A HOF debut, 27 years ago tonight

The Braves entered play on July 23, 1988 30 games under .500, facing crafty southpaw Bob Ojeda and the first-place Mets. If that wasn’t daunting enough, John Smoltz made his MLB debut backed by a historically abysmal defense. Ron Gant and Andres Thomas were probably the worst double play combo ever, and Jerry Royster had no […]

Read More A HOF debut, 27 years ago tonight

John Smoltz owns August 19

Nine years ago on this date, Smoltzie recorded his 142nd save as a Brave, breaking Gene Garber’s franchise record. Three years later, on 8/19/07, the future Hall of Famer retired Mark Reynolds for his 2,913th K as a Brave, surpassing Knucksie to become the team’s all-time strikeout leader. Safe to say no other pitcher holds […]

Read More John Smoltz owns August 19

Maddux slighted again, and was Smoltzie better than Glavine?

I’m thrilled that the last pitcher chosen in ESPN’s ranking of the 100 greatest players in MLB history is the perpetually underrated Knucksie, #100 overall. Not so much with the highest-ranked pitcher: Roger Clemens. ESPN cautions its list is a “judgment-free zone where Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and even Pete Rose are welcome.” (Rose debased the game but earned every one of his […]

Read More Maddux slighted again, and was Smoltzie better than Glavine?

No. 29

Stat geeks roll their eyes at the concept of a clutch performer, which tells me they must have never watched John Smoltz — whose number will be retired June 8 — pitch in October. In 209 postseason innings, Smoltzie had a better ERA, WHIP, winning percentage and K/9 IP ratio. That’s not a coincidence. It’s clutch, […]

Read More No. 29

Five HOF’ers in one decade

Here’s a question I hope someone with the time and inclination can answer: The news of Chipper’s retirement means the Braves, in all likelihood, will send four players and one manager to Cooperstown in one decade. Has any franchise ever produced five Hall of Famers inducted in such a short span of time? They may […]

Read More Five HOF’ers in one decade

The baseball Madden

I missed Bobby this year. I also missed Smoltzie in the broadcast booth. I’m not one for hyperbole but I can’t remember a better analyst than Number 29. Twice this series he’s called a play the pitch before it happened (Delmon Young’s homer off BMF in Game 3 and the loud out in the first […]

Read More The baseball Madden

Worst-case scenario

Kris Medlen would most likely be called upon as fifth starter if, God forbid, JJ’s sore right arm proves serious. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but Medlen has the stuff to win 15 games — not that anyone could easily replace Jurrjens. (And would John Smoltz be a candidate to replace Medlen in […]

Read More Worst-case scenario

Smoltzie back at The Ted?

Next weekend the Fish come to Atlanta for a huge series. Don’t be surprised if they bring a familiar reinforcement. Smoltz, pitching AGAINST the Braves, in a pivotal late-season series? I don’t think the Marlins can resist. St. Louis is also interested, but Florida needs him more. –CB

Read More Smoltzie back at The Ted?

Smoltz on Glavine release

I’m thrilled with the McLouth deal and excited about Hanson’s debut. Still, I pretty much agree with Smoltzie‘s take on his friend’s release: “That’s not how you treat people,” Smoltz said after Boston’s 10-5 victory over Detroit on Wednesday. “He didn’t have a chance to fail at that level. … That’s not how you go […]

Read More Smoltz on Glavine release

“Smoltz — who the hell is he?”

Interesting piece about the genesis of the Smoltz for Alexander deal. “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 […]

Read More “Smoltz — who the hell is he?”