Now I’m in for it: John Smoltz, United States Congressman?

Well, there go any aspirations I had — not that I had many — of having a real “in” with someone in power in our nation’s capital. Because John Smoltz and I, as I’ve noted before, have been on the outs since 1997.

The AJC’s political insider Jim Galloway is  reporting that some Republicans are interested in drafting my favorite pitcher to run for the House seat John Linder announced Saturday he’ll be leaving. I don’t live in the Seventh Congressional District, so I guess even if Smoltz got elected he couldn’t exert too much influence over, say, my subdivision. But you never know. Smoltz has a way of getting what he wants, and he’d have one bully pulpit at his disposal.

And really, would it be a huge jump from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other? Today he’s Citizen Smoltz. Come November, he could be Congressman Smoltz. From there, who knows? Governor Smoltz? Senator Smoltz? President Smoltz?

From pitching against the White Sox — which he has done, if only twice — to living in the White House. Wouldn’t that be something?

According to my esteemed colleague Mr. Galloway, Smoltz has been “paying down some dues in several Republican contests in Georgia over the past two years.” He hasn’t run for anything, but that mightn’t be what the R’s — in savvy political circles, Republicans are known as the R’s — need. He has a famous name. He’d be able to raise money because, let’s face it, who (other than me) wouldn’t love to speak with John Smoltz? And he’s pretty clearly a conservative.

Full disclosure: There’s a Hall of Fame pitcher who’s an elected member of Congress who also happens to be a friend of my mom’s. He’s Jim Bunning, the Senator from Kentucky. (My mom, I should state, was heavy into Republican state politics.) So ordinarily I’d think, “Smoltz hates me, but Sen. Bunning likes my mother, so maybe they’d cancel each other out if a certain someone, say, ever tried to enact a law that would ban a certain Atlanta scribe from writing about sports.”

No such luck. Sen. Bunning is likewise retiring, which would render me friendless-by-proxy in D.C. But I did once sit next to Ralph Reed on the plane back from Phoenix after Game 7 of the 2001 World Series — the Republican power broker had been to the game, and I’d covered it — and he and I had a nice long talk. So maybe he’d put in a word for me.

But that still wouldn’t be enough. It’s said that politics make strange bedfellows. There’s be no bed so strange, I’d venture, as to accommodate John Andrew Smoltz and Mark Andrew Bradley. If No. 29 runs and wins, I’m in real trouble. He’d be working in the U.S. Capitol, and my political capital would be down to zero.

142 comments Add your comment

mn possum

February 27th, 2010
8:00 pm

Vino Fino

February 27th, 2010
8:01 pm

Mark, I have to say I’m a little dissapointed that you continue to use your own bully pulpit to drag out this grudge you have with John Smoltz. Not only is it thoroughly unprofessional, but it’s a bit distasteful as well. I don’t believe that Smoltz goes around bad mouthing you on a regular basis. Seem like as a journalist you should let it go. He’s one of the most beloved sports figures in Atlanta history- no he’s not perfect, but he’s a lot more good than he is bad.

mn possum

February 27th, 2010
8:01 pm

I’d like to thank the academy… and report that Thomas Pynchon is overrated.

Bigstack O' Pancakes. It is an Irish name.

February 27th, 2010
8:01 pm

Go for it Smoltzie. Politics is just as sleezy and corrupt as baseball and both Commissioner Selig and President Obama are both raging idiots.

Mark Bradley

February 27th, 2010
8:02 pm

mn possum, I have to acknowledge that Mr. Pynchon’s latest left me cold. But kudos to you for being first.

38YearBravesFan

February 27th, 2010
8:03 pm

Jim Bunning did it, Steve Largent did it, why not Smoltz??

The Braves choke again

February 27th, 2010
8:05 pm

Just what we need…another petty Republican in congress.

Benjamin

February 27th, 2010
8:05 pm

LOL

Bradley, you and Smoltzie need to have dinner one night to hammer out your issues, man. Ever thought about making the overture?

Mark Bradley

February 27th, 2010
8:08 pm

No, Benjamin. I haven’t. Nobody wants to have dinner with me.

Benjamin

February 27th, 2010
8:12 pm

I doubt that, man.

Good article, as per the usual. Keep ‘em coming.

Biff Pocoroba

February 27th, 2010
8:16 pm

Mark, Tech won today and you write an article about John Smoltz? If Paul Hewitt’s friend that still reads the paper lets him know about this, he is going to have to have another whine session and call you out. You should have written an article about how big this win was because BC had won two games in a row even though they are at the bottom of the ACC.

gerald perry's yoga routine

February 27th, 2010
8:16 pm

A long talk with the esteemed Ralph Reed, eh?

