(By Smitty)

Last year I did nothing of note that cost the Braves wins or helped win any games (unless you count wearing my lucky Braves hat.) I finished the season what Skip Caray would say were ideal stats for a reliever (0-0 0.00 ERA 0 blown saves in 0 save chances.)

I often could come in and dominate hitters with my 73 MPH heater or change pace with a 34 MPH curve ball (it is really more of a “lob” or “eephus” pitch, I call it the “Wohlers.”) However, my main function on the team was making sure I took up a roster spot so guys like Brian Jordan, Keith Lockhart, or Dan Kolb couldn’t have one. I took that temptation away from ole Johnny boy.

The highlight of last season for me was when I tripped over Chris Reitsma’s Danny Kolb bobble-head and broke it. He then began beating the crap out of me to the point he hurt his hand and had to go on the DL, basically and mercifully ending his season. I didn’t get a ton of credit for that. However, John Smotlz did send me a spiral ham at Christmas this year.

I was invited to work out with the team this spring and try to make a run at one of the spots left in the pen. I think I have a good shot going against guys like, Tyler Yates (sucks), Phil Stockman (who Bobby hates), and Tug McGraw (who has been dead for a few years now). It will probably come down to me or Tug. Wish me luck!

16 thoughts on “Smitty”

  1. I wholeheartedly support keeping Smitty on the 40-man roster. Unless, of course, the Yankees cut Bernie Williams. In that case, we should totally get Bernie as our sixth outfielder. He may not be able to run, field, or hit any more, but he definitely knows how to win–and you can’t teach that.

  2. I agree. I think both Smitty and Bernie have good baseball faces, baseball bodies, and TONS of intangibles. They know how to win.

  3. Not only should you make the bullpen, but I think you could have a shot at the RF job if you want it. We’ve pretty well established that whatever we look for in right fielders, it’s not offensive productivity.

    Also, being multipositional would help you at contract time. After all, you are equally skilled at all positions, right?

  4. Smitty the RF job is yours under one circumstance. You have to be able to take a pitch! Can you do that?

  5. Smitty,
    Will your Barber come along as assistant GM in charge of trades? If so, I definitely think you ought to make the club. Otherwise, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to go with a proven winner, Bernie, despite his eroding skills (and really all of you are right here, you can’t teach winning, nor do winning skills erode, I might add).

  6. I can’t believe that no one has mentioned Smitty’s leadership ability and the veteran presence that he could provide on the bench. Look at the leadership he showed by submitting this post. I bet if he was on the bench a few years back he would have seen LaRoche’s problems and recommended that he take Ritalin long ago. I will say that he needs to work on his footwork at 1st base, but I get the feeling that he will work hard at getting it right.

  7. I think the best thing is that we have this season and next before Smitty becomes arbitration eligible. Having him there to shag balls before the game and get Smoltz gatorade will be invaluable to this team. Good Luck Smitty…

  8. I bet Smitty would walk more than Francoeur. At the very least, he would see three pitches every at bat (because he wouldn’t be table to get the bat off his shoulder). If pitchers walk occasionally, why couldn’t Smitty? And he might get hit with a couple. His OPB might be higher than Jeff’s. And he certainly wouldn’t swing at pitches a foot off the plate.

  9. Yeah. I’ll never forget the way scouts used to flock to those intramural slowpitch softball gamesjust to get a glimpse of the kid. The son of a gun can flat out shag. And when it comes to getting his teammates water, no one compares. Plus his uniform pants are always so clean. How does he do it?

  10. That’s true #11

    But then ? Smitty has always proved us he was a true Brave, face of the franchise, loyalty to the team, etc
    But will Smitty go for the big bucks he’ll probably get on the FA market, or will he stay and take a discount for us ? I would give my arms for Smitty to wear a Braves jersey for his entire life, and I’m not questioning his loyalty toward the team, but he should be the best FA since Felipe Alou

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