Bradley’s Buzz: John Smoltz to … the stinkin’ METS?

John Smoltz had an intriguing 2009: Left the Braves, ripped Frank Wren, signed with the Red Sox, got cut in August, signed with the Cardinals, did a bit better, pitched two relief innings in postseason as the team got swept, filed for free agency. His final numbers for the season: Two clubs, three victories, eight losses, an ERA of 6.35.

We Atlantans monitored this mostly from afar. Smoltz didn’t pitch against the Braves. (Though he did manage to rip his former employer for its treatment of Tom Glavine.) But if reports from New York are correct, Smoltz would be given ample opportunity to exert the Smoltzian wrath firsthand. Because the Braves play the Mets 18 times in 2010.

Yes, the Mets. According to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, “the Mets have been particularly active in dialogue with the 42-year-old Smoltz’s reps and would use him as a starter.”And two of the team’s other presumed pitching targets were lost Tuesday, when Ben Sheets signed with Oakland and Jon Garland with San Diego.

Writes Mike Puma of the New York Post: “That leaves John Smoltz as perhaps the last man standing if the Mets intend to address their rotation through the free-agent market. A club insider yesterday indicated GM Omar Minaya has been in contact with Smoltz, but the Mets will only sign the 42-year-old right-hander if they can do it cheaply.”

The Smoltz speculation isn’t exactly music to all ears. Here, from Will Leitch’s blog for New York magazine, is a sobering assessment:

“Omar Minaya and Co. think Smoltz is a legitimate, cost-efficient option. Smoltz struggled with the Red Sox last year, but was adequate with the Cardinals late in the season. He had been wanting to return to St. Louis, but found the Cardinals tight with the purse strings themselves after signing Matt Holliday. To make sure you have that chain right: Ben Sheets is too expensive for the Mets but not the A’s, and John Smoltz is too expensive for the Cardinals but not the Mets. Strange things happen in free agency, come late January.

“That said: When it comes to Smoltz, you have to wonder what either side is seeing in each other. This late in his career, Smoltz would ideally pitch for a contender, which — no offense, Mets — is absolutely not what they are right now. And the Mets would seem more ideally suited for low-risk, high-reward types like Sheets: At 42, there’s a lid on what Smoltz can achieve, even in a park like Citi Field where he might thrive. Smoltz is a complementary piece right now. The Mets need more than complementary pieces.

“That said, the Mets, if they sign Smoltz, can comfort themselves by knowing that two of the three members of the Braves’ great triumvirate pitched in Flushing at the end of their careers. Because no one will ever forget Tom Glavine’s time here, no matter how hard they might try.”

And here, from Dave on the Mets Lifer blog, is an even more plaintive cry:

“Stay away from Smoltz. Have we learned nothing from the Tom Glavine experiment? Or Julio Franco? All Braves players from the late 90’s to early 2000’s are pure Kryptonite. They’re a plague. A curse. A voodoo spell on New York baseball. Nothing good can come from having them on the Mets.”

Nothing good? I think not. Why, the renewed partnership of Smoltz and his little buddy Jeff Francoeur would do wonders for the New York economy. Think of all the money waiting to be banked in greens fees.

147 comments Add your comment

Wren Hater

January 27th, 2010
11:54 am

Wren Hater

January 27th, 2010
11:58 am

Smoltz to the rude,foul-mouthed, rude, obnoxious, rude, unwashed, rude, loud-talking Mets and their even lower-class “fans ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? ”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Bradley

January 27th, 2010
12:04 pm

Wren Hater takes the prize. Kudos.

Wren Hater

January 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

If Cal Ripken, Jr. had a baseball bat to Frank Wren 11 years ago, none of this nightmare would be happening.

Why is Roger “No Playoffs Since I Was Hired” McDowell STILL our pitching coach while Leo Mazzone is unemployed ???? WHY?

John Smoltz absolutely SHOULD BE in a Braves uniform in 2010 and coming out of the bullpen in the 9th Inning to the tune of “Thunderstruck” as electricity fills the air and parents tell their children they are about to see something special.

