Thursday, January 8, 2009

Smoltz set to sign with Red Sox (?!?!??!)

BOSTON -- Never shy about pitching on a big stage, John Smoltz, a potential Hall of Famer, is on the verge of signing with the Boston Red Sox, where every game feels big.

According to a source close to Smoltz, the 41-year-old right-hander plans on calling the Braves -- the only team he's ever pitched for -- on Thursday morning and telling them that he has decided to play for the Red Sox.
Source: MLB.com

If nothing else, Smoltzie is competitive. I don't anticipate the Braves being competitive in 2009, but the Red Sox certainly will. I know a lot of Braves fans will be very upset, but if this is true and he does sign with the BoSox, it won't surprise me at all.

21 comments:

pinkatlmom said...

Love your blog, first time posting!

I had a bad feeling about the Smoltz deal starting in the fall, when Wren was not giving him the respect he deserved. Business is business, but this is a serious blow to both the fans and community which benefited from John's involvement in charity work.

What a shame that Smoltz will finish his career as a Red Sox pitcher, instead of here. What is your strategy, Mr. Wren....perhaps YOU can pitch???

NB-C said...

Devastated...shocked....I can't believe this. I know Smoltz was a risk, but he is the face of this organization. We need to move forward, but it would have been nice to have let him retire a Brave. This may have been the final nail in my Braves coffin!

Nice blog, by the way!

Lauren T. said...

The thing is, the Braves wouldn't offer him a guaranteed deal, and other teams were willing to do that without worrying about whether he can come back and pitch strongly. I can't blame Smoltz for wanting to play for a team that will almost surely be in the post-season this year, and I can't blame the Braves for not wanting to take their chance on a player who will be 42 before he throws the ball in a game again...if he does.

I wish him the best. Knowing he'll go into the Hall of Fame with a Braves cap on is comfort enough for me.

Lo said...

I heard this late last night and I had real tears in my eyes for the first time ever after hearing about a player leaving ATL.

It definitely will not be the same without him.

:( :( :(

Anna said...

I'm gonna miss smoltzie. :(

Toni said...

I will not miss him - I've been around him for a long time and know he is not the golden boy that his public image portrays. Right now he is nothing more than the scum of the earth for leaving his organization, teammates, fans, and city for an amount of money that won't even cover the cost of lawncare at his estate.
He and Tommy both know that the Braves want both back for 2009, and once they were cleared, they would be given a specific amount that did not coincide with the freed up money for f.a. signings. He has totally screwed us all without even the hint of a kiss.
I just pray Tommy continues his progress and returns as he hopes - let him end his career here - not for the money, but because it is where his heart is and has always been.
Adios Baldy - have fun throwing batting practice to Tex, A-Rod, Jeter, etc etc etc - I hope you get lit up every time you are on the mound...

CABravesFan said...

I find the Braves lack of belief in Smoltz stunning. I don't blame him at all for wanting to go to a team that believes he can be a productive starter for them this year. If the Braves had offered him a guaranteed deal I have a feeling he would have stayed. I do understand the Braves being cautious (especially given what happened last year) to sign a pitcher coming off major surgery...if it was anyone OTHER THEN JOHN SMOLTZ. The team is not exactly overflowing with starting pitching (or veterans on staff) and 3/4 of a season with Smoltz coming off surgery is better then...the mess of a rotation we have now.

Jen said...

I can see both sides of the issue, but I agree with CABravesFan...our rotation is a MESS! We can definitely use the help of a future Hall-of-Famer, even if he isn't 100% or can't pitch a full season. And you can't overlook his work with the younger guys, either. Frank Wren is going to have to pull off some serious magic in the next few weeks to make this team better.

In the meantime, good luck to Smoltzie. I wish him well, and I'm happy that he's going somewhere that's not in New York. :)

ajgc said...

I just caught this info on ESPN & am a little shocked......I love Smoltzie, but can't stand the Sox....geez.:(

Lizziebeth said...