Mark, I hope Jesus Christ is now your personal Lord and Savior and you have played all the major slot machines at Mississippi’s finest Casinos.

/namaste

Jon Contract

February 27th, 2010
8:20 pm

Smoltz representing Bradley in Congress. What were the odds on that.

That being said I dont think he will get elected. At some point he will put his foot in his mouth big time.

Sideways the dog

February 27th, 2010
8:21 pm

nice middle name MB

Truthpaste

February 27th, 2010
8:22 pm

A popularity contest, once again. It’s never about who can benefit the citizens, it’s who can look good for the ticket.

Ted

February 27th, 2010
8:22 pm

Smoltz is a prick. I’d vote for you.

Crockett

February 27th, 2010
8:26 pm

Why are you dragging out this silly grudge again? Get over yourself Bradley, you got into a tiny spat with another grown man, and you let yourself get so very flustered by the incident that you did not go near the guy who it was part of your job to interview for a decade. Are you going to snipe like this every time Smoltz gets headlines from here on out? So you feel that you were in the right and were wronged, Oh the Humanity, poor Mark was glared at.

randyarnold

February 27th, 2010
8:28 pm

Just another case of regressive Republicans showing it’s not how qualified you are, just as long as you have a name and vote the way we tell you to vote. I enjoyed watching John Smoltz come in to solve problems for the Braves in the ’90s. How is John Smoltz qualified in the 21st century to solve the problems created by the Republicans at the beginning of the century is most debatable.

One thing is certain: With all the money he’s made in baseball, he’ll fit in with all the other regressive Republican fat cats.

Jon Contract

February 27th, 2010
8:36 pm

Let the political flames begin !!!

Darren

February 27th, 2010
8:39 pm

That’s right, Randy. Because it’s only the Republican politicians who are rich. Yeah!

Heather

February 27th, 2010
8:39 pm

Mark, you are the one who is imagining a rivalry with Smoltz that simply does not exist. Smoltz does not give a @#$% about you. You, on the other hand, are trying to draw attention to yourself by pretending that Smoltz has some sort of antipathy towards you. Smoltz doesn’t care because he is way more important and more accomplished than you, OK? No one cares about your imaginary little feud.

JTK

February 27th, 2010
8:48 pm

Randy, you are a complete moron. Before the murderer Ted Kennedy died, I believe the top 4 out of 5 richest Senators were Democrats. Of course, Kennedy and John Kerry neither did it on their own. Nothing like being a descendent of a mafia family and marrying the widow of the Heinz fortune. That’s classy! They are such men of the “average” people, right?

Give me a ballplayer over a community organizer anyday! At least Smoltz has actually worked for a living!

UGA75

February 27th, 2010
8:53 pm

MB
In a history of weird and strange columns, this takes the cake. With the many things going on in sports you should have the intelligence to write about sports. Smoltzie still thinks he can play the game, he isn’t likely to jump into politics, though if he did he’d win, and I don’t think Prez Obama would be thrilled with him either.

Whether You and Smoltz like each other on not doesn’t matter. GA and GT both Win, the NFL combine is going on, the Braves are cold in Florida, with ton’s of things you know about and have strong opinions on, why waste a column. Why am I wasting time talking about you wasting time? An equally good question. Stay in the Sports field, you look much less silly!

oldfan

February 27th, 2010
9:02 pm

Smoltz is a excellent pitcher and seems to be a great guy, but if he make a robo call for anyone, especially, Chambliss, I will never vote for him. I hate those things.

Zach

February 27th, 2010
9:20 pm

Governor Smoltz, I love it. If he get’s elected I think I can pretty safely say politics are motivated solely by publicity. And Mark don’t be so sure that just because you’re not from the 7th district or whatever, Smotlz wont have influence over you. I can him proposing some legislation against you. lol

Sonny Clusters

February 27th, 2010
9:23 pm

Hahahahahaha! When Smoltz goes to Congress can it be long before Chipper goes to the Senate? Imagine the government we would have! We was having a bad day until we read this. Congressman Smoltz. Senator Chipper. Hahahhahaha!

GetwhatUpayfor

February 27th, 2010
9:24 pm

Obama has never worked a day in his life and he’s a mult- millionaire…where the blank did he get his $$$$$$?

John will do just fine and better than most.

GetwhatUpayfor

February 27th, 2010
9:25 pm

How about Senator Glavine…the union man.

StingerSplash

February 27th, 2010
9:38 pm

Mr. Bradley,

Maybe you can hit the exacta by having Paul Hewitt run for the same seat this fall.

