Retired MLB pitcher John Smoltz was featured on an episode of ‘Million Dollar Rooms’ recently for his insane outdoor sports complex at his house in Milton, Georgia. Smoltz’s backyard features a baseball field, basketball court, football/soccer field, golf course, volleyball court, tennis court and a fishing pond. Smoltz says that he spent a lot of time on the golf course portion of the backyard because he has dreams of becoming a professional golfer. He estimates that he spent $2 million on the entire project.
Tops In The Game
TBS lead MLB analyst Ernie Johnson will not be on TBS postseason baseball coverage, which will include all first-round games and the National League Championship Series.
Johnson will be replaced by Brian Anderson, who is a Milwaukee Brewers announcer. Anderson will team on TBS playoff games with analysts John Smoltz and Ron Darling.
Says Johnson in a statement: “My son Michael has muscular dystrophy and has been in intensive care for the last two weeks and is expected to remain hospitalized for several more weeks.”
Michael is 23.
During Leo Mazzone’s tenure as Atlanta Braves pitching coach, he schooled terrific Braves pitchers John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Mazzone was the team’s pitching coach from 1990-2005. During that time period, Maddux won three NL Cy Young awards, Glavine won two and Smoltz won his lone award. Also during that span, the Braves 3.60 staff ERA was the best in the majors.
However in an interview with SiriusXM on Wednesday, Mazzone said Smoltz used pine tar to doctor baseballs when he pitched.
Said Mazzone: “One time Smoltzy had it on his shoes and I said, ‘John, you can’t keep bending over and touching your shoes all the time. Let’s put it someplace else!’ “
On Thursday Mazzone was backing off those comments
“We were trying to have some fun on the air and in trying to have some fun somebody took a story and ran with it and said that I said that Smoltzy cheated in the game,” Mazzone told WNNX-FM in Atlanta on Thursday morning.
Asked point blank whether Smoltz cheated during his pitching career, Mazzone told WNNX, “No, absolutely not.”
Mazzone also expressed disappointment that his comments were taken out of context and that they created such a stir.
“I am so angry about it because somebody took it and ran with it and said ‘the Braves pitchers were cheating,’ ” Mazzone told WNNX. “That’s a bunch of bologna.”
Mazzone though didn’t deny that pine tar was used.
“With something like pine tar, that’s not doctoring a baseball,” Mazzone told WNNX. “That’s trying to get a grip when it’s cold. What’s wrong with that?”
During his 21-season major league career, Smoltz went 213-145 with 3.33 ERA and 154 saves. Twenty of those seasons were spent with the Braves, with whom he won the 1996 NL Cy Young award.
Go Back To This Logo
The Atlanta Braves became the second franchise in Major League Baseball to lose 10,000 games in its history after suffering a 3-1 loss to the Florida Marlins. The Philadelphia Phillies reached the mark in 2007 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Braves however picked up their 10,000th win just a couple of weeks ago on July 15, which has included their time in Boston and Milwaukee. The Braves franchise has seen won a World Series in each city that has hosted the team and each city has also seen its troublesome years.
The franchise has seen 13 100-loss seasons but only two of those seasons were in Atlanta, while the other 11 were near the start of the team history during their tenure in Boston. The worst stretch in team history was seen from 1903-13, when the Braves went a combined 595-1,062 between winning seasons. The biggest contributors to the team’s losing ways are four current Hall of Fame members and two future members. Knuckleball specialist Phil Niekro has the most losses in franchise history with 230, followed by Warren Spahn at 229 and Kid Nicholas at 183. Tom Glavine and John Smoltz recording 147 losses each while Vic Willis also had 147 help make up the rest.
Overall the franchise has seen 619 players earn a loss to help bring the team to this.
One Of The Best
TBS has tapped a rotation of three announcers to replace Chip Caray on MLB broadcasts.
Ernie Johnson (one of the best), Dick Stockton and Brian Anderson will call regular season baseball games for TBS during the 2010 season, replacing Caray, who was fired after last season. Stockton, who sucks and can’t get anyone’s name right these days and Anderson have previously called MLB postseason games for TBS.
This is just the latest foray for Johnson into play-by-play. In December, he called a Cleveland Cavaliers/Atlanta Hawks game for NBA TV, and he is scheduled to call the March 25 Miami Heat/Chicago Bulls game for TNT. In addition to his work on TBS, Johnson will also call 30 Braves games for Atlanta’s Peachtree TV.
Meanwhile, John Smoltz has joined Turner as an analyst for MLB coverage. He will join Buck Martinez, who sucks too, and Ron Darling, full of knowledge, as color commentators for TBS MLB telecasts. Like Johnson, Smoltz will also call select Braves games on Peachtree TV.
