It looks like John Smoltz the last of the famous Atlanta Braves pitching trio will be hanging his cleats up within the next few weeks. Smoltz hasn’t made an official announcement but his interview with Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution told it all. In that interview, Smoltz actually placed odds on himself pitching again, never a good sign.
“I think everyone understands that with the [broadcasting] role I have now, I don’t mind saying the chances [of pitching] are pretty slim. I don’t know what slim means. Maybe I make that announcement in 10 days. Maybe in 30 days. Just let me get through this week. I can’t imagine it will go on that long. But there are a lot of things swimming through my head right now.”
For those that don’t know, the broadcasting role that Smoltz is talking about is the deal he just signed with TBS. He’ll be a regular season and playoff analyst for the station. He’ll also be working alongside Bob Costas in the booth for games to be aired on MLB Network.
But back to the retirement issue. In the interview, Smoltz said “I would say 50-1.” in reference to the odds of him playing again. Those aren’t good odds at all.
When you look at the quote above and those odds, it looks like Smoltz has made his decision and just can’t bring himself to making the announcement. Can you blame him? He’s not that old, only 42, and still having mild success in the big leagues. He’s also had such a great career that it’s got to be hard to walk away from that, especially when you consider he still has some gas left in the tank.
Working with TBS and MLB Network should help in him moving on as he’ll still be very close to the game he’s dedicated to his life too. His knowledge should also be entertaining in the booth with the walking encyclopedia Costas.
I was never a Braves fan but I’ve always respected what the trio of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Smoltz did in there time. Smoltz is a sure fire Hall-Of-Famer for the numbers he put up during baseballs “Steroid Era” and will be a great ambassador for the game.
The one thing that would I like to see is Smoltz sign a one-day contract with the Atlanta Braves so he can retire in the uniform he belongs in.
I would say head over to the Atlanta-Journal and read Schultz’s interview it’s pretty good. There were some other quotes in there that really tell you John is ready to move on to the next phase of his life.
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