Harry the Hat

February 27th, 2010
9:43 pm

Smoltz may be a conservative (good), but he’s made so much money that he has no idea how ordinary people live (bad).

On the other hand, he’s honest (as far as I know), which is more than I can say for just about anyone in the Obama administration or the Congress.

And he’s a union guy (bad, real bad).

LAC

February 27th, 2010
9:43 pm

Uh…. No Thanks !

ASHEVILLE DAWG

February 27th, 2010
9:46 pm

Smoltz, do you really want to be just another sleazy politican?

Zach

February 27th, 2010
9:52 pm

Everyone in the Obama administration is terrorists! blah blah blah.

1. No one cares about your political views.

2. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS! (Get, Harry)

3. Ignorance must be bliss.

4. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS!

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

February 27th, 2010
9:58 pm

Does throwing smoke in baseball qualify one to blow smoke on Capital Hill?

Wonder if he inhaled?

Dan

February 27th, 2010
10:02 pm

As far as Smoltz for Congress, why not? The Roman emperor Caligula made his horse a senator – electing pro athletes of any political affiliation who have spent their adult lives perfecting the performance of games to Congress fits right in with the U.S. looking as doomed as the Roman Empire these days.

sansho1

February 27th, 2010
10:08 pm

Loved watching him pitch — can’t stand to hear him talk. Politics makes sense for him, though — that “What’s next, sex with animals?” line will play big in the Seventh….

Tralfaz

February 27th, 2010
10:16 pm

smoltz running as a republican?? Does that mean he is a gay hooker meth addict?

SLP

February 27th, 2010
10:18 pm

Smoltz, God knows, has the ego, but surely he’s no idiot. Nothing to be concerned about Mark.

For the record, I’d LOVE to see him make a fool of himself and fall flat on his face.

Dr Henry/Augusta

February 27th, 2010
10:21 pm

Well, why not Mark? I don’t believe that anyone in D.C. likes any of us any more than Smoltz likes U…I would bet the house that he would be elected…We need new Republican blood from our state….There are some that think Newt Gingrich is still in power….Even though we’re not Minnesota or California where any celeb can get elected Smoltz could very well be a breath of fresh air……I have always thought that Knucksie would of been a good candidate for public office.

Bigstack O' Pancakes. It is an Irish name.

February 27th, 2010
10:22 pm

Plus if Smoltz disagrees with a fellow congressman he can just come high and inside and scare the crap out of them.

Dr Henry/Augusta

February 27th, 2010
10:28 pm

BTW…I guess now that Derek Dooley coaches the Vols, Vince’s name won’t come up for Governor…seems like there’s always been a minor push to get the old Bulldog coach in politics.

Tom

February 27th, 2010
10:32 pm

He’s got name recognition, that’s true. But I think he’d be more respected on the state level. He’s been in Atlanta all his career, so that qualifies him for congress? Nope.

NOPE-Keep the change curious george

Leroy Updike

February 27th, 2010
10:39 pm

It would be a great addition to a group that lacks character and integrity. I think the people need his character but I am not certian either party could adapt to it!!!

Dr.Dave

February 27th, 2010
11:13 pm

This country has some very serious problems and it’s going to take a lot more than baseball fame to deal with them. JS, forget it and go play some golf.

Reid Adair

February 28th, 2010
12:24 am

I think John Smoltz would be a great member of Congress; he certainly couldn’t do any worse than most of the folks on Capitol Hill now.

Mitchell

February 28th, 2010
3:06 am

John Smoltz should do anything and everything but get into politics. Maybe he could just continue to not retire and hope that someone will sign him.

Conyers Braves Fan

February 28th, 2010
4:24 am

Mark: I thought Smoltz has said he aspires to joining the Senior Tour. Do you think he has
dropped that idea? Not unlike others who have made a name for themselves in professional sports,
he probably just wants to keep himself visible and in the media after his career is over.

dagnabit

February 28th, 2010
4:26 am

Well; His wife and kids have already left him ,so he’s free to diddle any woman or man that he wants to. Without resigning

lanier

February 28th, 2010
5:15 am

well he appears self-absorbed enough to be a politication but in elections for us congress these types don’t fare too well. there once was a football coach from Athens who had the same idea and it didn’t get very far.

jadarm

February 28th, 2010
5:17 am

Can you let the Smoltz drama go? I love reading your blogs, but Smoltzie is an Atlanta icon. I don’t really need to be reminded in every single paragraph that you write how you OR him got his feathers ruffled over a decade ago.

Lovin’ ur objectivity here guy.