Smoltz belongs here. Frank “Wrong Again” Wren does not.

Frank Wren should be….. Brett Favre’s Official Tissue Carrier (and NOTHING more).

Frank Wren should absolutely NOT be out-earning a hardworking McDonald’s employee, and he has no place whatsoever in the Braves front office.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 27th, 2010
12:07 pm

Read I think on Yahoo that Omar thought Smoltz could possibly be the #2 starter for the Mets! #2! Can’t imagine Smotz holding up for 35 starts, or pitching well enough to be a legit #2 option.

ChiTownBravesFan

January 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

Never thought I would see a great competitor like Smoltzy hanging on like this. He will probably sign with the Mets and get traded to a contender later in the season if he proves healthly. Ironic that he was with us for 20 years, and now it appears a possibility he will spend two years with four teams.

Old Dawg

January 27th, 2010
12:09 pm

I think your first paragraph described an aging star who has hung on too long. Come on John,
ride into the sunset before you convince too many people you don’t belong in Cooperstown

Herschel Talker

January 27th, 2010
12:11 pm

MB:

Good article. Smoltz is turning his career into a joke.

Fire Booby Cox!

HT

Wren Hater

January 27th, 2010
12:12 pm

11 Years Ago + Cal Ripken + Baseball Bat + Home-Run Swing + Frank Wren’s Cranium = :-)

Huh?!

January 27th, 2010
12:13 pm

Nothing good? At least the Mets blogger didn’t call him the most overrated player of all time.

Tim Tebow's Tears

January 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Wow, well at least NYC media has something to talk about other than the Jets now. Mets are the red-headed stepchild of this town anyways.. Unfort I’ll have to read about a better pitcher the Yanks got from us thanks to Wren…

joel marable

January 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Guys it does not matter where Smoltz goes,we wont win 75 games this year.we will become the braves of old.loserville.no speed little power shaky bullpen,light weight bench.nothing happening.wren and cox know we wont compete this year,they have 2 say the right things 2 sell tickets.but once play begins no one will buy tickets to c us lose 2 of 3,and 3of4 all the time.good times are over.our division is 2 strong to start that outfield we have.give me a break Wren.

Bravechick

January 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Someone needs to hire a skywriter to fly over Alpharetta with this message: Surrender Smoltz!

He’s turning his wonderful career into a one liner. So sad.

nola

January 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

MB cranking out the baseball articles… i like it.

Mark – if he goes to the stinkin’ Mets, what’s your over/under on wins for ol Smolzie? Mine would be 7.

Mark Bradley

January 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

I’ll say 10, Nola.

joel marable

January 27th, 2010
12:21 pm

Hey Mark would you by season tickets?be honest.me no way we will b awful.

Mark Bradley

January 27th, 2010
12:22 pm

I don’t think the Braves will be awful. But I’m not as optimistic as I was a year ago.

nola

January 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

if he pitches a full season (30-35 starts), yeah 10 should be about right. I just see him breaking down for a month or so. Making 20-25 starts, with a line somethign like 7-10 with a 4.75 ERA

joel marable

January 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

thanks 4 answering honestly.next to last place.watch

Art Vandelay

January 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

@Wren Hater, did you not notice how miserably Mazzone failed when he left the Braves and went to Baltimore? He’s not the reason the Braves’ pitching was so good in the 90s — Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz would’ve been Hall of Famers no matter who the pitching coach was. McDowell has done a good job with the staff he’s been given, and there’s no role on this team for Smoltz anymore. Who wants a 42-year-old closer with an elbow held together by bubble gum and twine? Time to turn the page and let that era end. The Braves have arguably the best rotation in the NL, and our bullpen is solid. Adding Smoltz at his inflated salary wouldn’t make us any better.

PMC

January 27th, 2010
12:26 pm

Interesting, I didn’t even know he was Latino…..you learn something new every day I guess.