Welcome Toni. I'm not against people having their own opinions, but you've got some strong statements that I'd love to hear the detailed evidence that supports them(I've been around him for a long time and know he is not the golden boy...has totally screwed us all...etc.)Around here we see no need to shy away from the truth!
It's also interesting that you say Tommy's heart "has always been" here and yet he originally left Atl for NY for more money - and that doesn't seem to have fazed you.
And, as good as Smoltzie's arm has been, I don't think he'll be throwing batting practice to all those Yankees all the way from Boston. Unless there's some new MLB cross-team/cross-state BP rule we haven't heard about.
Let us know!

L84sky said...

First time blogger...love your blog by the way. I never felt compelled to comment before but this is ridiculous!!

I think Chipper said it best....
"John Smoltz has earned the right to be given the benefit of the doubt," Jones said. "If he says he can come back and pitch, he deserves the chance. If you want to gamble on a player, John Smoltz is the guy you want to gamble on."

This is a loss for the city of ATL as a whole. While I am sure he will continue his charity work, it probably will not be the same since he is not a "Brave".

I bet Bobbie Cox is smokin hot mad. Wren is such an idiot. I wonder how it feels to have zero respect from your managerial staff and players??

Harry said...

Toni,

Look yourself in the mirror and picture this: You've been working for a company for 20 years and given that company everything you had in your heart plus more. You have an illness that prevents you from working during that year, and you're hoping to come back and continue to give your heart when you're better. Then that company says, "We don't care about the past and everything you've devoted to us. We'll let you come back to us if you work for minimum wage."

It's not about the money any more at that point. It's INSULTING that the company of whom you are the FACE doesn't respect you enough to give you a reasonable offer.

I doubt you'd feel any different than he does if you were in his shows. Take a minute to step back and think about that.

Bobby Cocks said...

Harry, if I were paid $14 million for a few weeks of work, I think I could find it in myself to work the next year for a few million more, especially if it was no guarantee I'd work at all.
Sorry but some of us can't feel sorry for someone making $14 million pitching only 28 innings and then crying about a few million bucks.

Toni said...

First: Harry - Loyalty is a two way street my friend. There was never a lack of commitment from the Braves about wanting Smoltz back. And yes -if I had made millions over 21 yrs of service, had an estate with it's own private golf course, bball court, pond, and football feild - and my kids and friends were in the city I had been employed for those 21 yrs - yes, I'd not be so greedy because I know there are some things that you cannot put a price tag on - especially a few million given my current lifestyle.
Add to this specific case, there was no time greater that his teammates, organization, and fans needed him to be here - not only to pitch but to mentor. There was never any doubt the Braves wanted him back - they only wished to have his health proven before committing another "Hampton" mistake. The contract the organization offered could have been more than Boston - but he would have had to earn most of it by accomplishing incentives. I see nothing wrong with that given his age and past health history. So, did Smoltz realize he'd never meet the incentive goals? I don't know about you, but my pay is definitely based on my performance so that seems fair. And baseball would be a more even playing field if a)there were a salary cap and b)there were more base salaries with ways to make a lot more by reaching your goals over that year.

Toni said...

Next - Lizziebeth:
Are you asking me for my credentials? If so, I've known members of the Braves for 10 years or so - including management, coaches, past and present players -even friends with a couple of mothers and a wife. Matter of fac, I am actually the one who came up with the term "Baby Braves" on a road trip with a friend in 2005 after meeting Charles Thomas, Frenchy and Heap - the media read what I had put in comments on the Braves website message board and ran with it. And my friend and I are the ones who told Huddy about calling Gregor Greg White (we always called Henry Blanco, Hank White)

