Okay, so emotions have subsided after a few days and I can finally think clearly: fuck you John Smoltz. I'll start off by saying that I love John Smoltz the pitcher but I can't stand John Smoltz the person. If I hear "He's just really good at everything - he's even good at ping pong," one more goddamn time, I'm going to eat my fucking left hand zombie-style.
"But they didn't give me the respect I deserve," cried Smoltz. So respect and money go hand-in-hand now, do they? "If they were going to gamble millions on anyone, why not Smoltzie?" Okay, let's take a timeout for a second, Smoltzie is a pretty gay nickname. Time in. The Braves gambled precisely $14 million dollars on Smoltz last year and got exactly five starts and a relief appearance - or $500,000 per inning. The hell do you call that then, Smoltzie-poo? What about loyalty to your team after a fuck-knuckle year like that?
Oh, you want more respect! Okay, what about if we let you invent your own unmonitored Spring Training routine? Fuck that, you say? More? Okay, well, I'm going to have to go in the back and talk to the manager on this one... alright, now, we've never done this before but he said we can do it given the special circumstances. We'll let you decide to pitch in whatever role you want whenever you want. Haven't started in years? Psh, here's the opening nod. Spent the last two months on the DL working on a new windup and have no idea how good you're going to be? Closer? Done. Now as a fan, those things are done for a player out of respect - not giving away millions of dollars to hamper a team even further when it's in win-now mode because ‘Smoltz' is written on the back of your jersey. And because Wren has a budget to work with, you decide to be a douche-nozzle and fuck away any respect you have for fans? Makes complete sense!
You know, all these years he's been trying to get out from behind the shadow of Maddux and Glavine. Well, Smoltzie-poo, you were well on your way of doing that by staying with Atlanta. Then you decided to fuck things up by following their footsteps. I hope Tom Glavine retires and you blow out your arm, so you're forced to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with Glavine and Maddux at the sametime. Then at the ceremony, Glavine and Maddux will give two tear jerking speeches in succession and just as you're walking up to the podium to give your predictable 2-hour speech and an open challenge to the crowd to a Texas Ping Pong Deathmatch, the MC announces to the crowd that that's all the time we have and you continue to live in their shadow for eternity.
You're a sellout, Smoltz, anyway you put it. There's a counter to every point you make about the Braves. The large discrepancies between the two offers? I know you're a dumbass but a 2.3% salary difference really isn't that big of deal when you're talking about $130 million goddamn dollars. Wren being cheap? That doesn't make any sense after he's acquired an $11.5 million/year pitcher, signed a backup catcher to a $3 million dollar deal, made an $80 million dollar offer to another pitcher, and looking to spend ~$40 million on Lowe just this off-season. Just wanted to win another ring? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but you just signed to the toughest division in baseball - it's definitely not a sure thing with the Rays and Yankees
cumming coming up the rear.
So why didn't you get your precious $3 million dollars? Because they thought you had more class, that you might provide a discount of guaranteed money after the surgery and previous year, and they even had confidence in you by giving you large incentives based soley on staying healthy - no matter how good or bad you pitched. Apparently you don't have confidence in yourself, Smoltzie, so fuck you
and your family.
Jerry's final thought: Players need to get a grip on reality and realize that it's not the GMs' money. He's just a guy with a budget - he only has loyalty when there is a budget for it. Wren wanted Smoltz back, everyone in the front office did. The Padres didn't even meet with Hoffman - *that* is lack of respect for an aging star. Smoltz bolted when fans needed him most. Never mind any respect and loyalty that Wren should have for Smoltz, Smoltz's respect and loyalty to fans should have been much higher and even a true "large discrepancy" shouldn't have got in the way. Just as the auto-industry's CEO's had a hard time convincing congress to give them bail out money as they traveled to Washington on a private plane, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that you deserve more money after $130 million career earnings in an economy like this.