All kidding aside, seriously… the Mets seem to have pitchers whose arms fall apart routinely. I’m not sure if this is the best place for him but Vaya con Dios. Nothing is going to change that 29 is my favorite Brave.

oldfart

January 27th, 2010
12:26 pm

Smoltz met my number one requirement in an athlete, he always gave his all. Like many athletes he doesn’t know when to give it up. After last year you would think he got the message. Time for him to play golf everyday to hone those skills until he is old enough to hit the Senior tour.

DZ

January 27th, 2010
12:27 pm

Mark – if he goes to the stinkin’ Mets, what’s your over/under that he’s still on the team October 1st?

PMC

January 27th, 2010
12:30 pm

Good luck Veinte Nueve.

Daniel

January 27th, 2010
12:32 pm

Wren hater- you do realize this is the year 2010 and not 1997? Please stop pretending you are a Braves or baseball fan and find a new way to garner attention than repeating a sports opinion that is almost a decade old.

Mark, seriously, this Braves team is currently better than the team that started last season… may not be better than the one that finished the season. Would you change your mind if they sign Damon?

Also, if Smoltz goes to the Mets, over/under on how long before he declares himself the leader of the team and is in the papers commenting on the inner workings of the rest of the NL East? I say he doesn’t make it through spring training before that happens.

Wren Hater

January 27th, 2010
12:37 pm

Smoltz = The ANTI-Kovalchuk

Wren = The ANTI-Schuerholz

Ryan = The ANTI-Vick

Mrs. Wren = The ANTI-Happy Wife

Bradley = The ANTI-Schultz (Thank Goodness!)

bill

January 27th, 2010
12:37 pm

“His final numbers for the season: Two clubs, three victories, eight losses, an ERA of 6.35.”

And why would we care where he ends up? Clearly, his skills have diminshed but his ego and his mouth have not. What a shame…. another case of a once truly great star who doesn’t know when it’s time to hang it up.

Wren Hater

January 27th, 2010
12:42 pm

“Daniel” = Frank Wren, JR.

Art Vandelay = Roger McDowell, JR.

Do you have a kiss for Dad-Dy ?

ProScout

January 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

Some people don’t know when to hang it up. When a player leaves for more money “it’s a business” is an acceptable answer. When a team lets a player go for the same reason then they are the bad guy who is letting an icon go.

Were the Braves really supposed to give him the money he wanted last year at his age, coming off his 6th arm surgery, having been on the DL 11 times already, and he wouldn’t even be ready till August??????

Believe me when I tell you that people who know this business and are on the inside don’t blame Wren and the Braves for letting him go.

Daniel

January 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

Wren Hater- your one of “those” guys aren’t you? Should have known better.

jeffrey d

January 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

10 wins, Mark? Smoltz is going to be 43 this year. I really don’t see him starting long enough to make it to 10 wins regardless of who he plays for.

ernisTbass

January 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

Smoltzie!!! Please!!! Save your arm, hit the links, the senior tour ain’t that far down the road for you. There is an extention of your career but it’s with a 7 iron, not a baseball. Thanks for the memories, now don’t ruin them.

siskel_god

January 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

Wow, WrenHater why are you bashing McDowell? He finally got some legit major league talent and helped JJ and Hanson have awesome years, turned Javy into a top Cy Young vote getter, worked with KK through the season and he had some real god games not to mention the bullpen. Who were Will Ohman, and Eric O’Flaherty the last two years and who were they before they came to Atlanta? Kris Medlen looked phenomenal at the end of the season. Now Lowe was not that great, and their were guys like Blaine Boyer and are guys like Manny Acosta but every team has those guys. McDowell has done a real good job and should be commended, not replaced.

kidpolska

January 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

Wren Hater= The ANTI-Intelligent

Money

January 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

I didn’t even know Smoltzy was a free agent looking to play…he really needs to retire! And to those McDowell haters…he did a pretty good job with our starters last year (pitching was not the problem)…and who can forget the days when he was pitching in those MTV celebrity softball games with that colorful wig…what a clown!

Dr. Warren

January 27th, 2010
1:00 pm

With both Smoltz and Francoeur there, would this mean Sonny Clusters would sublet a studio in SoHo for the summer?

