John Smoltz: The Smartest Man Alive

Much like ESPN’s Buster Olney, I love anecdotes. Especially  baseball anecdotes. And most especially  if said baseball anecdotes are about, or have anything at all to do with, Joe West. The above, that’s a pretty good Joe West baseball anecdote.

I can’t help but wonder what Joe West was thinking, his tunes playing over Fenway Park’s speakers. I wonder if the fans were frightened. Massholes, help a brother out: Were you there? Do you remember this incredible occasion?

I also can’t help but wonder if John Smoltz had to do everything in his power to keep a straight face during his warm-up. And, most of all, I wonder if the tribute helped Smoltz’s strike zone.

Smoltz took the loss that fateful night, July 26, 2009. To Baltimore, no less. He allowed six runs in five innings, and gave up nine hits. He struck out six, and walked one. But it hardly mattered. Thanks to his warm-up, Smoltz had already won.

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Navin Vaswani is a replacement-level writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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