Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, who in addition to being one third of the 3 sure-fire Hall of Fame inductees to come up with the team during the 80′s (Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux being the other two) also rocks one the longest running beards in all of sports, and he may be done pitching forever as of today.
The 21 year vet who has spent his entire career with the same team said his shoulder has been troubling him all year and he just can’t take it anymore. He is going to have immediate surgery by Dr. James Andrews, who has operated on pretty much every pitcher at one point in their career. After watching the news conference footage on ESPN I got the feeling that he thinks he isn’t going to pitch anymore, and that he would be happy just to be able to lift his arm above his head.
I’m not a Braves fan or anything, but they have been doing it about as right as a team can do it for the past 20 years or so. They have held on to all of their stars for a as long as they could without ever crippling the franchise by over paying to keep them, they made the playoffs for over a decade straight, and in the age where managers get fired like Taco Bell employees, they have held on to Bobby Cox since I didn’t even know how babies were made, so I root for him to pull of a miracle.
I doubt Smoltz can come back from major shoulder surgery at 41 years old. But the dude has more scars on his pitching arm than a cutter goth chick and he’s been able to come back from all of his previous surgeries successfully, so who knows?
I don’t know why he would want to come back though. The guy is so rich he has to move money out of the way just to take a shit. But even the greatest athletes have a tough time knowing when to hang it up. *cough! Michael Jordan! *cough!