News and Views: Smoltz-Braves iffy (and 3 teams for Vick)

 

John Smoltz had his eyes on facing the Braves, but now that's up in air (AP photo).

John Smoltz had his eyes on facing the Braves, but now that's up in the air.

Welcome back to another edition of News and Views, the latest online sensation that has swept the nation and has the entire blogosphere Twittering, or something like that. (Pope Benedict XVI: “I never miss a day without it. But I wish he would write more about soccer.”)

Where was I?

♦ NEWS: John Smoltz’s final scheduled rehab start for Pawtucket was rained out in Syracuse Thursday night and has been rescheduled for tonight. (UPDATE: I copy/pasted a couple of stories from Smoltz’s Friday start down in the comments section.)

♦ WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Because this could affect whether he faces the Braves next week in Boston.

♦ VIEWS: Pawtucket is a really dumb name for a city. Just saying.

♦ OTHER VIEWS: This is the way the math worked out in a five-man rotation before Thursday’s rainout: Smoltz would be activated by the Red Sox Friday. He’d make his first start for Boston against Florida next Tuesday at Fenway Park. He’d make his second second start against the Braves the following Sunday (June 21). His potential third start also would be against the Braves, June 26 at Turner Field. But now everything’s up in the air. I know some people are sick of hearing about Smoltz (and Tom Glavine). But folks, Smoltz vs. the Braves would be a classic showdown.

Boston manager Terry Francona is not giving any hints as to what might happen. His team is playing great and the pitching has been strong (although there has been speculation that No. 5 starter Brad Penny is on the trade block). “We’ll sit down with [Smoltz] and just make sure we’re all on the same page,” Francona told the Boston Herald. “When you activate somebody, there has to be another [corresponding] move. He understands that. Our next move is to wait for him to get done pitching, sit down with him, see how he comes through his start and then go from there. … We’re not going to [announce] next Wednesday’s or Thursday’s or Friday’s pitcher. We just need to do it in the proper time frame. I don’t blame anybody for asking [how we’re going to handle it]. It’s a really interesting subject.”

It may be a while before Michael Vick actually waves hello again.

It may be a while before Michael Vick actually waves hello again.

♦ NEWS: Michael Vick is released!!! Read about it here! And here! And here! And, oh, that’s enough.

♦ WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Because it has been at least 2 minutes, 14 seconds since anybody on AJC.com has posted something on Vick. (Coming later this evening: If Vick gets rich again, should he buy out Steve Belkin as the next Atlanta Spirit owner? Tell us what you think!!!)

♦ VIEWS: OK, seriously. Sort of. Vick is free to sign with any team. But don’t expect anything to happen right away. Three reasons: 1) He remains under NFL suspension, and there’s no hint from commissioner Roger Goodell as to when that might end; 2) He is still in bankruptcy court. Vick certainly is not going to sign any contract and accept any significant income — $10 a hour for a construction job doesn’t qualify — until the courts approve how to clear his existing debt. His attorneys aren’t that stupid. At least, I don’t think they are. 3) No team is going to sign him until after extensive conversations to gauge his maturity and mental state, to say nothing of his physical condition. All of that will take some time.

But since Vick is free to sign anywhere, here are the three most likely teams that could show interest in him and where he might be a good fit. I’ve given this some deep thought for at least several minutes.

ST. LOUIS RAMS: First of all, this has been a backwards organization for some time, so predicting what the Rams might do is risky. But the team’s new general manager, Billy Devaney, is the former Falcons’ personnel guy. He knows Vick and it’s believed he has kept in contact with him. The Rams are a dome/turf team, where Vick excelled with the Falcons. The big question is whether new head coach Steve Spagnuolo (the former Giants’ defensive coordinator) and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur (who worked with Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia) are on board.

I had a cheap excuse to use a picture of Gisele Bundchen in Versace (or anything).

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: This organization has taken on other teams’ problems before, notably Randy Moss and Corey Dillon. The closed-door, militaristic atmosphere around the Patriots would be good for Vick, as would coach Bill Belichick, who would find some way to exploit his talents in the offense. Vick obviously wouldn’t be going to New England with the idea of taking over for Tom Brady. But he certainly could be used in goal-line situations and other formations, such as the “Wildcat” offense. Then if Vick excels and returns to the top of his game — and if Brady is still around and healthy and not preoccupied with Gisele Bundchen — he can always move on to another team.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: They’re certainly familiar with Vick in New Orleans from the NFC South. The fanbase down there would go nuts for him if he took off. Like the Rams, the Saints play in a dome. Further, head coach Sean Payton has one of the better offensive minds in the league and would find a way to utilize Vick’s skills. Like the Patriots, the Saints have a strong incumbent in Drew Brees. But it might be best to go to a team where there’s little chance of Vick creating a quarterback controversy (at least for now)

So there you have it. My three picks.

