot withstand the torque that

(34:09):
is being put upon it. Because we know so much
about mechanics, we know so much about training, we know
so much about nutrition, we know so much about how
to add velocity with weighted balls and such, that what
you can't control is that little ligament that holds your
elbow together.

Speaker 3 (34:25):
You know, it looks effortless to us, and I've always
been a fan of that. And then Zach Wheeler. I
thought Zach Wheeler was the next Jake de Gram in
the making when I saw them both with the Mets.
It's almost like you put that the ball, And I said,
a conveyor belt was so easy that we just drop
it on and we'll just go wham to home plate.
But having said all that, it looks easy, it appears

(34:45):
to be easy, but who knows what it feels like internally?
I'm not sure. I mean, some guys are just more
fluid athletes than others. The bumping grinders of the world,
like myself. You could see when I'm applying effort, But
guys like the Grom or Wheeler you do not. Or
let's go golf, Freddie Couples. I mean, here's a guy
that you watch that screen. Oh my god, how does

(35:06):
he hit the ball that far? Whatever? But I guess
this clubhead speed at the bottom was extraordinary, and of
course he repeated it all the time. But he did
it easily. Any athlete that you watch and he performs
in a manner that looks like he's doing it easily
could be frustrating to those of us who do not,
but that does not mean that there's not more effort
involved than we actually think there is. So and with

(35:29):
the grum, I'm not sure you probably know better. Does
his arm go behind him at all? With the elbow
and stuff. I haven't really seen a slow down picture
of him, because even if you have an easy method,
that doesn't mean you know, according to everything we've been
talking about that really highlights injuries or is involved in injuries.
I don't really have a great picture of what his
arm looks like behind him, So anyway, it is easy,

(35:52):
But is it easy to him internally? I don't know,
And I know you know a guy like Freddie Couples
is that injuries over his career also, and who does
it more easily than him, So it's hard to determine
effort level just by watching it.

Speaker 2 (36:04):
It's a great point.

Speaker 1 (36:05):
And as long as we're going to finish up here,
and we had Greg Maddox here, who's playing at the
Invited Celebrity Classic in Las Colinas this week, let's talk
about golf.

Speaker 2 (36:15):
You brought it up, Joe, and I'm in watching Masters.

Speaker 1 (36:19):
You know, it was great to see a guy like
Scotti Scheffler, best player in the world, who's got a
swing nobody would teach. It's not an analytical swing, right,
I mean the shuffling in the feet. He was lucky
enough to find a good coach when he's six or
seven years old and had the same swing. That's the
way his body moves. You watch someone like Max Homa,

(36:40):
there's very little effort in his swing, and then you
watch someone like Bryson Deshambo with a ton of effort
in the swing. So, Joe, I know you talk about
this a lot, but there's not a cookie cutter way
to succeed. And I think what we all try to
do is find the best version of ourselves. And that

(37:00):
mostly means you're not mimicking something, you're not chasing a tempt,
You're finding the best version of yourself and how your
body moves.

Speaker 3 (37:07):
That's what I when I hear good mechanics. What does
that mean? I always said that, what does that mean?
I mean, I think there's indigenous components to every body
movement regards to hitting a golf ball, throwing a baseball,
hitting a baseball. What I often talked about as a
hitter when as a hitting coach, I wanted all my
hitters to look the same at the point of contact. Okay,

(37:30):
how they got there didn't matter to me, but they
had to look pretty much the same at the point
of contact. And I always classify that, categorize that with
a and above average velocity fastball. You know, a lot
of guys can get there against below average velocity, but
I wanted guys to get there against plus velocity. And
if I took a snapshot, regardless if they were Julio Franco,

(37:52):
Paul Malatar, Carl Yastremski, all these different dudes that look
different when they're in the batter's box. George Henrick, the
close stance they all look pretty much the same at
the point contact against plus velocity, So how do you
describe your mechanics For me? As a hitting coach, I
thought it was my job to look at somebody and

