John Smoltz has the most incredible backyard you will see (Video)

John Smoltz has the most incredible backyard I have ever seen. The former Atlanta Braves Cy Young Award-winning pitcher lives in a multi-million dollar mansion in Milton, Ga., and he turned his backyard into an amazing sports complex.

Smoltz showed off his backyard in an episode of HGTV’s “Million Dollar Rooms” that aired recently (h/t Cosby Sweaters). The mansion is over 18,000 square feet, has 10 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, spans 22 acres, and is home to Smoltz, his wife, and their six children.

Smoltz did much of the work creating the yard and estimates he spent over $2 million and thousands of hours of labor on it. He says he has a full-time landscaper and that it takes seven hours to cut all the grass.

Here’s what the yard contains:

    - 9-hole golf course (according to Smoltz; listings say 18 holes)
    – putting green that has lights to practice at night
    – baseball field with splash zone beyond left field
    – fishing pond
    – tennis court
    – volleyball court
    – full basketball court
    – football/soccer field

Other cool details: The golf course has a watering system featuring 38 different zones and is irrigated through the pond. The baseball field is made of synthetic turf. Smoltz says many teams have gone there to work out when their fields were in poor condition.

“This is a lot,” says Smoltz, “but it’s so much fun.”

The backyard is not the only amazing part of the mansion. Not only does it include a theater, bar, eight-car garage and fitness room, but the whole bottom floor is a museum-like trophy area.

The floor features newspapers, jerseys, gear, and other memorabilia in well-lit cases. Smoltz’s memorabilia includes his Cy Young Award trophy, a replica World Series trophy from the Braves’ 1995 win, and a torch Muhammad Ali carried for the Atlanta Olympics.

The estate was actually for sale last January and listed for $7.2 million. It’s unclear whether Smoltz is still looking to sell, but the listing on the often outdated site Realtor.com says the property is still active. You have to wonder why Smoltz would be selling something he put so much time and effort into perfecting.

In case you can’t sit through the entire video, below are some shots of the yard:

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John Smoltz: Stephen Strasburg should fake injuries to manipulate innings cap

John Smoltz has a solution to the Stephen Strasburg problem. As you may know, the Nationals placed a 160-inning limit on Strasburg prior to this season since he is recovering from Tommy John surgery. With Washington currently leading the NL East and in a prime position to make the playoffs, they can ill afford to lose their ace when the most important stretch of the season hits in September. Smoltz’s recommendation? Fake a couple injuries and take the time off now — not in two months.

“Honestly, I know this is gonna sound, well, I’m a little bit different anyways,” Smoltz told ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt according to DC Sports Bog. “I’d create my own little gap. I’d have a blister one day, maybe a hangnail the next start. You know, I think there’s ways to do it. And I get it — their statement is every game counts. Well, it does, but it doesn’t count as much as in September.

“You’re in your own division, you can either lengthen your gap or close the gap. And I just think that’s gonna be hard to explain to 23, 24 other players, why this guy is going to (not pitch).”

Strasburg may have to do just that. Having emerged as one of the best pitchers in the National League, the 23-year-old has already said the Nationals will have to rip the ball out of his hands if they want him to shut it down. At the moment, GM Mike Rizzo insists Washington is going to stick to the plan because they believe it is best for Strasburg and the franchise.

Is Smoltz’s approach morally correct? Maybe not, but if I’m Strasburg and I thought the team was really going to limit me to a 160 innings I’d want to find a way to still be pitching in late September and October.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

John Smoltz: Tim Lincecum has lost his edge, not intimidating hitters right now

A lot of power pitchers start slowly out of the gate, but Tim Lincecum is crawling. Through his first three starts of the season, Lincecum has allowed a total of 16 earned runs and 22 hits. His ERA is currently sitting at an absurd 10.54, so unless he’s struggling through some sort of serious injury, we know better days lie ahead. As for what the issue could be at the moment, pitching legend John Smoltz thinks it may be mental — for both The Freak and his opponents.

“I mean, he knows how to pitch, he’ll battle his way through it but I would say last year was not the same Lincecum that we’ve seen that has won two Cy Youngs and has dominated pitching,” Smoltz told Sirius/XM radio Wednesday according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “And I think once you start showing those cracks or once it starts showing a little more human factor, I mean, the edge is gone a little bit when you face a guy like this. He had an edge, much like Tiger (Woods). These elite pitchers have an edge when they get on the mound.  The other team knows, ‘Shoot, we’re in trouble.’

