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Smoltz to be part of TBS postseason broadcasting team

POSTED: September 22, 2008 5:00 a.m.

ATLANTA — John Smoltz is going back to the postseason after all.

Smoltz, the Atlanta Braves pitcher who had season-ending shoulder surgery on June 10, will be part of the TBS team of broadcasters for the network's postseason coverage.

Smoltz will work as an analyst for TBS after spending time this season in the broadcast booth for Braves games on the TBS-owned Peachtree TV. TBS announced its broadcast team for the playoffs on Thursday.

Smoltz, an in-studio guest analyst for TBS during the 2007 playoffs, will work at games this postseason. He holds major league records with 15 victories and 194 strikeouts in the postseason.

If there is a dream postseason assignment for Smoltz, he mentioned the possibility of covering his friend and former teammate, Greg Maddux, who is now pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"It would be very interesting," Smoltz said before laughing and adding, "I would feel like I'd be adequate to talk about him."

TBS has the rights to the four division series and the American League Championship Series. Smoltz said he has had discussions with TBS "for a while."

"It's more for the viewers than anything else, trying to give them an inside view," Smoltz said of his role. "Nothing else. I'm just approaching it like it's an ongoing interview. I'm not afraid to make mistakes."

Chip Caray, one of the network's play-by-play announcers, said the challenge for Smoltz will be to separate himself from his clubhouse loyalties.

"He's got a great personality, he knows the game," Caray said. "He's going to be talking about people he's played with and played against. The real challenge for a player is to be open and honest about his contemporaries.

"The most difficult thing is to be able to step away from the locker room and be candid about your teammates or friends. And that is what that job is going to require, especially at a national level where the attention, and the criticism, is going to be much more pointed. And the audience is going to be a hundred-fold larger than a local broadcast."

Smoltz, the 1996 NL Cy Young Award winner, is the only pitcher in major league history with 200 wins and 150 saves. He has acknowledged he is not certain he'll be able to return from his fifth arm surgery, including four to his right elbow.

In the meantime, Smoltz says he has enjoyed his work in the broadcast booth.

"It's a great opportunity as a player to do something in a game that I love," he said. "And I love that first do-or-die (division) series. If I weren't doing it, I'd watch it."

<B>Note: The Braves announced all six members of manager Bobby Cox's coaching staff will return in 2009. The staff includes bench coach Chino Cadahia, first base coach Glenn Hubbard, pitching coach Roger McDowell, hitting coach Terry Pendleton, bullpen coach Eddie Perez and third base coach Brian Snitker.



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