John Smoltz is embarking on a career as an analyst for Turner Broadcasting and the MLB Network, although he's not quite ready to say he's thrown his final major league pitch.
“I know the question comes up: Does that mean you retired?” the 42-year-old Smoltz said Tuesday. “Officially, no. But in my life when I make a decision about something and I say something, my whole character is to live by it. At this point, I’m not officially prepared to say I’m done. But that may not mean anything to the degree that makes me play either.”
Smoltz had right shoulder surgery and missed more than a year before Boston activated him last June. He went 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in eight starts, and the Red Sox released him in August. He then signed with St. Louis and was 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA in seven starts.
He spent the offseason preparing for what would be a 22nd big league season. With opening day less than a month away, he remains unsigned and says he’s leaning toward retirement.
“Obviously, it was a slow offseason free-agent wise. Certain people derived their conclusions about me, and so be it. Fine,” he said between swings while playing golf.
Smoltz, who spent 20 seasons with the Atlanta Braves, has 213 wins and 154 saves. An eight-time All-Star, he won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996.
He will work on national telecasts on TBS and Braves’ games on Peachtree TV in Atlanta. For the MLB Network, he’ll announce games and work in the studio starting April 5.
Davis memorial held in L.A.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis was remembered as an electrifying on-field presence and a larger-than-life personality in a memorial service at Dodger Stadium.
Davis, 69, spent 14 of his 18 major-league seasons with the Dodgers. He was part of two championship teams, won three Gold Gloves and remains the Los Angeles Dodgers career leader in several categories, including hits (2,091).
Dodgers reliever Cory Wade will have surgery on his right shoulder and is expected to miss at least three months. … Former San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers has been hired as a special assignment scout by the New York Yankees. … Highly regarded Boston Red Sox minor league prospect Ryan Westmoreland, a 19-year-old outfielder, has undergone brain surgery to remove a cavernous malformation, a cluster of abnormal blood vessels that affects the central nervous system.