“Smoltz — who the hell is he?”

Interesting piece about the genesis of the Smoltz for Alexander deal.

The Tiger who almost became a Brave

The Tiger who almost became a Brave

“The Atlanta Braves would take either (Steve) Searcy or Smoltz. When I asked various people, the consensus was (to keep) Searcy. The consensus was that he was closer (to the majors),” said (then Tigers-GM Bill) Lajoie. “I didn’t feel like I was on real solid ground at the time. I went with the consensus, knowing full well that I should have traded Searcy. With a check and balance system, the president of the club said did this person agree, did this person agree? Yes. Did I agree? No. But with a checks and balances system, that’s why it was done.”

Searcy, a third-round pick by the Tigers in the 1985 draft (Smoltz lasted until the 22nd round that same year), was widely considered the better prospect. He finished his MLB career with 6 wins, 13 losses, a 5.68 ERA and a WHIP of 1.73.

Smoltz’s numbers with Detroit’s Double-A affiliate in 1987 weren’t much better: 4 wins, 10 losses and a 5.68 ERA. He walked almost as many batters (81) as he struck out (86).

Fortunately for the Braves, a scout named John Hagemann saw Smoltz’s potential.

“I think my words were, ‘The best arm I’ve seen so far,’” said Hagemann. “Top-of-the-rotation guy. That’s how I saw him. I’m not a genius. I just recall a real live arm.”


About these ads

2 Comments on “Smoltz — who the hell is he?”

  1. PepeFreeUs // April 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm //

    I remember that schmoe.

    The Baseball gods smiled on us that day.

  2. atlpaddy // April 3, 2009 at 10:02 am //

    Sorry for the unrelated post but Greg over at Atlanta Time Machine has posted some great Crackers/Yankees/Dodgers exhibition game photos (from LIFE in 1953) as well as some nightclub fliers featuring Braves players and Phil Niekro’s Knuckler Lounge:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 287 other followers

%d bloggers like this: