Again, this happened yesterday so I will not rehash all of the jokes about how he should pitch ahead of Carlos Silva in the rotation and simply applaud the move.
I don't know what Greg Maddux can or will bring to the table as an Assistant TO THE General Manager, but having his knowledge somewhere in the organization can't hurt.
I had never heard he had aspirations on the administrative side of baseball before, but as in most things that Maddux has done in his baseball life, he has made this move with class.
He didn't come waltzing into Chicago and begin openly lobbying for a position that is already being held by somebody (cough cough RYNO! cough). He didn't get all pissy when he wasn't given the big General Manager chair immediately and become strangely obsessed with those who rejected him (cough cough STONE! cough).
Instead, as Gordon Wittenmyer reports:
Maddux, 43, has been out of baseball only one year since retiring from the San Diego Padres and said he viewed the new job with the Cubs as an opportunity to return to the game he missed while possibly becoming a steppingstone to a second career in baseball.
''I'm just happy to be back in Chicago,'' said Maddux, a 1992 Cy Young winner in Chicago before being allowed to leave for Atlanta -- where he won three more -- as a free agent. ''I've always loved the organization, loved the city and love Wrigley Field. I played for Jim three years awhile ago, and I'm looking forward to getting back with him and working for him and learning from him and helping players on the field and the organization.''
See that? He wants to work with Jim Hendry, learn things (hopefully not how to give a three year deal with a no-trade clause to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that knocks on his door), and help the team however he can.
Who knows? Maybe his master plan is to eventually replace Spendin' Jim. Maybe he envisions the day when a team assembled by him will finally win the World Series and he can make a late-night phone call telling Larry Himes to suck it. Maybe he just wants to stand on the balcony at the Cubs Convention and various other fan gatherings and get paid for it. At this point, it's hard to say for sure.
Whatever the reason he wanted back in and wherever he wishes to go from here, I say, good luck and welcome back, Greg.