Why, Greg? Was it the Cold Summers? The Gay Marriage?

from ESPN's Jayson Stark, who by the way has shaved his moustache:

How close did the Cubs come to not signing Greg Maddux? Maybe closer than anyone suspects.

A week before he became a Cub, Maddux phoned his old friend, Giants assistant GM Ned Colletti (who once worked for the Cubs when Maddux arrived in the big leagues). The purpose of the call: to tell Colletti how interested he would be in the Giants if they had interest in him.

The Giants had already slammed into their payroll ceiling. But for a chance to sign a Hall of Fame pitcher closing in on 300 wins, they decided this was a special case.

So they offered Maddux three guaranteed seasons (unlike the two the Cubs guaranteed), for an amount believed to be slightly less than $21 million, plus other perks.

Maddux mulled that offer for a week, then called back to say he'd decided to go back to Chicago.


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