In addition to Smoltz, Martinez and Darling, studio analysts Dennis Eckersley and David Wells, who is funny but wonders at times, will call select games during the season.
It’s first season in and its first shot at baseballs ultimate showcase as the new Cathedral in the Bronx will host the 2009 World Series. Andy Pettitte followed the time-tested formula of handing the ball off to a Yankees bullpen anchored by Mariano Rivera to secured the Yankees 40th American League pennant with a 5-2 victory over the Angels in game 6 of the American League Championship Series in front of 50,173 fans.
It was another marquee moment in the inaugural season of the new house, where New York logged the Majors’ best home record and remained undefeated in postseason play, authoring a new winning tradition.
Pettitte became baseball’s all-time leader with his 16th postseason victory, breaking a tie with John Smoltz and setting a new record with his fifth career victory to clinch a postseason series. Rivera’s moved alone into first place in career LCS saves with 12 as Dennis Eckersley had 11. CC Sabathia became the eighth Yankees player to be named Most Valuable Player of an American League Championship Series.
Joe Girardi continuing to wear No. 27 as a reminder of the mission at hand, his club opened Spring Training thinking about segmenting its season into stages, keeping its eyes on the prize at the end of the line.
On Wednesday, the Yankees will open their first World Series since they lost to the Marlins in 2003. That six-year drought represented the fourth-longest stretch without a pennant in franchise history. The last time the Yankees won a World Series was when the Bombers defeated the Mets in a five-game “Subway Series.” Only four players Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte remain from that squad.
The Yankees didn’t win a pennant until their 21st season in 1921, while also experiencing spans of 12 years (1964-76) and 15 years (1981-96) between AL titles. The Yankees have been to the World Series seven times since ’96, five more times than any other team during that period.
The Bombers’ 40 appearances in a title game or series are the most among the four major North American sports. The closest team to New York is the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, who have been to the Stanley Cup Finals 34 times. The Canadiens’ 24 titles are also second among major sports franchises to the Yankees’ 26 championships.
Philadelphia is expected to start Cliff Lee enticing a pitching match up between former Cleveland teammates and the past two AL Cy Young Award winners when he takes on CC Sabathia in the World Series opener. The Phillies won two of three at Yankee Stadium in May.
Ain't Cheatin, Aint Tryin
John Smoltz thinks the reason he got roughed up last night is because the baseball were not properly rubbed down. Yet, opposing pitcher Bronson Arroyo threw just fine in his 8.1 innings pitched.
Smoltz had only walked three batters since coming to St. Louis in August, but walked five in just two innings last night. He complained during and after the game that the baseballs were too slick because they had not been rubbed down beforehand. However, Arroyo went 8.1 innings walking only one so
“I’m sure he had pine tar on his cap. He didn’t have any problem getting a grip. Balls like that can generate a lot more movement than a slick ball that hasn’t been rubbed up … I’ve been around for 40-plus years now and I’ve never seen a major-league baseball game played with balls like that,” said Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan.
Duncan added that he saw Arroyo go to the his cap on nearly every pitch, and the above AP (click to enlarge) seems to suggest that there was something under there that maybe shouldn’t be.
Smotlz was getting roughed up before he put on a redbird jersey and if these questions would have been coming out of Tony La Russa lips, I would say he’s just bellyaching but since the notion of Arroyo came from ‘The Quiet Assassin’ and the photo makes me think there’s some validity to this claim.
John Smoltz apparently hasn’t watched videos of any of his pitching performances in a Boston Red Sox uniform. He was designated for assignment by the Red Sox after his meltdown against the Yankees last week,and has refused an option to the minor leagues.
The Red Sox have until Sunday to either trade him, or they can simply release him. If the Red Sox cut Smoltz, any team that chooses to add the future Hall of Famer would be on the hook for the pro-rated amount of the major league minimum. In addition, Smoltz, 42, would get the rest of his $5.5 million salary from the Red Sox. After eight starts, Smoltz was 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA. Including a miserable outing Aug. 6 against the Yankees, when he gave up eight runs on nine hits and four walks in just 3 1/3 innings that he has no memory of.
According to Juan C. Rodriguez of SunSentinel.com the Florida Marlins are probably among half a dozen teams that would take on Smoltz. He’s got a good relationship with manager Fredi Gonzalez from their Atlanta days.
He does know hitters in the National League East inside and out. In my opinion he’s lost that dominate slider and his split-finger fastball doesn’t fool hitters anymore as they just sat back and waited of his hanging breaking balls.