Retiring #31, Jenkins, Maddux, or both?


The Cubs announced that there will be a ceremony on May 3rd to jointly retire the number 31 to both Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux. There seems to be a debate on various sites that it should be reserved for Maddux only. I disagree. Most of the people that voice their opinions have never seen Fergie pitch. I’ll never forget some of those classic games with the Cardinals when Jenkins and Gibson were matched up. The game would usually wind up 1-0, or 2-1, and would be finished in less than two hours with both pitchers going the distance. You don’t see that in todays baseball. Jenkins won 20 or more games in six consecutive seasons between 67 and 72. He only reached 20 wins one more time in his career. He was traded to Texas for Bill Madlock in 73. Madlock went on to win a couple of batting titles with the Cubs. Fergie Jenkins was aquired in a trade with the Phillies in 1966.

Greg Maddux was a product of the Cubs farm system. He was called up in 86, and struggled through his first two seasons. But he started figuring it out in 88 when he went 18-8. He went 20-11 in 92 and won the first of four consecutive Cy Young Awards. This is when Larry Himes, GM at the time, disputed a 50 thousand dollar difference during negotiations, and let Maddux walk. What a fucking dumbass Himes was.

To make a long story short, Jenkins has watched teammates Banks, Williams, and Santo be retired, but understood the situation and is happy to share his number with Maddux in Cubs lore.

30 Responses to “Retiring #31, Jenkins, Maddux, or both?”

  1. chucky Says:

    I’m really torn on this. Maddux was a great pitcher and a great guy, but the majority of his success came in Atlanta. (Yeah, thanks Larry Himes, you asswipe)

    Fergie deserves it, I guess. But whose going to be next? You could make an arguement for alot of people. And you just know some moron will argue for Sammy Sosa.

    I really don’t know what to think about it.

  2. Matt Stairs Superfan Says:

    Hell no to Greg Maddux. OK, he had a few good years earlier in his career but when he came back, he sucked. He sucked bad too. His numbers with this team are not Hall-of-Fame caliber.

    Jenkins, yes.

  3. Dave Says:

    Geez, Cubs! 20-5? Do it during the regular season consistently and scare the shit out of other teams.

  4. Dave Says:

    Better yet, do that shit in the playoffs, see how many teams play “loose” then…

  5. Ron Santo's Legs Says:

    Does anybody else here think this team is going to suck this year? Lack of quality starting/bullpen depth along with lack of depth with field positions is something to be concerned about. Don’t forget a stubborn manager who needs to tell his players to be patient while hitting.

    Something else for people who are on the outside of this blog: You know why we “bitch” about losing a close game in May? It’s because we know the problems of this team from the get-go and when the general manager of the team doesn’t do anything to fix it, then that means this team isn’t good enough to succeed in the playoffs. A lot of people said it here last year: The team needs to add certain parts to certain positions such as bullpen help or an extra bat and the GM fails to do so.

  6. ksmc2000 Says:

    I felt better going into the 08 season than I do with this version. Who the fuck will replace Ramirez at 3rd if he goes down. I’m not sold on either Fontenot or Miles for an extended period of time. Cotts being the only lefty in the pen is another problem. He’s inconsistant as hell. Harden could wind up being the Prior bullshit all over again. This team is nowhere near as deep as Hendry and Piniella seem to think it is.

  7. RV Says:

    “Does anybody else here think this team is going to suck this year?”


    “It’s because we know the problems of this team from the get-go and when the general manager of the team doesn’t do anything to fix it, then that means this team isn’t good enough to succeed in the playoffs.”

    Playoff success is random. There’s no such thing as a team “built for the playoffs.” You build the best team you can (like one that has the ability to win 97 games), make the playoffs consistently, and hope that the team plays well during the small sample size of the playoffs.

    “Don’t forget a stubborn manager who needs to tell his players to be patient while hitting.”

    Strange how the Cubs managed to lead the NL in on-base percentage in spite of their stubborn manager who didn’t tell them to be patient.

  8. Matt Stairs Superfan Says:

    Good points RV. Playoff success is very random as it is a crap shoot. You can throw all the teams in there and any team is capable of winning the whole prize. When it comes to patience however, it is important part in the playoffs. I think that is where most fans get frustrated. There are times when you can get away with it in the regular season because it is so long, but when you get to playoffs, it becomes more important.

  9. ksmc2000 Says:

    Last August, the Cubs had a four game series against the Phillies at Wrigley. As it turned out, the Cubs were fortunate to get a split. They won the first two games by a close margin. I thought that it was a chance to make a statement to show who the class of the NL was. The Phillies won the final two games easily, and should have swept the series. From that point on, I figured that the Phillies would be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.

  10. morpheus Says:

    “When it comes to patience however, it is important part in the playoffs. I think that is where most fans get frustrated.”

    Patience is something the Cubs were good at last year. 3rd in the NL, behind the Marlins and D-Bags, in pitches per plate appearance. (sort by Pit/PA)

    Also, the Cubs were middle-of-the-pack in strikes looking as a % of total strikes (above NL average) and first in the league in walks as a percentage of plate appearances (10% versus league avg 8.8%). You can find that last one at

  11. morpheus Says:

    The Cubs were a very patient team last year, for the record. According to baseball-reference, they were 3rd in the NL in pitchers per plate appearance, and above average in strikes looking as a percentage of total strikes.

    Moreover, the Cubs led the league in walks as a percentage of plate appearances (10% versus league average 8.8%) and were only slightly above league average in strikeouts as a percentage of plate appearances.

  12. morpheus Says:

    Damn… I meant “PITCHES per plate appearance.” Fat-fingered it, sorry.

