The Braves Report

Here's the latest news and notes on the Atlanta Braves.


Here we go again ...

Any time any reporter other than the ones who regularly cover the Braves writes something about John Smoltz, that person always makes it sound as though he's breaking a hot new story when, in fact, there is no story.

It happened again with the online report -- picked up by various other outlets -- that Smoltz is willing to pitch for a team other than the Braves if Atlanta doesn't offer him a contract for next season.

This is news?

"It's the same old nothing," Smoltz said with a sigh. "A lot about nothing."

Would he want to stay with the Braves if he could?

"Absolutely!" Smoltz exclaimed.

"I really don't even know why I'm answering that question. I've been here for 21 years. And I'm gong to continue to be here as long as there's a position for me.

"This is so far a non-issue. I don't understand (the writer's) take on it because I was perfectly clear in saying that I am rehabbing to see if I can pitch. And if I can pitch, I want to pitch. And my first desire is to pitch here, as it's been for the previous 21 years.

"There's nothing in it. It's unbelievable.

"If I can pitch pain-free, I think that bodes well for the comeback that most people either A: don't think I should or B: don't think I can. Quite frankly, I've down this road many, many times.

"There's a lot of things to be determined still. Certainly I'll bust my butt to pitch again. If I can't pitch, it's a moot point."

Smoltz has a checkup scheduled with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday, and he expects to be cleared then to begin baseball-related activities. He has progressed to the point where he is able to do virtually everything except pitch. And he thinks he will know within 15 to 20 days of beginning to throw whether he'll be able to pitch again.

But that's a story for later. Right now, there is no story.

BRAVES 5, ROCKIES 4 (10 innings): The Braves won on a two-out balk with PH Kelly Johnson at third base after LHP Mike Gonzalez blew his first save since June 25, 2004, at Cincinnati, a streak of 39 consecutive save opportunities.

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