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Cubs retire No. 31 worn by 2 former ace pitchers

CHICAGO – Greg Maddux and Ferguson Jenkins played in different eras, but they used similar styles – and wore the same jersey number – to become two of the best pitchers in Chicago Cubs’ history.

Their No. 31 was retired prior to the Cubs’ game against the Florida Marlins on Sunday.

“The fun part of doing what we did was putting that uniform on,” Jenkins said. “You were at home on that field.”

With their families sitting beside them, Jenkins and Maddux each gave a brief speech. The aces then watched from home plate as former teammates – Randy Hundley and Glenn Beckert for Jenkins and Jody Davis for Maddux – lifted their numbers to the top of the foul poles at Wrigley Field.

Maddux’s jersey went up in right and Jenkins, a Hall of Famer, had his number go in left.

“I wasn’t lucky enough to watch Fergie pitch as much,” Maddux said. “I was told he could paint. I remember one of the coaches compared me to him, so I had to find out about him. And I started learning about his control and the complete games that he pitched.”

Maddux retired last December as the eighth-winningest pitcher in major league history with 355 victories. He had his most productive seasons with Atlanta, winning three Cy Youngs and a World Series during his 11 years with the Braves.

The Braves are scheduled to retired Maddux’s number in July.

“This game gives you so much everyday you play it, and when you stop playing it keeps giving,” Maddux said. “Sometimes you feel guilty about it.”

The number of Maddux and Jenkins joined Ernie Banks (14), Billy Williams (26), Ron Santo (10) and Ryne Sandberg (23) up on the foul poles.

Jenkins and Maddux both played 10 years with the Cubs, using pinpoint accuracy and a workhorse approach. Each won a Cy Young in a Cubs uniform.

Jenkins played for Chicago from 1966-1973 and 1982-83, winning the Cy Young in 1971 after going 24-13 with 30 complete games, a 2.77 ERA and 263 strikeouts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Cub in 1991.

Girardi angry at book

NEW YORK – Yankees manager Joe Girardi lashed out Sunday at a potentially damaging biography of Alex Rodriguez, questioning why the book was written and its accelerated release date.

Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts’ “A-Rod” reportedly offers an unflattering portrait of the MVP slugger as a needy personality who wanted his ego stroked constantly.

The book’s release was moved up to Monday after the Daily News reported some of the details from the bio last week.

“I have some issues with it, that it’s interesting how the book date got moved up now,” Girardi said, “and I get tired of answering these questions. I don’t understand why someone would write a book like this anyway, and some people may not care to hear that but I don’t understand.”

Rodriguez, rehabbing his injured hip in Florida, is expected to return to the Yankees in the next couple weeks. The All-Star third baseman played defense Saturday for the first time since he had surgery in early March.

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