Please don’t let this be true.
According to Leo Mazzone on an interview with SiriusXM with Evan Cohen and former Mets general manager Steve Phillips, Mazzone says that John Smoltz used to cheat (wonder what he does for golf!). What a bag this might open. What a mess this might create and it could tarnish a Braves rotation that is part of the best to ever toe the rubber in baseball.
Why would Mazzone just let this slip out? Is he mad at the way Smoltz and the Braves ended things? Does he have his own personal vendetta?
How could Bud Selig let this go without at least doing some kind of investigation on it. If he doesn’t, the media would be all over him. There hasn’t been a response from Smoltz, but this could turn out to be very bad. Worst-case scenario is Smoltz rats or makes things up about his former teammates to get the pressure off his back … we’ve been there before with the steroid investigation. He said, she said, and it’s all over.
Hopefully, this is just Smoltz and not anyone else doing anything. But isn’t cheating a part of baseball? They try to keep out the biggest cheating, performance enhancers, but pitchers adding “special touches” to pitches have been going on since baseball was born.
Let’s hope this doesn’t get ugly. At a time like this when the Braves are struggling, they certainly don’t need a distraction like this.
Below is the transcript:
Leo Mazzone: “Well, I don’t see anything wrong with it myself. I watch football a lot, too, and I know that’s been going on for a while to slow a team down, it stops their momentum. In baseball, as you well know, it’s been going on a long time. I know that in my little ball bag I had firm grip and all kinds of goodies to take care of a baseball to get a little more movement on it. (laughs)”
Evan Cohen: “So that’s why the Braves kicked the Mets ass for all these years?”
Steve Phillips: “Wait a minute! How come our pitchers were pitching with nice bright white shiny baseballs and your guys had pine tar and scuffs all over them?”
Mazzone: “Well, you had pine tar, that’s for sure, because when you were in the postseason and it got called, one time Smoltzy had it on his shoes and I said, ‘John, you can’t keep bending over and touching your shoes all the time. Let’s put it someplace else!’ (laughs)”