Smoltz eyes June

Jason Varitek will address the media on Saturday, marking his first public comments of any kind since he signed his contract extension.

Today, John Smoltz was the story. The candid righty just got finished addressing the media, and per usual, was expansive in his thoughts about everything he was asked.

Being with the Sox: “First
and foremost, it’s a great opportunity. I look at it as how equipped they are
to win a championship. To be part of that in whatever capacity they want me to
be part of that gets my blood boiling to the point where I can never get enough
of that.”

Time-table: “My time-table is a lot faster than most but I like what they’ve done here and
they’ve got me to realize the strength of this club. They don’t really want me
to think about anything other than June. So sometime June thereafter to be as
strong as I possibly can to help them down the stretch. That gives me 12 months
of rehab. Even if I feel like I’m ready in April or May, it doesn’t matter. I’m
buying into it with all the resources they have here and what they’ve made me
feel like in a short period of time. I’ve told them their biggest challenge for
me is to tame me down because I’m a full-bore guy and I love to compete. They’ve
communicated it well and I look forward to the opportunities when they come.”

Still wanting to compete at the highest level instead of retiring: ““When
I came back from this surgery, the competitive juices were still there. I still
was able to work out, I could still do all the things I wanted to do. I wasn’t
limited. I’ve heard my whole life what I can’t do. I feel in my heart that I’ll
know when it’s time to retire. I enjoy pitching and competing and there’s
nothing better for me than to think about postseason and to think about the
atmosphere that Boston has, the rivalry that exists that everyone knew.
Whatever team you’ve been on, you know that existed in this league. I can’t
wait to be part of it.”

Confident in himself and his new team:  I’m super
confident or I wouldn’t be here today. I have nothing to gain to just come back
and say I could throw again. I have everything to lose if that’s my mindset. I
know what I’m capable of doing and the competing factor is not something I’m
worried about. The physical part I’m really not. it’s just going to be, can I
stay in this mode and slow down when I know I want to pitch? The pressure is
off for me with that regard the way they’ve approached it here. They’re not
missing too much for this team to have a chance to win, with or without me. I
like the fact that I can be part of that.”

The new uniform: “The one thing
you can be assured with me is wearing a new uniform will not be a problem.
Learning names and knowing how to get around, that could be a little bit of an
issue. I’m used to being at the same place. I could drive to and from work with
my eyes closed, I’ve been there so long. That’s the only thing. I’m taking that
one one step at a time. Accomodations. The final piece for me is getting
accommodations in Boston. When I know where I’m going to live, I’m going to be
able to breathe a little easier. As far as putting on the uniform, and getting
out there and competing and helping in any way I can, that’s just who I am. I hope
the young guys pick my brain. I hope it’s a situation that’s all positive
because I’m looking forward to it that way in regards to being able to, what I
call, maximize the experiences that I have.”

Anything to prove
to the Braves? “I’ve turned the page. I’ve got a lot of friends over there. In
baseball, you play against so many ex-teammates anyway. When you get on the
rubber and you toe the rubber and you get a ball in your hand, I know a lot of
people and I try to get them out. That’s going to be the same approach I have
this year. When I get back into knowing I’m getting close to pitching again,
all bets are off.”

Will he play in the Champions Tour some day? “That’s a goal of mine. I’m going to pursue that when I retire and see what
level I can get to. I can safely say I will be in a tournament. I don’t know
how many of them, but I will be in an event to test my skills to see if that’s
something I could learn from my past or previous profession in baseball. I look
forward to that challenge as well.”

17 Comments

Pitching and more pitching, that is what will win. That is why the Rays did so well last season. Having Smoltz make his Red Sox debut in June is almost like a trade happening during mid season. I’m guessing a guy like Smoltz would have an impact on pitchers like Beckett, Lester and Penney among others. Smoltz made the right choice when he chose Boston. The Red Sox expect too play big games in October and that is what Smoltz is looking for.

Happy Valentine’s Day — we’re sending love to all the haters in baseball on the MLB.com homepage right now. Everyone be sure to leave your comments there on my story. What do you hate? Why are there so many Orioles commenters predicting their arrival as the new future? Comment at http://is.gd/js04

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I’m feeling really good about the addition of Smoltz to our roster. He seems to be on track with his recovery and I expect we will see great things from he & Penny come Sox-tober!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Hi Brian: See if you didn’t ask dumb question, d benjamin’s question got answered first by Ian in Red Sox Inbox. lol
Yes, Smoltz will be a welcome addition to the staff, to gild the lily so to speak.
I just hope that Smoltz’s debut will be a luxury to the Red Sox pitching, not as a matter of urgent necessity in June.

