Cubs

Joe Maddon on Muhammad Ali: ‘It’s impossible to be better than he was’

Joe Maddon on Muhammad Ali: ‘It’s impossible to be better than he was’

Joe Maddon was laying in bed late Friday night when he had heard the news that boxing legend Muhammad Ali had passed away at the age of 74.

"If you’re of the age, a part of your childhood is gone, actually," Maddon said on Saturday. "It’s a marker for all of us.”

Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years.

“It’s an insidious disease,” Maddon said. “You can see how much he suffered."

Maddon recalled some memories of Ali, one being having listened to the radio the first time he fought Sonny Liston.

“Just really a segment of our history that I think will never be repeated,” Maddon said. “I don’t think there’s ever going to be that group of boxers that come back that provide that kind of entertainment, that kind of interest, that kind of charisma and everything else that he had going on.

“It was unique. Very fortunate that we experienced it.”

Maddon, a big boxing fan, grew up in Hazelton, Pa., where Ali would sometimes train. Maddon’s cousins and friends took the opportunity to watch “The Greatest,” but he didn’t tag along.

Maddon did get to witness the legendary boxer live in action during an exhibition match at Harman Geist football stadium in Hazelton.

“I got to see him do his sparring routine,” Maddon said. “I stood close to him during that day when he fought at Harman Geist Stadium. I was near where he walked off, but I never really got to meet him.”

To sum up his legacy in boxing, Maddon implies he really is the greatest of all-time.

"It’s impossible to be better than he was. He truly left his mark.”

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Baseball players don't forget grudges. Javy Baez and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett gave an example of that on Saturday.

Garrett struck out Baez in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cubs-Reds doubleheader. Garrett showed some excitement with the strikeout and then said something to Baez. They both started jawing at each other and suddenly the benches cleared.

At first glance, it looked like Garrett was a bit too excited to get a strikeout with no one on base. Turns out Baez had his own bit of swag for Garrett last year (Friday was the one-year anniversary) in the form of a grand slam at Wrigley Field.

This time Garrett got Baez and wanted to even things up a bit.

Things didn't get too feisty despite the benches clearing, but Anthony Rizzo did rush to Baez's side at some speed. This could be a matchup to keep an eye out for in the future.

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati.

David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s second no hitter.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: