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John Smoltz

Not to take any of the thunder away from the Chicago Cubs and all that strange awesomeness going on at Wrigley, but the buzz around the MLB seems to be focusing on John Smoltz, Joba Chamberlain, and Pedro Martinez — and with good reason.

Pedro returned, Joba stunk and Smoltz might be done. In a baseball world where good pitching is more valuable than money, story lines like these tend to outdo nine-game winning streaks, even if the Cubs are involved.

So which of these three is the bigger story? For my money, and I’m no baseball expert, I’d have to say either Smoltz leaving or Pedro returning would take top billing. As for Joba, can’t we just give it a little more time before he’s thrown under the proverbial bus?

It was only his first start, folks.

For the Braves, is it time to start looking at life after John Smoltz? He’s having season-ending shoulder surgery because of chronic pain. Smoltz also indicated if he had to go through another arm procedure, he just might retire from baseball. Apparently, he’s relented on that stance some, but nevertheless, could you really blame Smoltz if he didn’t want to go through another extended rehab process, favoring a decision to hang them up instead?

With regards to Pedro, you have to believe the prevailing thoughts concerning his performance are, “can he keep this up for the rest of the season?”