GT, In Your Dreams

January 27th, 2010
1:02 pm

Only because no one else has posted it yet today: 45-42!!!!! Dogs still can’t get over that massive defeat to the mighty Y’Jackets!

Fed Up With Wren (Again)

January 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

And I thought I hated Wren. I with Wren Hater and Mark, the current team doesn’t look like a contender and either Wagner or Glaus will break down. Maybe the D-Backs will be out of it early and we can trade for LaRoche (again).

BubbaDaMetzFan

January 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

“Stinking Mets” have won (2) World Series in my lifetime…The Braves (1)…Toronto (town known more for Hockey) has (2) and Small Market Twins (2)…Oh yeah, they punked the Braves to get there…BTW Team in South Florida has won (2) although they can’t even draw flies these days…

jon

January 27th, 2010
1:04 pm

Thats how desperate the Mets are! Smoltz is done! We certainly made the write decision on him!

bravesfanbob

January 27th, 2010
1:04 pm

I think we need to not worry about who Smoltz signs with. He was not resigned last year by the Braves, and I hated it. Turned out to be the right move, and God, I hate to admit that! So if he signs with the Mets, and becomes their number 2 starter as some are saying, it only means that we don’t need to worry about the Mets this year.

Now for next year, and our top priority, replacing Bobby Cox. There is only one person the Braves need to consider…. Roberto Kelly. He is currently the 1st base coach at San Francisco. I had the pleasure of watching him manage the Augusta Greenjackets from 2005-2007, and all he did was average 88- 52 for the 3 years. He did this with 3 completely different teams, as it is class A ball. He won by managing the game as it should be. In all the years I’ve watched baseball, I’ve never seen a better ABC baseball manager at any level. His teams led the league in steals each year, and that was with only 2 offensive players who are in the big leagues now, Pablo Sandoval, and Eugenio Velez. His teams also were never better than 13th out of 16th in home runs, which means he had to come up with ways to score. He told me on many occasions that Bobby Cox was the manager he most enjoyed playing for, so the turnaround would be much easier. But he also said in the same breath, that he liked a wide open style of baseball. Mark my words, Roberto Kelly will win manager of the year at least twice in his first 4 years, wherever he manages. Better grab him while you can, or before San Francisco fires Bochy.

florida falcon

January 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

“It’s over Johnny, IT’S OVER!”

Good Grief

January 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

@Wren Hater…

You’ve been watching and listening to Skip Bayless a little to much – calm down with the whack nicknames. I agree with much that is being said by others and I still stand where I stood last year on John Smoltz – I want nothing to do with the guy and his bum arm. John can just prove us wrong and if he does good for him, but I our staff is set all around and we dont know need a 42 year old ego maniac coming in with not only his inflated salary but his inflated ego. I agree Bradley, I only think he wins 10 or less this year…

This is a sad, sad way for a pitcher as good as Smoltz is to go out

Matt the Brave

January 27th, 2010
1:07 pm

I guess if they run Smoltz out against the Nats 3 times, Mark, then he’ll hit that 10. I just wonder how much more he can pitch before his arm literally declares itself a relic and puts itself in the New York Library archives.

john

January 27th, 2010
1:09 pm

Mark, can’t believe your 12.22 blog. Of course, their much better off this year.

Born2Buzz

January 27th, 2010
1:09 pm

The days of the 40something successful baseball player are over. They test for steroids now. John will give it a go and be broken down by June. Sorry to say, cause he was one of my favorites.
In that same vein, I fear ole #10 will also be broken down sometime in mid season.

Time to go young folks.

Dr. Warren, good one.

tell it like it is

January 27th, 2010
1:09 pm

He should get out while the getting is good.He has nothing left to offer.

Matt

January 27th, 2010
1:12 pm

GT in your dreams- i thought they got over it quite nicely this year!! Did I miss something?

Keith B

January 27th, 2010
1:16 pm

If the BRAVES were smart, they’d sign Smoltzie. I’ll take 1 Smoltz over 1,000 Greg Nortons, Derrick Lowes, and Ryan Churches.

papadawg

January 27th, 2010
1:17 pm

Smoltz to Mets-SO WHAT!