007…

Even D. Benjamin’s question’s are longgggggg. LOL!! Arnie said it best…We need too cut up D. Benjamin’s chapters into some smaller paragraph’s and Ian will have the most traveled blog. Does Ian get a bonus if he cracks the top 5? Hmmmmmmmm I wonder.

I am with you about a luxury with Smoltz. I assume Smoltz and Wakefield are great golfing buddies. Smoltz has had a H.O.F. career. Maddux and Glavine have had H.O.F. careers. I doubt we’ll see 3 pitchers like them again, all on the same team for several seasons. Only 1 title, they should have won more!

You’re right, 007, Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux were a great trio, and so much fun to watch! Yes, they should have won more titles (if we weren’t winning them, that is ;)!) If Smoltz had to leave the Braves, I’m glad he joined us, and I hope he is the icing on the championship cake! But I wonder if I’ll survive down here all season in Braves country if I wear my Red Sox 07 WS cap. I am still expecting to hear of Braves GM’s head being on a silver platter! D-Lowe MIGHT have saved his hide! ;)

Brian: I agree d benjamin’s post is so long that I seldom get to finish reading the entire post.
d benjamin: Did you pass the first year legal research and writing class? lol arnie is right, short paragraphs please.
Atlanta Braves of 90’s it’s hard to believe just 1 title with 3 HOF pitchers.

hey you guys, quit banging on Dbenj… lol freedom of speech remember. I like to read his thoughts. Whats wrong cant you concentrate for 4 minutes lol!!!

I think I kept my question (which also got posted) nice and pithy! Maybe David just needs more practice!! ;)

Ellen: 4 minutes? Are u a speed reader? 4 minutes just to get to the db’s first sentence. lol
DB: Just kidding, nothing personal. Seriously, we all like to hear your thoughts and observations.

Greg, “pithy… when di you start talking with a lisp!!!? lol

No, Ellen, it’s “tawkin wif a lithp!” ;) Maybe you need to watch your language. I’ll give you a mirror so you can watch what you’re saying! ;)

I’d love to see one of DBen’s legal briefs. Doubt that it would live up to it’s name.

Ian,
Thanks for you comments on A-Rod. Just what the Yanks need to break the curse.

Tek’s comments may be quite interesting, for what he says (or doesn’t say!) during the press conference!

Wow, Brian, Ian snubbed you again on your question! Ouch!!
I know you’re a numbers guy but maybe Ian’s sister’s phone number isn’t the kind of question he’s after. Just a hunch.

I like Smoltz, Hey we could nick-name him Schmaltz! He’s got a great attitude and will definitely help out all the young pitchers.

Can’t wait to read what Tek says. It will be all good I’m sure, but we may be able to read between the lines and get an idea of how he really feels.

This is great, day before Spring Training, we have a snow storm here tonight but all is well with the world!! Go Sox! IT’S FINALLY SPRING!!! PLAY BALL!!!

Hey! BosoxBrian!

Sorry to step on your toes with my question to Ian, but don’t you guys get it? I get paid by the WORD!!!! (lol). For all you guys who want to know about the length of my legal briefs…forget it…I don’t go that way!!!

Seriously, its great getting defended by a good looking babe like ellenC on Valentine’s Day Eve!!! I won’t tell my spouse if you don’t tell your special someone ellen!!!

Talkin’ bout Smoltzie and golf…when the Braves used to go into Philly, he would arrange to play at Pine Valley (viewed by many golf-maniacs as heaven on earth if you can get on) with Glavine and Avery through the same guy who hosted me there. Our mutual host used to tell me of Avery’s lefty prodigious drives…a real moose I guess….I’ve written to Smoltzie in Fort Myers and invited him to play at my course in Cleveburg a month before we host the Senior PGA when the Sox make their only regular season visit to Cleveburg. Hope he takes me up on my invitation…who knows…maybe he will bring Wake with him…what a heck of a day of golf (and baseball) that would be!!!!Unfortunately, our mutual Pine Valley host has hit a rough patch health-wise. Please keep him in your prayers. He is one outstanding guy…and wonderful sports fanatic….

-DMB

D. Benjamin…

Not only did you step on my toes, you crushed them. I guess I’ll have too hang out at the beach all day. LOL!!

Amen the day has finally arrived. Pitchers and catchers reporting. For a while there I didn’t think a particular catcher was gonna be in Florida with the Red Sox. Varitek has alot too prove at the plate. I’m guessing his motivation is too prove alot of people wrong. I’ll give Varitek a .250 avg. for the year.

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