(38:14):
if to chase him as little as possible. The way
their body works is the way their body works. From there,
I wanted to try to help them understand how to
get to that point of contact on time against plus velocity,
utilizing how their bodies move for the last ten years.
So when I hear about mechanics, I get confused sometimes
because does that mean you retool the way a guy

(38:37):
throws to your sensibilities of how it's supposed to look,
or do you take the way he has done it
for years and incorporate thoughts into this movement that dan
permits him to throw more on time, be in that
position that I want everybody to look like at the
point of release by a couple little tweaks here and there.
So that's how I did my hitters. That was the

(38:59):
That's how I work with all my hitters. Rarely example,
Jimmy Edmonds just texted me yesterday day before I'm riding
a bike. He sent me videos of his kid as
a hitter, and it was something he wanted to break
down with his kid, and he wanted to know.

Speaker 5 (39:11):
What I thought.

Speaker 3 (39:12):
So I went all the way back to Jim Edmonds
talking to him about what we talked about when he
was in Vancouver. I don't even know what year it was,
but it's take Jim. Jimmy Edmonds's body was slightly different
than his son's body the way they set up, but
there's a lot of similarities, man. So my advice is
to not necessarily change a lot of that. You find
the one key element, the one key element that unlocks

(39:34):
and makes the other four or five things you don't
like work properly. Next in the unison. So long answer,
but that's where I get hung up when I hear
about mechanics. What does it mean? Are you changing the
way an armstroke works to satisfy your sensibilities with this
or are you taking the way a young man's body
in arm works and then attempt to clean it up

(39:57):
in a sense to the point where he gets the
most out of it. And then I think that's the
best way to avoid injury.

Speaker 1 (40:04):
Well said Joe, And I'm going to have one final
word on the Masters and I want your take on
it because I'm watching the Masters and at one point
I know there's a four way tie for the lead,
and watching it, I just knew Scotty Scheffler is going
to win.

Speaker 2 (40:17):
He's the best player in the world.

Speaker 1 (40:19):
And what I see from Scotty Scheffler, he controls the
golf ball so much better than everybody else. You know,
he's never if he's offline, he's offline by a little.
He doesn't miss spots by a lot, so he doesn't
have the blow up holes that we saw in the
back nine and Augusta from the people chasing him. So
I think he's in a tree right now, Joe. I

(40:41):
think he can continue to dominate the game for a
long time. I love his approach. You know, he's this
god fearing, humble guy from Texas, actually boarded.

Speaker 2 (40:49):
New Jersey, moved there as a kid, got to throw.

Speaker 1 (40:51):
Jersey in there, but as consistent a person, and he
brings it to the golf course.

Speaker 3 (40:57):
I would love to see videos of him speaking Toto
Golf Club when he was ten, and that a lot
of that stuff that he does now was apparent when
he was ten. If some brilliant instructor got up, came
up to him and said, Scott, he's Scotty, what are
you doing. You can't slide your feet around like that.
You can't. We got to get your feet on the ground.
We got to get it better, base, different kind of it,

(41:20):
whatever turn, you just can't do that. Same if somebody
had gotten up to stand musual and said Stanley Stashu
that Pikaboo stands, it's not gonna work. We got to
straighten you out. So that's to me. I learned that
from bab Aloo Bob Clear as a young hitting instructor.
He really set me straight on that. And even when
you talk about Troy Percival, the first time we threw
him in the bullpen at Uatry Park, Percy went out

(41:42):
there and he get out in the mound. He's ready
to throw, and Bobb Alou said, says, nobody say anything
to him. Percy wind up and throw the ball to
home plate. And that's how his body worked, and that's
how he became successful, even though everybody said he was
going to blow out a long time before it ever happened.
So sometimes we get too smart, man, that's part of
my problem.