Regarding my comment on Glav - he only left the organization when he was forced out by JS. Tommy had the unfortunate timing of having his contract end right after he headed labor negotiations averting a strike. If you look back, just about every player who was involved in negotiations and who also had contracts ending did not get offers from their current team - even BJ Surhoff who was on the DL but had been involved with the union when he was with the O's so helping Glav out was not offered to return even at 1 mil. JS did not respond to contract requests from Tommy's agent, and would not even be polite enough to return calls Tommy made himself in an attempt to set up a meeting. Ditto when Tommy tried to come back as soon as that NY contract was up - again, totally ignored by JS. If you remember, the Mets were classy enough to give Tommy an extension of time to see if he could work something out with the Braves- when JS did not respond, Tommy re-upped with the Mets. Only when Wren assumed his position did the request to return home result in a contract offer that was definitely less than he would have made elsewhere - but Tommy knew where his heart always had been, and was very happy to return with a lesser contract. Now I just pray Tommy can return for one more healthy year and go out like the class act he's always been.

The term throwing batting practice to the Yankees was only wishful thinking on my part. I can only hope that Smoltz regrets every second he left the team, friends, kids, fans, and city that loved him for so long. Remember - Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned after all.

Bobby Cocks said...

Toni, remind me to never get on your bad side, haha.

But kudos to you for taking the side of the enemy. I'm on the Braves side, as well, though I may not be quite as harsh with my feelings.

I'm not about to sit here and complain about how much money pro athletes make. But when you're in the twilight of your career, ala Smoltz, and you've made your money, I'm not sure I'd leave a team I love and a city I enjoy over a couple million. Yes, that sounds like a lot of money to most of us, but I promise you, it won't make a dent in his financial portfolio.

foudini said...

Must say, agreed with Toni and BobbyC.

I honestly felt betrayed and offended. It seems out of the three only Tom was truly committed to retiring at home where he belongs.

2008, and now 9, was just a nutty year for player movement. Really, what the heck is in the water? :D

foudini said...

"Add to this specific case, there was no time greater that his teammates, organization, and fans needed him to be here - not only to pitch but to mentor."

Raise your hand, anyone, who thought we couldn't possibly feel more demoralized until this bomb was dropped?

Service aside, management is not here to coddle and baby players. Respect for the game also comes from recognizing a career evolves and you can't go backward. You have to admit what you can give, not what you want to give. You can't run off to the first coddling soothsayer to tell you want to hear, not what you need to hear.

Lizziebeth said...

Toni,
By all means, please present your credentials. You have merely made statements that anyone could make. We have that happen frequently, so there's no need to be personally offended. We just like to know that the person has a real basis before we go down a road with them and wind up strolling with a complete whack.
Yes, I remember reading all of those things in the media about Tommy's experience. Still doesn't change my opinion that you seemed quite forgiving to him, but you want JS to get "lit up" every time he's on the mound. We are simple fans "out here", so with you being such the insider, by all means let us in on the horrible truths going on that made you so venomous towards Our Smoltzie.

Toni said...

Lizzie -
I'm not trying to change your opinion of anything, just telling you why I see a big difference in what happened with Tommy, and what John chose to do. John just wasn't being stroked by Braves management enough to keep his ego in check. It's like oh, let's say someone who's been married 20+ years - same spouse, same everything day in, day out - then wow... someone else starts showing you a lot of attention - telling you how wonderful you are, building up that ego... next thing you know - if you're not careful - you're in bed with someone other than that same ol' same ol' who you now think was taking you for granted all these years. Until reality hits...you've now messed up If Smoltz falters in Boston, they will rip him apart, no forgiveness. If he were to blow up here, the fans would simply say "wow, poor ol' Smoltzy, he sure tried to help the team, just couldn't do it any more." That 'reality' may hit Smoltz sooner rather than later since Boston doesn't have the emotional ties to him.

My credentials? well, not going to tell you my last name, but - next time you're at the TED - go to section 117 - tell the usher that you would like to go down and say hi to Toni- because, unless you have tickets for that section you will not be allowed down by the dugout otherwise.

Lauren T. said...

Toni, I'm sure you've seen a lot in the dugout that would tweak our views as fans, for good or bad. Thank you for clarifying.

You guys would be surprised how many people I have who IM, email, whatever who claim to be on the inside and have no way of proving they are. We have to be suspicious until you (collectively) all prove otherwise.