What do you think?

116 comments Add your comment

rhynster

June 12th, 2009
3:28 pm

You just know Smoltz will pitch against us and hand us our butts.

Shaggy

June 12th, 2009
3:32 pm

That won’t be hard for him to do against this offense.

Josh

June 12th, 2009
3:38 pm

I hope his arm falls off.

Ely-Kelso

June 12th, 2009
3:41 pm

Anyone could pitch against the Braves and hand them “their butt.”

Dave In Tampa

June 12th, 2009
3:41 pm

Arm fall off or not he’s a class act and a Hall of Famer!

JD

June 12th, 2009
3:46 pm

You just know Smoltz will pitch against us and hand us our butts.

SCHULTZ could pitch against us and hand us our butts (no offense, JS)

JD

June 12th, 2009
3:46 pm

Dave – well, he’s a Hall of Famer at least

sidslid

June 12th, 2009
3:53 pm

Three way deal: Frenchy to Boston, Penny to White Sox, Dye to ATL

don

June 12th, 2009
3:57 pm

Smoltz is a man of class. His dissenters are whiners. I hope he cleans the Braves.

Jarrett

June 12th, 2009
4:01 pm

Do that deal right now. OR Frenchy, JoJo Reyes, Kelly Johnson for Matt Holiday.

David C

June 12th, 2009
4:02 pm

As soon as ANY team signs Vick the crackheads will want the starter benched. Thats just how it is.

Jeff Schultz

June 12th, 2009
4:07 pm

JOSH: That’s OK. I think Smoltz’s arm has come off before, and he pitched anyway.

JD: None taken. But I would absolutely mow them down. In whiffle ball.

Caedmon

June 12th, 2009
4:08 pm

Wow Schultz, you’re really earning your keep the last few days. What is this, like ten stories in the past two days. Good job my friend. You deserve a lukewarm British beer. I recommend Boddingtons.

Shane (The original)

June 12th, 2009
4:14 pm

You just know Smoltz will pitch against us and hand us our butts.

Yeah the way Glavine did

Shane (The original)

June 12th, 2009
4:15 pm

Smoltz is no class act. In fact he is a first class ahole. Just cause you can throw a baseball hard doesnt make you a good person. He took more money from Boston and threw the Braves under the bus as fast as he could.

blueway

June 12th, 2009
4:25 pm

I hope smoltz gets hit hard – literally

Nick

June 12th, 2009
4:35 pm

No way Vick comes to NOLA. We have Joey Harrington and Mark Brunell, plus New Orleans is like a 60% dog owner city.

Adam

June 12th, 2009
4:35 pm

Facing Smoltz is not the issue. If we’ve won 2-3 straight at that point, he will dominate. If we’ve lost 2-3 straight at that point, there’s a chance. Since the 5-1 start that’s the only thing the Braves have been consistent about.

Optimist Prime

June 12th, 2009
4:35 pm

Gee, I hope Smoltz doesn’t get any “burning sensations” from his new gold-digging bride.

robert frost

June 12th, 2009
4:37 pm

Yes, Pawtucket is a dumb name, but it makes for great poetry. Wait, maybe it’s Nantuckett.

Hot Phone Sex Princess

June 12th, 2009
4:38 pm

Smoltz…meh.

Realist

June 12th, 2009
4:46 pm

Glad that Smoltz is happy with the Sox and back close to “home”, but enough with the whining and low blows already. How many millions did he make here? How much did his ex-wife get from him and why is he so bitter? We all know that he, JS, & Wren bumped heads… we know this. But at the end of the day, tough decisions have to be made and this was one of them. I never thought I’d say this – but he needs to sack up, STFU, and get over it already. We didn’t want to pay him what he thought he was worth anymore…. NEXT!

what goes around

June 12th, 2009
4:47 pm

I agree with you Shane. Smoltz is a selfish whiner. He has had a great career but I think he is done for the most part and the Braves knew it. He may struggle and get some decent starts in- but he will never hold up for any amount of time. I think the Braves may actually knock him around- If he even gets to start any time soon.

Spud Webb

June 12th, 2009
4:47 pm

I hope he pitches twice against the Braves, BRING IT BI&TCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RC35

June 12th, 2009
5:00 pm

I don’t see why there’s so much hate for a man who pitched his heart out for this team and this area for years. He’s pitched in pain, pitched phenomenally in the postseason, and if memory serves me correctly, if Jermaine Dye hadn’t cut in front of Marquis Grissom, Smoltz might still be shutting out the Yankees in our last World Series game (waiting for the Braves to score a run, I might add!).

I wish John all the best and hope he wins another pile of games before retiring…just not so many that he goes into the Hall with a Red Sox cap instead of the “A”.

