With Cy, Maddux says he wants Series next

November 12, 1992|By Joey Reaves | Joey Reaves,Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- Great news for the Chicago Cubs yesterday: their ace, Greg Maddux, got the National League Cy Young Award he deserved.

Troubling news: his biggest goal now is to pitch in a World Series.

Oops. It's been 47 years since the Cubs last were in the World Series -- 84 years since they won one.

"One of the goals I set about four years ago was to win the Cy Young," Maddux said last night after reaching the goal. "To finally do that means a lot to me personally. It means all the hard work has paid off.

"Now the only thing left is to pitch in a World Series."

Maddux, 26, is one of the youngest -- and now most desirable -- free agents in history. In addition to the Cy Young, he is a three-time Gold Glove winner.

He is the winningest pitcher in the National League over the last five seasons. Maddux has more strikeouts than any other NL pitcher during the last two seasons and only Boston's Roger Clemens has pitched more major-league innings the last five years.

"I'd trade it all to play for a winner," said Maddux after flying in from his Las Vegas home for a Wrigley Field news conference. "I'd love to play for a contender. That's my top priority."

The top priority for Cubs general manager Larry Himes is to convince Maddux it can be done here in Chicago.

"As far as the World Series is concerned, what can I say?" Himes said after the news conference. "How am I going to convince him? He's been with this team all his [baseball] life. He knows what we have and where we're going."

But, obviously, the Cubs aren't the only team Maddux and his agent, Scott Boras, have heard from.

"I'm surprised at the response so far," said Maddux. He refused to say how many teams had contacted Boras, but he did say the majority had been American League teams.

In the last five years, only Clemens has won more games than Maddux who, like Oakland's Dave Stewart, has 87 wins. Clemens has 92 victories.

Clemens, a three-time Cy Young winner who finished third in Tuesday's AL Cy Young balloting behind Oakland's Dennis Eckersley and Jack McDowell of the White Sox, is the only pitcher in the major leagues to throw more innings than Maddux the last five seasons -- and the difference is negligible. Clemens has 1,263 2/3 innings to 1,255 1/3 for Maddux.

Maddux became the fourth Cubs pitcher to win the award, easily beating Atlanta's Tom Glavine, last year's winner and the favorite to repeat until late August when he cracked a rib while warming up before a start.

Glavine won 13 in a row early this summer, but lost five of his last six decisions after the injury to finish 20-8.

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