A collective gasp arose from the crowd as the Padres medical team administered a lethal injection to the writhing body of one of the game's all-time greats. Home plate umpire John McSherry allowed several seconds of mourning before walking to the mound to hurry things along. Play resumed shortly thereafter.
“He went out in glory,” said a tearful Ron Suwalski, Padres trainer. “He went out like a champion.” At a post-game news conference, a distraught Suwalski said he was still struggling to ascertain how such a catastrophic injury could have occurred. He said the mound surface was in excellent condition, despite heavy rains over the past several days across the Atlanta metro area. “This was the best game Greg ever pitched as a member of our team. He was in the best shape of his life.” Suwalski said he anticipates criticism for his decision to euthanize Maddux, but he will not second-guess himself. “It had to be done. There was no way he could have been spared.”
Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement last night extending the sympathies of major league baseball to the San Diego Padres and the Maddux family.