Atlanta Magazine has an article out on the subject of John Smoltz.
“I say this for the first time, without reservation, if I’m going to bust my butt and if I feel like I’m good enough and it doesn’t work out here, I will be pitching somewhere else … My dream scenario would be to pitch in the playoffs again, and that’s coming from a guy who’s been in 13 of them. (Smoltz missed the 2000 playoffs with Tommy John surgery.) To me, that’s what I’m about. So if the door gets closed here, it’ll have to be explored somewhere else.”
Simple. To the point. If the Braves don't want him back, Smoltz will find some team that wants 41 year-old who last year struck out 197 and posted a 1.18 WHIP. He also has 3011 lifetime strikeouts. Suffice it to say, he is pretty good.
“Make no mistake,” he said a few minutes later. “I am absolutely, 100 percent committed to playing the rest of my career for the Atlanta Braves. But this can’t be my only option … I may not be in the [Braves’] plans. It’s no given right, where I’ve spent 21 years here and [so] they owe me whatever I want.”
The author does a poor idea of explaining that last sentence. To me, he is saying that the Braves do not owe him and there would be no hard feelings if they do not have him in their plans. I think that is sensible enough.
To me, Smoltz is just trying to put a little pressure on the Braves. Make a quick decision where he stands so he can open discussions elsewhere.
I hope he comes back. The Braves simply have no one better. But if the Braves are going to embrace a rebuild year where they are without Tim Hudson most of the season, it would be best to allow Smoltz to move on. It's a tough decision.