Bigk

June 12th, 2009
5:00 pm

I say trade Frenchy for another underachieving bat–former number 1 pick Delmon Young

dl

June 12th, 2009
5:01 pm

Hey Shultz- I lived in Providence (next to Pawtucket) and as crappy a name as Pawtucket is, It’s an even crappier town! Truly, the armpit of NEW ENGLAND.

wreckmaniac

June 12th, 2009
5:10 pm

I’ll never get sick of hearing any Smoltz/Glavine news and I hope its all great. Yea, Smoltz will hand us our butts.

Mark

June 12th, 2009
5:12 pm

People who come on here to trash John Smoltz need to take a close look at their lives and think about why they are so angry. I mean the guy gave 2 decades to the Braves and will go down as one of the greatest Braves pitchers of all time, along with Glavin. I mean, I guess you don’t care about the Smoltz Foundation either. How many people in Georiga has it help? Not enough for everyone else it seems.

If we face him, I hope we score an unearned run, and win 1-0. Because, you know, us non-angry people don’t wish for people’s arms to fall off.

Joe Public

June 12th, 2009
5:19 pm

I wish Wren could bat and Smoltzie could hit him in the head with one of his fastballs. That would be sweet.

Jeff Schultz

June 12th, 2009
5:21 pm

CAEDMON: I lost count. It’s the new world. 3 blogs a day, Mon-Friday. Then collapse on Sat.

NICK: Did you just use Joey Harrington and Mark Brunell as reasons Vick WON’T come to New Orleans. I think you just made my argument.

ROBERT FROST: I once new a closer from Nantucket.

HOT PHONE SEX PRINCESS: You never call.

RC35: Why are you applying logic to the situation?

DL: Yeah. And Robert Frost can’t find ANYTHING to rhyme with Providence.

AtlMan

June 12th, 2009
5:27 pm

People are angry and Smoltz and Glavine because they keep running their mouths about how they were wronged and the Braves owe them something. If they’d just shutup people would be fine with their decisions. Oh but they were wronged???
Take a page from the greatest Brave pitcher of this era: Greg Maddux. He wasn’t even offered a contract and he was still healthy and effective and what did he do? He said what a great time he had pitching here and how much he loved the team and the city and went on his way (I wish he hadn’t). And then every time he steps foot on Turner field he gets a standing O. That’s class.

bravesfan27

June 12th, 2009
5:33 pm

Has anyone realized, that Smoltz left for more money(money that we could not give him) Why because its June 12 and he still hasnt pitched yet. Yea that would have been smart move for our front office. Cmon people it was a no brainer. And if smoltz was like chipper he would have taken our offer and not leave for 2mil. Greddy bastard!

Mitch C

June 12th, 2009
5:36 pm

Somehow, I’m not as angry with Smoltz as I was with Glavine when Glavine left in 2002.

Here’s the reason: At the time, the Braves were coming off eleven straight division titles. The Braves also gave Glavine a good contract offer in 2002. (3 years, 30 mil). The Mets were coming off a last place finish, and were downright terrible in Glavine’s first two years in New York, while the Braves won division titles again. In my view, Tom got what he deserved.

This is different: The Braves didnt make Smoltz as good of an offer, and, he went with a winner, a team that has a chance to make the playoffs, and even win the World Series. The Braves arent World Series contenders anymore as they were during Smoltz’s heyday here.

Am I upset and disappointed that Smoltz left? Of course. I’d have loved to have seen him finish his career as a Brave. The other side of the coin, I understand why he did leave, much more so than when Glavine left in 2002.

Smoltz Vs Braves will be fun. It will be interesting to see if he does better against us, than Glavine did his first several times that he pitched against the Braves.

Mitch

Traver

June 12th, 2009
5:42 pm

Frank better hope nobody else gets hurt and he has to suit up. Although it would be great to see him get in the box against Smoltzie! (Never hurts to dream – forget chin music. Can you say – “Right in the the ear hole!)

Eagle83

June 12th, 2009
5:45 pm

Big difference between Smoltz’s whining and Glavine’s. Smoltz’s is legit. He did what he could throughout his career to stay with the Braves. Glavine chased the money the first chance that he got. He has not been part of this organization for years. A partial one season comeback does not count. He’s still a Met.

Smoltzie

June 12th, 2009
5:45 pm

I USED to love Smoltz as much as anybody…however, Smoltz (like Schilling) loves to talk to the media and hear himself talk. Also, I know that he just recently got married…the problem w/that is, there are some people in his life that apparently didnt know he was getting married…just sayin

GEORGE

June 12th, 2009
5:54 pm

When or you fish wrapper (so called sports writers) going to wake up and realize that the largest amount of sports fans in Metro, could care less about Smoltz, Glavine, Vick and the rest of the has beens. Plain and simple, Glavine is a washed up greedy millonaire who would play for anybody who would give him a buck. Smoltz is also washed up, but still holding out full time TV job so he can run his mouth constanly.(cause thats what he does best.), besides being a religious hypocrite. I wish the Falcons had signed Vick isstead of releasing him,so he could have really socked it to all of the die hard sucker fans! I’m bad mouthing Galvine, Smoltz and Vick, but the majority of proffesional sports figures are chips off the block of the fore mentioned.

