The Greg Maddux of hitters
Fascinating breakdown of Ol’ Hoss by SI’s Michael Bamberger.
It helps that he has some ridiculous gifts. He was in a visiting clubhouse a while back, reading the crawl on a cable channel from about 30 feet away. A teammate said, ‘You can read that?’ Jones thought, You can’t? He can remember hundreds, maybe thousands of at-bats, what he hit off whom. One night last week, after a game in which he saw two dozen pitches, he could remember in detail all but two or three of them: count, pitch, location, result. He watches game tape like a detective, and if a pitcher tends to slightly open his glove before throwing a curve, Jones knows it.
Sounds like Mad Dog, no? Because he speaks with a drawl and enjoys hunting and fishing, some dismiss Chipper as a good ol’ boy who succeeds on talent alone, but his baseball smarts are what distinguishes him from 99 percent of his contemporaries.
I would not be surprised if he ends up managing the Braves down the road. Fine by me. I’d hire Maddux, too, if he was ever interested. I’d take their baseball IQ’s over Fredi’s any day.