Maddux debates next move

It has been only a few days since Greg Maddux returned from a family vacation in Hawaii. He needs a little more time to decide if he will return to pitch in the major leagues.

Maddux, 42, is working on his golf game and debating his next move, but he said he’s leaning toward retirement after a 23-year career.

“I have to make up my mind whether or not I’m going to play,” he said. “I’m thinking more about not playing than playing.”

Maddux played in the Legends & Friends Classic golf tournament hosted by UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger at Dragon Ridge Country Club on Monday.

A 1984 graduate of Valley High School and a Las Vegas resident, Maddux finished the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The right-hander was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Dodgers on Aug. 18.

Last week, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he would welcome back Maddux, a future Hall of Famer who is a free agent after playing last season for $10 million.

If he does retire, Maddux will walk away with 355 career regular-season wins, one more than Roger Clemens. Maddux is eighth on the all-time list.

“I just got home and want to spend time with my family,” Maddux said. “I want to decide if I want to play again or not next year and if a certain place or team would work out. There might be a team or two out there.

“I don’t want to start talking to teams and then decide I don’t want to play. I don’t think that’s fair to them. I want to try to do the right thing, and try to do it once. I want to wait until I’m 100 percent sure.”

Maddux owns a 355-227 record and a 3.16 ERA, and he was the first pitcher in major league history to win the Cy Young Award four consecutive years (1992-95).

In a combined 33 starts with the Padres and Dodgers last season, he went 8-13 with a 4.22 ERA. He said he was pleased “for the most part” with his ability to compete.

“I think I pitched better than my record. I had a few more bad games than I would have liked,” he said. “But overall, in 30-some starts, I felt like I pitched pretty good in a pretty good majority of them.

“My bad games were really bad. There’s a difference between losing and getting blown out of the water.”

Maddux won the National League Gold Glove for pitchers for a record 18th time in the past 19 years.

He ended the season as a reliever, pitching two scoreless innings in the Dodgers’ 5-1 loss to Philadelphia in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series. When he walked off the mound after the fifth inning, he took the baseball with him.

“I’ve got to see physically how I feel,” he said. “Mentally, I still want to play, but physically it’s a little bit harder now.”

Maddux broke into the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1986. He won 194 games with the Atlanta Braves from 1993 to 2003.

On Aug. 7, 2004, in his second stint with the Cubs, Maddux defeated the Giants 8-4 at San Francisco to earn his 300th career win.

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