Updated: 3:50 p.m. Friday, March 12, 2010 | Posted: 3:42 p.m. Friday, March 12, 2010
Greg Olson makes pitch for John Smoltz to join Twins
For the AJC
Will John Smoltz be closing games for the Minnesota Twins, the team that beat the Braves, and the longtime Brave righthander, in a grueling Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
Maybe. At least if Smoltz's friend and former battery mate in Atlanta has his wish.
Former Braves catcher Greg Olson, who now lives in Minnesota, text messaged Smoltz after learning Twins closer Joe Nathan would undergo surgery to repair an elbow ligament, according to an article posted on the Pioneer Press Web site.
"Perfect. Closer in Minny. Here comes Johnny," Olson messaged Smoltz. Olson meant it in a lighthearted way, according to the article.
Olson has not heard back from the Atlanta resident, who, at 42, is an unsigned free agent. Smoltz has said he wants to pitch in 2010, which would be his 22nd season.
Smoltz is an accomplished starter and closer with Hall of Fame credentials. He has a lifetime record of 213-155, largely as a Braves starter. But, he also has racked up 154 saves and struck out more than 3,000 hitters.
Last season for the Red Sox, Smoltz was 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA. For the Cardinals, he was 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA, but struck out 40 in 38 innings.
The Atlanta Braves delivered their pitch to real estate developers Friday, formally opening the search for a partner on a proposed $400 million mixed-use development adjacent to a new Cobb County stadium.
Atlanta Braves executives will return to work from their Thanksgiving travels Monday, still thankful for $300 million in public funding for a new stadium but aware that last week’s vote by the Cobb County Commission signaled the start of an unforgiving timetable to get the ballpark built by 2017.