Smoltz Ready To Go, But The Red Sox Will Slow Him Down...Just A Little
Spring in Fort Myers, Florida...oh, what a wonderful place to be. The young players working out in conditioning drills yesterday intently watched the veterans. One veteran, a new member of the team, is a pitcher named John Smoltz. He looked great doing the training camp drills. This is what he had to say about his return timetable. It looks like Boston will "sit on him" until late May. Here's part of what he and Sox skipper Tito Francona had to say...
“I don’t doubt there are going to be times when we have to sit on him,” said manager Terry Francona.
Said Smoltz: “My timetable is a lot faster than most. They don’t really want me to think about anything other than June, to be as strong as I possibly can to help them down the stretch. Even if I think I’m ready in April and May, it really doesn’t matter. Their biggest challenge is to tame me down, because I’m a full-bore guy and I love to compete.”
I love his competitive nature and I have no doubt we'll all see him toe the rubber sometime in May. Who will the Red Sox drop from their five man rotation to make room for him? That's an easily answered question. I ask you, who is the weakest Red Sox starting pitcher? That's easy...Timmy Wakefield. He has been our workhorse, but when you have five guys like Beckett, Lester, Daisuke, Penny and Smoltz, I do not see where Timmy will fit in. He's even more of a liability coming out of the bullpen. Sure, every year he goes on a hot streak of five or six starts, a streak where he gives up three runs or less and goes seven or eight innings per start. Let's hope that streak happens early in the season, because John Smoltz will be ready in May. As you read earlier, I know he thinks he'll be ready by Opening Day. But as the song goes, "the waiting is the hardest part." So true. I think he'll be a valuable member of a stunning Red Sox starting five, with a great bullpen to back 'em up. Time will tell, as it always does.
That's it for now...short but sweet on this Saturday, February 14, 2009, St. Valentine's Day. The flowers (a dozen long stemmed roses) that I ordered for my girlfriend Nadia arrived yesterday at her home in Minnesota, on time as promised by pro flowers dot com. I recommend them highly. Proflowers, not Nadia. She's mine, thank you. Enjoy your weekend and click on this post's title to be linked to the SI Boston Red Sox homepage, which is updated every day with all the articles you'd ever want to read. As always, BE WELL. Shalom...l'chiam, which means to life. It's all we have. See ya. Your comments are always welcome and always answered. Every single time.