Anyway, we remember the good ‘ol days when baseball players didn’t last into their 40s. Bat speed slows down. Arms wear out. Eye sight gives out. There’s a lot of things that happen when you get old, so we hear.
So Roger Clemens hears too. He wouldn’t know. But we’re not here to rehash what some (alleged) cheater did to extend his career to mind-boggling lengths. What we’re here to talk about is one of the greatest assemblances of pitchers ever known to Major League Baseball.
We’re talking John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.
Everybody knows how great they were in their prime. Dominant. Nasty. Crafty. The whole thing. They owned the 90s. But now they’re freakin’ old. Maddux and Glavine are each 42 and Smoltz is 41.
Not only that, Glavine and Smoltz both just had surgery on their arms. Smoltz had a bum shoulder, Glavine an elbow. Some have speculated it could be the end for at least Glavine, who was having trouble getting outs before he was hurt.
Smotlz has said he wants to stay with the Braves, showing no signs of retiring. Maddux hasn’t said much of anything, being in a pennant race with the Dodgers and all.
I mean, these guys are old. And at times they have been ineffective. Especially Glavine. Is it time for this trio to pack it in and retire with some dignity so we can remember how great they were? Or are we going to have to suffer watching them age toward ineffectiveness?
Retirement is a touchy subject for any athlete (see: Brett Favre, Lance Armstrong), but there comes a point when it’s time to say enough is enough. Organizations can’t stockpile 40 year olds.