Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fallen Brave

John Smoltz will not be filling the role of the Braves' closer this year. He will be undergoing season (and maybe career) ending shoulder surgery. That is a big hit for Atlanta, even beyond having already lost him as a starter. While this is sad news, it opens up the possibility that six years from now, we may see the induction of the Big Three - Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine - into the Hall of Fame together. How awesome would that be? Of course Smoltzy could still come back, and Maddux could certainly pitch until he doesn't want to anymore (I really think he could still get hitters out at age 50). There will be some that don't think Glavine or Smoltz should get in on the first ballot (with the lefty getting the benefit of the doubt because of the 300 wins), I think it would be amazing to see. Hey, if Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas retire after this year too, then that could be one of the best induction classes ever. Then if Bonds plays some this year before hanging them up... jeez. I respect that Smoltz is going to try to come back - at age 41 it will be extremely difficult, but he still loves the game and thinks he can contribute, and I wish him luck.

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