Mar 16, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT
Turner Sports announced that John Smoltz has joined the TBS broadcast team as an analyst for their Sunday afternoon games and select Braves games.
Smoltz joins a lineup of color commentators that includes Ron Darling, Buck Martinez, David Wells, and Dennis Eckersley, with Ernie Johnson, Brian Anderson, and Dick Stockton filling play-by-play duties. Chip Caray’s name is nowhere to be seen, thankfully.
On the surface the new gig seemingly means Smoltz is retiring, but he talked previously about wanting to join a team at midseason if he plays in 2010 and it’s possible that the announcing job is just something to do while passing the time (or a way to gauge whether he’s truly ready to call it quits).
Smoltz was terrible after signing with the Red Sox last season, getting released after going 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in eight starts, but then had a 4.26 ERA and excellent 40/9 K/BB ratio in seven starts after joining the Cardinals.
His overall ERA was ugly, but his 73/18 K/BB ratio in 78 innings overall and strong stretch-run performance certainly suggest that he’s still capable of getting big-league hitters out as a back-of-the-rotation starter or reliever. And if not he’ll probably be making a speech in Cooperstown five years from now.