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Tiger Woods Got Owned by John Smoltz

Maybe this can put a halt to all the talks about Tiger being the best athlete in the world. A few days after going golfing with a Braves threesome including Tom Glavine, Jeff Francoeur, and John Smoltz, Tiger decided to slip on a batting helmet and step into Smoltz’s office. From the description of the event in the AJC, Smoltz more than handled Tiger, striking him out twice, walking him once, and letting up a grounder to second. There weren’t any fielders out there so I guess you could call it a “hit,” but pitching coach Roger McDowell said a second baseman would have made the play.

It’s too bad Tiger didn’t take a round of plain old BP off some schmo like McDowell to see what he could do with the ball. I guess it is impressive that Tiger could even work a walk against Smoltz, but I would have liked to read about line drives spraying around the yard. Don’t get me wrong, Smoltz is one of the top pitchers in the game, but come on, can’t say you’re not disappointed by Tiger, right? Tell you one thing, he ain’t no Michael Jordan. At least MJ batted .202.

Smoltz Wants Chipper to Sack Up

Nothing like one veteran team leader calling a fellow veteran team leader a pussy in so many words. That’s basically what’s going on in Atlanta, if you can read between the lines of John Smoltz’s recent remarks. The stud pitcher, for whom I’ve already proclaimed my affection, made some comments after Friday’s 5-0 loss to the Tigers which marked the Braves’ third straight shutout loss. Smoltz seemed to be calling out the injured players who weren’t making their way into the lineup :

“I certainly appreciate the effort of the guys who were on the field busting it. We all wish we were feeling better, but that’s the way it goes. …

“We can’t worry about who’s in the lineup and who isn’t. You can’t worry about that stuff anymore. … The guys who are in there are busting their butts, that’s all I know.”

Chipper, who was already on the 15-day DL once this year, missed two games this week to nurse a sore groin. Jones noticed the comments and couldn’t help but feel pressured to return to the lineup earlier than he would’ve liked, belting a home run to account for the Braves’ lone run on Saturday. He also got in a nice jab back at Smoltz for good measure:

“I’ll play the rest of the games this year and do what I can,” Jones said, then followed it with a clear jab at Smoltz: “Somebody I know better not miss a start, though.”

Far be it from me to question the grind and rigors of a grueling 162 game schedule, but I will say this: John Smoltz pitches the start after he dislocates a finger. John Smoltz made 33 and 35 starts in each of the past two seasons. Chipper Jones hasn’t avoided the DL since 2003. Maybe it’s fair to say that Smoltz is tougher than the average player, while Chipper is more injury-prone than the average player. I can understand where Smoltz is coming from considering his actions speak for themselves. And especially considering that Chipper’s the best hitter on a team that’s been offensively challenged recently, Jones should feel pressure to make his way into the lineup quicker. Advantage Smoltz.

(photo courtesy Joey Ivansco/AJC)

John Smoltz Is One Tough Mo-Fo

Only 5 days prior to Saturday’s start, John Smoltz dislocated the pinky on his throwing hand while tagging out a runner. Yeah, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “come on, it’s just a pinky, what’s the big deal?” Not so easy

The right pinky of Smoltz’s pitching hand was bent upward at a grotesque angle. The veteran, overcome with anger, frustration and fear, fired his glove at the ground and clutched his hand.

Yeah, so that was on Monday. And after the X-rays came out negative, Smoltz pretty much cleared himself to pitch on Saturday. I mean, just to name a few, Beckett, Bonderman, and Halladay, have all hit the DL within the last two weeks. But not Smoltz. Instead, Smoltz made his start against one of the best lineups in baseball, the Red Sox, and held them to four baserunners in seven scoreless innings, striking out seven as part of Atlanta’s 14-0 win. Smoltz also retired 20 of the last 22 batters he faced. Red Sox manager Terry Francona had the line of the night:

“I’d hate to see him with all his fingers”

My thoughts exactly. Man, I was never a fan of John Smoltz growing up, but I have to say, I’ve grown to appreciate him more and more as he’s gotten older. He’s up there as one of my favorite pitchers in the game. And to quote my boy Biggy, John Smoltz will die on the mound, but until that day comes, he remains awesome.