LOS ANGELES --Among the questions in the aftermath of the Dodgers' season-ending 5-1 loss to Philadelphia in the National League Championship Series on Wednesday night:
Did we just witness, in Greg Maddux' two-inning relief performance, the final pitches in a Hall of Fame career?
Quick answer: Quite possibly, but it's going to take a few weeks -- or, possibly, months -- before we know whether to start the Hall of Fame countdown.
"I'm going to go home, I've got a golf tournament coming up, I'm going to spend some time with my family, figure out what happened this year, learn from it and move on," Maddux said.
He said he will not impose a deadline on himself for making a decision on whether or not to retire.
"However long it takes," he said. "There's no time frame."
Part of what he does in 2009 may hinge, he said, on what offers come his way this winter.
"Or what offers don't come," he said wryly. "What I decide, what I'd like to happen ... hopefully I'll get to make the decision."
For the record, Maddux fanned three, walked one, surrendered two hits and allowed two unearned runs during his two-inning stint. He pitched the fourth and fifth innings and had the misfortune to be on the mound when shortstop Rafael Furcal committed three errors in the fifth inning alone.
If he does retire, his final batter faced was Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels, who grounded to first base to end the fifth.
Over 23 years -- for now -- Maddux is 355-227 with a career ERA of 3.16. His 355 wins rank eighth all-time, he ranks 10th on baseball's all-time strikeout list with 3,371 and fourth all-time with 740 games started.
Oh, and one other thing: He always has been among the game's league leaders in mastering the wry, one-liner. Just one more reason why it's been a pleasure covering him all of these years.
As he folded up his uniform and stuffed his equipment into a duffel bag late Wednesday, I asked whether he was planning to take home anything special, in case this was his last game.
"Everything," he said. "I'm taking everything."
"I'm going to leave the hangers. I've got plenty of hangers at home."