Speaker 1 (42:01):
Yeah, you bring me back to one of my favorite lines.
I believe more players I'm talking about amateurs mostly have
been ruined by over coaching than under coaching. That being said,
I want to line from you, Joe, bring us to
the close here with a game that started with Greg
MANNIX is going to end with Joe Madden closing for
us here?

Speaker 3 (42:21):
What do you got Ooh that sucks? It'll screw it
up on him. I got to read this slowly because
this is like something I read, and I switched it
around a little bit as it pertains to what happened
today or talking to Greg. Creativity is bound up in
our ability to find new ways around old problems. Creativities

(42:42):
bound up in our ability to find new ways around
old problems. I think creativity should be bound up in
our ability to find old ways around new problems. That's
not what happens. We're always looking for new ways around problems.
We're maybe tried and true is okay? Why do we?
And again that's where I have an issue with the
term progressiveness. We could have like progress moving negative terms

(43:06):
too that nobody it's called regression. And so I took
that today and I want to switch it around from
new ways around old problems to old ways around new
problems and see if we could find some substance in that.
And again it's about balance and morphing things together however
you want to describe it. But I thought that was
really cool when I read that, and I thought it

(43:27):
need to be switched. I mean, you talk about Greg
and pitching in general and what's going on. I think
old ways could really help out with these new problems.

Speaker 1 (43:38):
That really fits the theme of this show for today,
our episode with Greg Mannox. I mean, you know, no
matter how much you've been raised on analytics and track
Man and drive Line, why wouldn't you listen to Greg Mannox,
I mean the wisdom he has on the art of
pitching and staying healthy.

Speaker 2 (43:55):
Yeah, you want to call that old school.

Speaker 1 (43:57):
I just know that that's someone who has a lot
of wisdom that I can learn from.

Speaker 3 (44:02):
Can I agree with you more? Listen? And analytics wonderful?
And I finally think, I don't know if I told
you this, and I tryally kind of figured out a
bit of where I was coming from with all this. Yes,
we always wanted information and that as an old school manager,
as a new school manager, show me where my defense
is supposed to play. How am I supposed to pitch
the Pomberducci? What is this pitcher possibly going to throw? Yes,

(44:22):
I want all the information. We've always done that. People
act as though it's new. It's just being able to
be categorized differently. In every pitch is being tracked regarding
defense or how to pitch, et cetera. So that's the difference.
It's the glad of information which is great, and also
the exactness of it, which before was up to us
from advance scouts pitch him highway up, up and in,

(44:45):
down and away. Almost everybody had the same thought process.
And when it came to pitchers pitching the other team,
I thought about this earlier charting like Maddocks with charged
for Smoltz the day before he pitched nobody charts anymore,
which I really think would be an interesting way to
get these guys back involved and understanding exactly what's going on.

(45:05):
So there is that, and you want that, And when
I'm an acquired Tom producer, I want to know everything
about him. But in the moment that is big, large
sample size, in the small sample sized moment in this
at seven point fifty two on a Thursday night in June,
I need to react to the situation, and that's her
experience and wisdom, et cetera comes into play. So that

(45:28):
is the small sample size that is called the moment,
and the moment changes constantly. Count you look at the
scoreward count number of outs, whereas the wind blowing, who's hot,
who's not? All this stuff. So I don't know that
we've totally described. And people understand where the data and
information is important, and we all believe in it. But
what's not always believed in is the wisdom and the intelligence,

(45:51):
the feel for whomever is running this thing in the
dugout and how important that actually is. So that came
to me more recently, and I think it's pretty accurate.

Speaker 1 (46:00):
Our thanks to the always fascinating, always interesting Greg Maddox
for joining us on this edition of the Book of Joe,
and thanks to you Joe for, as you always do,
taking us home.

Speaker 3 (46:11):
Thanks Tommy, great to see you, buddy.

Speaker 1 (46:23):
The Book of Joe podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.
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