Pat

June 12th, 2009
5:56 pm

All you delusional Braves fans who want to trade Frenchy…….just who in the HELL would give up anything of value for him based on his performance over the past 1 and a half seasons. They might be willing to part with a bag of new baseballs….other than that, fat chance—but you can keep dreaming

[...] Jeff Schultz | ajc.com – [...]

the truth...

June 12th, 2009
6:06 pm

I say trade Frenchy for Brandon Jones….even swap….you know, Brandon comes up and Frenchy goes down….

Pete the Great

June 12th, 2009
6:08 pm

Interesting Jeff since the Red Sox themselves have no idea what they are going to with Smoltz. They really don’t need him.

Alan

June 12th, 2009
6:08 pm

Where ever he goes its good news that the Falcons will no longer be connected with him, he will be a loser the rest of his life until he truely understands what he gave up, Mr. Blank was then and is now in his corner so that he can become a useful citizen in our soceity. I imagine that he will be better off in the CFL, plenty of room for his running style, he doesn’t have the arm nor the ability to read NFL defenses.

GEORGE

June 12th, 2009
6:08 pm

The Braves will never be contenders again until they get a different manager and hitting coach! T P had A Jones so confused he may never be the same hitter again. Now he’s working on Jeff F.

Ted Striker

June 12th, 2009
6:11 pm

Jeff — Without Pawtucket, I’d know hardly any limericks.

Steve

June 12th, 2009
6:13 pm

Smoltz’s ego would get in the way of his view of home plate. Maybe he and Glavine can get together and talk about how the were able to drive up their salaries. (Smoltz with the Sox and Glavine with the Mets).

Vick is nothing but a criminal. Not only did he kill dogs, but he flat out lied when asked about it. But for some reason everyone forgets that. And should we even talk about the water bottle, or the fake name? Maybe we should call him Mr. Herpes? He’s a punk thug, no more, no less. I just know I wouldn’t want my children to grow up and be like him.

the real Andy

June 12th, 2009
7:16 pm

you know, i actually don’t want to see Smoltzie pitch against the Braves. Maddux is my all-time favorite player, and it was weird but okay to watch him pitch against us and hope he got shelled. But I would just have a real damn hard time pulling against John. I’d rather he miss the starts. (Besides, I think he might just demolish us).

Didley Moose Sweat

June 12th, 2009
7:39 pm

If Mike Vick ever becomes a Saint, I will disown the only NFL team I have ever followed (for all 42+ years of my life and the Saints’ life now) and quit being a fan of the sport alltogether forever. Period. Sean Payton said “I’ve read about our interest in certain players and putting in that (wildcat) system. Right now, we’ve got too many other things we’ve got to work on. I just don’t want to take away any snaps from Drew Brees.”. Mickey Loomis said “We have no plans to bring Michael Vick to the Saints.”

Do you really think Payton wants all the distractions for his team while he’s working on matching defensive wits with his offense for a run at the Super Bowl? Do you really think he wants picketers and protestors outside the Superdome for every home game all season long? I just don’t see it happening. I doubt he gets reinstated into the league until at least the 2010 season anyway. What do you think about that?

willieg

June 12th, 2009
8:06 pm

WELL SMOLTZ WILL PICTH 5OR6 SHUTOUT INNINGS AGAINST ATLANTA, THE REDSOX, YANKEES WILL SWEEP ATLANTA ,GEE RICK CAMP WOULD THROW A SHUTOUT AGAINST THIS TEAM,THE ONLY WAY THE BRAVES GET TO ANOTHER WORLD SERIES IS GETTING A OWNER THAT CARES AND SPEND MONEY TO GET GOOD PLAYERS LIKE TED TURNER DID,ARTHUR BLANK WANTED TO BUY THE BRAVES BUT THEY GAVE IT TO THE IDIOTS OF COLORADO, A PORNO GROUP CHECK IT OUT,AS FAR AS VICK GOES IWILL BE HIS AGENT HE NEEDS GUIDANCE IWILL GET HIM A JOB WITH ROTOROOTER CLEANING TOILETS FOR 10.00 AN HOUR, SINCE HE WAS SHI T ON THE FIELD HE WILL FIT RIGHT IN .

willieg

June 12th, 2009
8:12 pm

the braves are real lucky, washington in in the east or they would be ion last place all the time