Former Braves pitcher John Smoltz recently accomplished a rare career double: He served as a color analyst for one of the greatest World Series ever played (Chicago Cubs vs Cleveland) after having pitched in arguably the greatest World Series ever (Braves vs. Minnesota in 1991).
Smoltz was the latest guest on the “We Never Played The Podcast” and he had some great insights into a number of topics, including:
— His dramatic rise in broadcasting.
— Why this Series reaffirmed his concern for the future of pitching in the major leagues and his belief that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred may need to put a cap on the number of pitchers that a manager is allowed to use in a game or an inning.
— How Joe Maddon, as great as he is, almost managed the Cubs out of a championship.
— Whether the Cubs’ title, after an extensive rebuild, suggests the Braves could be headed down the same path.
— The future of former Brave Jason Heyward, who may have succumbed to the pressure of a big contract, but how his decision to lead an impromptu team meeting during a rain delay was “an unselfish act” that sparked Chicago’s Game 7 win.
— His own desires to still play on golf’s senior tour one day.
— The time his competitive spirit got himself literally knocked out when was bulldozing trees in the backyard of his new home.
— The standard for the Hall of Fame and whether writers should vote in players who are under a strong cloud of suspicion for having used performance-enhancing drugs.
Smoltz, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame two years ago, does not have a vote. But if he did, he would not vote for players whose careers carried a strong suspicion of using PEDs.
So he wouldn’t vote for Barry Bonds?
“No,” he said, even while adding that Bonds was “one of the greatest players to ever play the game.”
How about Roger Clemens?
“The same — no.
“I feel bad for the guys trying to make judgement calls, as the writers do, and not having the full information or the right to know who did what. … It’s a character issue. If you can’t play the game at a level where you have put yourself at risk to say, ‘I’m either good enough or not,’ that to me has crossed the line, where I can’t have a lot of respect for you.”
Smoltz added that there are a number of the honorees in Cooperstown “are not perfect,” but believes adding players who cheated with chemicals would effectively “enhance pandora’s box.”
For more from Smoltz on a number of subjects, take a listen.
All episodes of the “We Never Played The Game” podcast, which includes interviews with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and Hawks part owner Jesse Itzler, can be downloaded for free on iTunes by clicking here and also are archived on the WSB Radio site.
- Start: On pitching in front of 40 million viewers in a Game 7 of the World Series and the nerves of broadcasting a Game 7 in front of 40 million.
- 5:40: On the maddening aspect of changing pitchers every at bat
- 7:20: On if Bobby Cox went to pull him in Game 7 after 4 2/3 innings
- 10:15: On Jason Hayward and the pressure of a $180 million dollar contract in Chicago
- 13:30: What is Theo Epstein doing that every other GM is baseball wishes they are
- 17:00: How far the Braves are from following the Cubs blueprint
- 25:10: On the harsh lesson learned of operating powerful bulldozer equipment
- 26:45: O the best/worst Greg Maddux story
- 29:00: On trying to compete on the Champions Tour and qualifying for the US Open
- 32:30: On losing the ‘Black Book’
- 35:00: On all of Fame Voting.. Bonds, Clemens?
- 45:45: “I should have pitched Tony Gwynn right down the middle of the plate.”
Subscribe to the, “We Never Played The Game” podcast with Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein. All episodes can be downloaded and heard on iTunes or here via WSBRadio.com. New episodes every Monday and Thursday.
- Falcons give Dimitroff three-year extension — and yes, I agree
- Georgia Tech’s defense is a trainwreck, and that’s on Johnson
- Georgia Tech’s defensive problems: Is it players or coaching?
- Weekend Predictions: In an upside down world, it’s Kentucky over Georgia
- Will SEC get two teams into college football playoffs?
- Hawks needed a spark but Dennis Schroder brings a blowtorch
- Podcast blog: Hawks’ owner says, ‘I want a (bleepin’) parade’
- At 4-4, Georgia’s bowl eligibility suddenly isn’t a certainty
- Dogs dumped, and rebuilding projects shouldn’t look this bad
- Weekend Predictions: Surprise from underworld — Dogs upset Gators
- Podcast blog: If you don’t know Jesse Itzler, you want to know Jesse Itzler
- Hawks are taking the leap on Schroder, rest is up to him
- Florida has defined Georgia’s failures. Can Kirby Smart change that?
- No suspension for players? Welcome to new world at Georgia
- Quinn’s decision might’ve been right but everything else was wrong
- Throwback performance: Falcons blow 27-10 lead and lose
- If Howard can help Hawks, he’ll change how his story is written
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets hibernate; Falcons, Bama roll
- Paul Johnson on critics, future; will Jackets finish better than Dogs?
- Georgia’s makeover looks more like a decline
- Georgia playing to level of opponents — and against Vandy, that’s bad
- Weekend Predictions: Votes for Dogs and Jackets, but Falcons’ run ends in Seattle
- Podcast blog: Braves should have done a little more for Snitker
- Brian Snitker, a 40-year temp, finally gets his shot
- Braves’ Snitker an unusual choice but not necessarily wrong choice
- Podcast blog: Arthur Blank (Part II): On future, Vick and his plans to fire Petrino anyway
- After past two weeks, any win looks good to Georgia
- Jacob Eason struggles in win but it’s a little early to jump ship
- Braves wrong to blame McDowell for struggling prospects
- Weekend Predictions: Georgia wins over remains of Spurrier’s mess
- NEW: Podcast blog: ‘We Never Played The Game’ podcast (Arthur Blank, Part I)
- Positive vibes about rebuild aside, Braves still need starting pitching
- Snitker was good but Bud Black may be Braves’ choice for manager
- View in NFC South isn’t what most expected: Falcons on top
- It’s early but Falcons are looking legit
- Will optics of Mark Richt (4-0) vs. Kirby Smart (3-2) get better for Georgia?
- Mark Richt makes his return and looks right at home again at Georgia Tech
- Best Braves memory at Turner Field: 2010 and Bobby Cox’s final season
- Weekend Predictions: And now for something completely different — Dogs win
- Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home
- Falcons create a new memory for themselves in New Orleans
- Falcons can’t create more happy memories for Saints
- LSU just fired Les Miles — this is what lunacy looks like