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Smoltz says don't bet on seeing him pitch again

A lot of people have expressed surprise at the decision of John Smoltz to put down a baseball and pick up a microphone.

But the future Hall of Famer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, while his desire to pitch again was strong at the end of the 2009 season, it evaporated somewhere along the line after that.

He placed the odds at 50-1 in favor of not attempting a comeback at some point later in the season.

“At the end of the day, I knew I wasn’t going to get 15 offers,” Smoltz told the AJC. “I thought there might be a few teams that would have some interest. What I decided to do was stay in shape and throw, or not throw, and see what trends developed with some teams.  My desire to work out every day is still there.  But my desire to throw 50 to 70 times a day isn’t.”

blog post photo

Maybe the best starting three of the modern era, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux. AP photo.

I think it's pretty safe to say that Smoltz got just about everything out of his arm that it had to give. He might have pieced together another fair season. But I don't think he was going to be healthy and dominant at 43 years old. And if that's the case, why should he damage his legacy?

All-time not in their prime Cardinals pitching rotation:

John Smoltz

Fernando Valenzuela

Grover Cleveland-Alexander

Rick Sutcliffe

Jim Kaat