Charles Pillsbury III

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John Smoltz is having surgery that will end his season, and maybe his career.

When Smoltz posted a 0.78 ERA and recorded 31 strikeouts in his first four starts this season, it was easy to assume that he’d continue to successfully pitch through the discomfort like he did during his final 20 starts last year.

“I thought John was throwing as well as I’d ever seen him,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “But those in-between days were rough, and you can only tolerate so much pain. He’s always pitched with pain and always been the best competitor in the world.”

[From The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Smoltz faces season-ending surgery]

I’ve been a Braves fan since I was a kid and saw Daly Murphy and Bruce Benedict playing in FulCo, but my obsession with baseball became more full in the late 80s and early 90s when I was (along with every other kid apparently) into baseball cards. Amazingly shortly after sucking when I started obsessing about stats, my team started winning, and didn’t stop. Well, they didn’t stop until recently anyway. I’ve been a bit of a homer all along, but I really loved watching “the big three” pitch for many years. My mom reminds me that I stuck by Smoltz in the early 90s when she thought he just wasn’t too good (easy to think somebody isn’t great when they’re pitching after Mad Dog and Tommy). While he wasn’t my favorite during the run (that was Maddux, I just loved that he was such a nerdy looking guy who just out-thought everybody), I always liked him, and when Tommy and Maddux left the team my respect for Smoltz just grew.
The fact that for the last 20 years almost he’s been the guy you love to see on the mound in a big game, and that he just keeps getting better, means I’m rather regretting that I may never get to see him pitch again. Here’s hoping he gets better quickly and can come back for one more season with the Braves next year.


Written by cpillsbury

June 7th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Posted in Blog Entry

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