Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Fall of John Smoltz

So tonight was the much-anticipated Red Sox debut of John Smoltz. I've always liked Smoltz and regarded him as my favorite of the Brave's "Big Three" pitchers (Maddux and Glavine the other two), and I was happy the Sox decided to take a chance on him—he's come back and been dominant after injury/surgery before.

I was shocked this morning when I glanced at an article and saw his lifetime record of 210-147. Only 210 wins? Seriously? I know he was a closer for a brief time, but I thought for sure he'd be pushing 275-300 wins. Then this evening the Red Sox radio announcer made the statement (as Smoltz gets cuffed around by the Nats) that, "Even if Smoltz's career ended right now, in five years he'll walk into the Hall of Fame."

Yesterday, I'd've blindly agreed. But after reading the 210 mark, I wasn't so sure. That's only like 10 wins a year. I need to do some research...

Right off the bat, I see Smoltz had over 150 saves as a closer—that's pretty damn good in limited duty. What else? 3000 strikeouts? Check. Cy Young? Check. 15-4 in the postseason? BUT—he only won 20 games once, and has a good, but not great, career ERA of 3.26.

Okay, I'd put him in, but I'm not sure he's a first-ballot lock. And that's when I should have stopped reading...

On the wikipedia page on Smoltz:
Smoltz produced an automated campaign phone recording on behalf of the candidacy of Ralph E. Reed, Jr. for Lt. Governor of Georgia during the 2006 primary.

[groan]
Smoltz was interviewed for an Associated Press article published on July 3, 2004 that dealt with the issue of homophobia in professional sports. “Smoltz, a devout Christian, criticized those who want to legalize gay marriage,” the AP reported. “‘What’s next? Marrying an animal?’ he asked derisively.”

Ugh. You to be one of those guys, John? You know, a dick?

8 comments:

Toast said...

As a human being, Smoltz is a turd.

As a pitcher... Well, look, the guy was pretty damned good for a long stretch of time. That said, a Sox fan friend at work IM'ed me the day they signed him crowing about what a great move it was, and I was totally nonplussed. The guy is 41 and he's pitched his entire career in the NL. Suddenly he's supposed to move to arguably the most offensively potent division in baseball and be productive? Really? Didn't see it.

Mr Furious said...

I hear ya. As I said, I liked the guy, and figured "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." But I was well aware of the NL to AL East move, and he got knocked around pretty hard by the worst team in either league tonite.

He'll pitch better—he's still rusty—but all the Sox fans who've been calling for Brad Penny to be traded "'cause we got Smoltz comin' off the DL" are fucking idiots.

He's 42 and coming off a torn labrum. Anything he gives you is gravy and is not to be counted on.

Smitty said...

Mrs. Smitty went to high school around the same time a Smoltz. SHe has no insight though as to whether or not he was an assbag in school, because he was a jock and she was a nerd.

Mrs. Smitty said...

In my defense - Smoltz graduated before me. He was always good when it came to giving back the schools he came from. However I can not attest to his assbaggery because he graduated ahead of me, NOT (just) because I was a nerd.

Smitty said...

At this point, I should probably just stop talking, as I want Mrs. Smitty to continue to like me.

Mr Furious said...

Look, there's no question Smoltz is a giving-back kinda guy. He won the Branch Rickey Award for Community Service, and seems big into schools in Atlanta too...I'm just at the end of my rope with evangelicoles moralizing about everyone else.

steves said...

I'm just at the end of my rope with evangelicoles moralizing about everyone else.

With the exception of die-hard Libertarians, most groups enjoy telling other people what to do, to some degree.

I try and ignore celebs and athletes when they talk about anything other than their profession. If I listen, I am usually disappointed at how out of touch or utterly shallow they are.

Rickey Henderson said...

Fuck Smoltz. Right in the ear. Rickey has too many not so fond memories of that prick terrorizing the Mets in Turner Field...