Only Clemens comparable to Maddux

Updated: December 9, 2008, 9:44 AM ET
By Rob Neyer | ESPN.com

Upon the news that Greg Maddux is retiring, after 23 seasons, a question springs to mind: What can we say about Greg Maddux that we haven't already said?

Many years ago, not even halfway through his career, I hailed Maddux as the smartest pitcher who ever lived.

Hyperbole? Probably. But at that time, Maddux was still a relatively young man with a relatively fast fastball. He would eventually lose that fastball, and once that fastball was gone, he would no longer be the perennial ...

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