  13. The Ghost of Leo Durocher Says:

    who gives a crap about stats

    no championship in 101 years says it all

    that said i’m overjoyed for all who are satisfied with the stinking chokers keep watching and enjoy the koolaid baaa baaaa baaaa baaaa baaaa baaaa


  14. bozos72 Says:

    I get the feeling there are people here who have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. Because they’re morons.

  15. morpheus Says:

    Also, sorry for the double post. My original post got spam-filtered, and when it didn’t show up I thought I had had some problem with the site so I re-posted from memory.

    Anyway, what does “who gives a crap about stats no championship in 101 years says it all” mean? Do the Cubs from all those other seasons all play the games this year too?

  16. Guv'nor Wallace Says:

    that’s right bozo….throw another rock…get yer haircut!

  17. chucky Says:

    Are you one of those morons, bozos72? Goddamn, who left the fucking door open for all the trolls to come back in?

  18. E=MC2 Says:

    bozos72: Are you old enough to use the internet without adult supervision?

    Morpheus: Only players on this year’s Cubs roster play this year’s games.

    Ghost of Leo Durocher: I don’t give a crap about stats.

    RV: Strange how inept the Cubs organization has been for so many years.

    Guv’nor Wallace: Is bozos72 a hippie?

    Fondly, Albert

  19. morpheus Says:

    “all the trolls”? I thought my initial post was pretty rational, evenhanded, and fair. I made my case, that the Cubs were in fact one of the most patient teams in the league last year, and backed it up with facts. Just because I disagreed with someone else on here who may have been posting here longer does not make me a troll. I was then dismissed by a nonsensical statement, and (correctly) challenged that statement.

  20. genrebuster Says:

    I’m back and it’s almost time to play ball.

    (Morpheus posted) Anyway, what does “who gives a crap about stats no championship in 101 years says it all” mean?

    To me, the 101 year drought is absolutely mind-boggling…and speaks volumes of how the Cubs have failed miserably as an organization. I’m not placing all the blame on the players, the roots of the problem run deeper. It’s all been previously discussed on the old site, I won’t bore everybody with rehashing ii all…and besides, I don’t have the time or stomach for it now.

    I’m disappointed that the Cubs didn’t make another move or two this offseason. I’m also disappointed that Tribune/Zell still owns the team.

    tick tock.

  21. chucky Says:

    Two words for you genre:

    WELCOME BACK MAN!!!!!!!!!!!

    OK, I lied. Three words. Sue me.

  22. genrebuster Says:

    chucky, thank you kind sir….and thanks for helping to hold down the fort!

    ….hopefully more contributors from the original site will be back soon.

    for example, jimmyd is long overdue!

  23. chucky Says:

    Kind sir? So much for my reputation!!


  24. ksmc2000 Says:

    I’ll second that chucky. Genre, great to have you back on the boards just in time for opening day. Your agent filled in admirably in your absense. It should be an interesting summer.

  25. chucky Says:

    Thanks Keith. I knew I could count on you.

  26. Ron Santo's Legs Says:

    Morpheus, i do not think Chucky was talking about you directly, he was pointing towards bozos72 about what he said. you came up with your argument and that was ok.

  27. morpheus Says:

    My whole point is that Mike Vail’s suckitude, the Lou Brock and Bill Madlock trades, or the College of Coaches have zero to do with the 2009 Cubs. I agree 100% that the Cubs have been a big pile of FAIL for most of the past 101 years, but I think that has zero percent effect on this year’s model. That’s all.

  28. genrebuster Says:

    I disagree with Morpheus on one point: the failure of the past 101 years IS a factor for the 2009 team. The “Culture of Losing” is in the air…and like the stink of cigarette smoke and cheap perfume, not easily rid of.

    I do agree that the postseason is “a small sample” (don’t remember who stated that) and that the “best” team (statistically) doesn’t always win.

    Look, the Cubs were anything but relaxed heading into the playoffs in 2008 (you could argue the same for 2007). They played tight and last year the fans at Wrigley practically went silent after the Loney grand slam in Game 1– GAME 1, when it was far from over (oh no, bartman and the goat…not again!). That was depressing to see, even the announcers were talking about it.

    NOBODY stepped up: Piniella was a completely ineffective leader and showed almost zero emotion, which I thought was very odd. He looked like a weary, beaten old man before the Cubs even got on the plane to LA for Game 3. None of the so called marquee players stepped up (again) including Soriano, Ramirez, DP Lee…when it really mattered, where the hell were they?

    Yes, the elephant is in the room and the “pile of Fail” — as Morpheus aptly put it — cannot be ignored. STRONG LEADERSHIP is a big part of winning any championship, the Cubs will need more than usual to finally win a World Series. More than one person– on the field and in the clubhouse — has to step up and really instill the feeling that the team can win it all….or it will never happen.

    I just don’t believe that the Cubs have a chance of winning it all until this team is sold.

    Sell the team, fire Jim Hendry, make a few player moves, hire a good team psychiatrist…and Go Cubs!

    101 years. pathetic. barf.

    tick tock…

  29. ksmc2000 Says:

    Great post genre,

    You pretty much nailed the current situation. Maybe Bradley will be the guy to step up and light a fire under their asses. He was absolutely raking the ball for the last ten games.

    The sale of the team should finally be finished by mid-May. At that stage, we should be able to get a feel for what direction Rickett’s wants to take them. With damn near a billion fucking bucks invested, I think he will do what it takes to give us all what we have been waiting a lifetime for. As for Hendry, Rickett’s will have him on a short leash to come up with positive results.

  30. genrebuster Says:

    thanks KSMC.

    You know, I was initially against the Milton Bradley signing but my position has changed…I agree with you and am going with a “wait and see” attitude for now. MB seems to be fearless… and intense. Maybe he is one of the “missing pieces” of the puzzle.

    Like many, I’ll celebrate when the sale is completed!


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