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ATLANTA - John Smoltz completed a unique path to baseballs Hall of Fame. [url=http://
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ATLANTA - John Smoltz completed a unique path to baseballs Hall of Fame. Mike Bibby Jersey .The right-hander, who flourished as a starter and closer for the Atlanta Braves, was elected in his first appearance on the ballot Tuesday. Smoltz joins former teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who were inducted in the Hall last summer along with their Atlanta manager, Bobby Cox.Smoltz spent 12 seasons as a starter, winning the 1996 NL Cy Young Award, before 3 1/2 years as the Braves closer. He returned to the rotation, becoming the only pitcher with 200 or more wins and 150 saves, finishing 213-155 with 154 saves.It was a potentially difficult career for Hall of Fame voters to judge.I would argue theres nobody like me to compare, Smoltz said.He was picked on 455 ballots (82.9 per cent). He will be joined at the July 26 induction ceremony in Cooperstown, New York, by Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Craig Biggio.Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine led Atlanta to 14 straight post-season appearances from 1991-2005, but only one World Series title in 1995.I was given an opportunity to go 14 straight years, Smoltz said. I dont think anyone else will have the opportunity to do that. Yeah, there was a little part of me that sits there and goes My gosh, we could have won a few more and Why couldnt we get it done?But when I look back, and I started out with three consecutive 100-loss seasons, it was the greatest run in sports. I know the end result is what we get known for ... winning rings, but at least we got one. No doubt we should have had a few more.Maddux is eighth on the career list with 355 wins and Glavine 21st with 305.The three of us share such a unique bond that I dont think anyone feels any different than the other person, Smoltz said. Though I can tell you, Im not in their class when you talk about the numbers they put up. Im probably not in anyones class because of the strangeness of my career and the uniqueness of what I did. It kind of sets me apart a little bit.Smoltz attended last years ceremony and said he resisted the temptation to ask Glavine and Maddux about the process.I didnt want to say anything until this day came, and it has come, he said.Smoltz thrived in the post-season, posting a 15-4 record and 2.67 ERA. He missed the 2000 season while recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, one of five arm operations, and suggested the shift to the bullpen in 2001. He had 11 saves that year before adding 55 in 2002.In kind of a cruel way, one year of 55 saves kind of undid 14 pretty good years of starting, he said. People started saying, Well, this is what hes always meant to be. This is great. This is going to get him in the Hall of Fame. I was quite perplexed, to say: How can 14 years disappear in one year?Smoltz moved back to the rotation in 2005 for his first of three straight seasons with at least 14 wins. He was 24-8 with a 2.94 ERA in his Cy Young season but said his return to a starting role set the stage for probably my most gratifying years.During a pair of news conferences, he struggled to grasp his accomplishment.I cant even at this point put myself in anyones category, let alone the Hall of Fame, Smoltz said. I think itll hit me when I get there. Im not comfortable with titles, but Im relishing this one and I will for the rest of my life.___Follow Charles Odum on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CharlesOdum Wade Baldwin Grizzlies Jersey . With his father watching from the stands, Harrison homered, doubled, single and drove in a career-high five runs to lead the Pirates to a 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. Lorenzen Wright Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. http://www.grizzliesbasketballpro.com/Sh...es-Jersey/ . After the loss, White refused to make good on the bet, instead offering Hoyt tickets to a Bears game.DAVIE, Fla. - Loosening up for their first training camp practice, the Miami Dolphins high-stepped sideways up and down the field while House of Pains song "Jump Around" blared on the loudspeakers. Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes took in the scene and allowed himself a long yawn. With the first game more than six weeks away, the Dolphins tempered their excitement Friday regarding the 2014 season. Even so, every team is undefeated and optimistic in July, and the Dolphins were no different as they opened camp. "We want to play deep into January and February," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "Our goal is to win the division and play in the playoffs. Anything less than that is not up to our standards." Actually, thats way above the Dolphins recent standards. They havent made the playoffs since 2008, which is also their most recent winning season. They needed to win only one of their final two games last season but lost both by a combined score of 39-7 to finish 8-8. Tannehill and coach Joe Philbin are back for their third season with the team, but a woeful offensive line has been overhauled, theres more depth at receiver and running back, and the defence has the potential to be excellent. "We want to win. Thats what were all here for," new general manager Dennis Hickey said. "Were really excited about this team and what theyre going to be able to accomplish." Some prognosticators rank the Dolphins among the NFLs worst teams, but owner Stephen Ross anticipates post-season play. "I dont think I start any season without wanting to make the playoffs," Ross said. "If you dont have those expectations, you shouldnt be in the game. You own a team because you want to create a winner." On a 90-degree day, Philbin was already on the hot seat, and Ross was asked if the coach must make the playoffs to keep his job. "Im not going to say here he has to, because I can understand what the headlines would be," Ross said. "I like Joe Philbin very much. Im expecting Joe Philbin to be here a long time. But every year you want to see improvement." The Dolphins desperately need a better locker-room culture after a troubled relationship beetween offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin led to a bullying scandal that sent the franchise reeling. Lorenzen Wright Grizzlies Jersey. Incognito and Martin are gone, and the Dolphins brought in outside consultants for training sessions with players to foster better leadership. Centre Mike Pouncey, implicated in the scandal, said the culture will be much healthier this season. "Coach Philbin and Mr. Ross have done a bunch of things to change that," Pouncey said. "Right now were heading in the right direction. Everyone has bought into the way we want it done around here." As anticipated, Pouncey (hip) and running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) began camp on the physically unable to perform list. Both worked on the side Friday, and while Pouncey is expected to miss at least a couple of games, he said hes ahead of schedule in his recovery. Moreno, who signed a $3.275 million, one-year contract after a breakout season with Denver last year, is expected to join practice sometime during camp. Every other player passed his conditioning test. Defensive end Dion Jordan practiced and will be allowed to play in exhibition games, even though he has been suspended for the first four games of the season after testing positive for a stimulant prohibited by the NFL. Receiver Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson were back on the field after recovering from knee injuries last season. Koa Misi remained at middle linebacker after moving there from the outside as an off-season experiment deemed successful. The first practice was predictably sloppy. With Pouncey out, quarterback Ryan Tannehill dropped at least three snaps. He misfired deep to Mike Wallace — a frequent occurrence last year — the first time he threw long, but they later connected on a 40-yard throw that brought a cheer from spectators. While the stands were only half full, season-ticket sales are up, and the first three home games are projected to be sellouts. "Miami wants to support a winner," Ross said. "We start winning, well have a lot more support, and there will be a lot more enthusiasm." ___ AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL Cheap Chargers Jerseys Cheap Rams Jersey Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Vikings Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jersey Cheap Saints Jerseys Cheap New York Giants Jerseys Cheap Jets Jerseys Cheap Raiders Jerseys Cheap Eagles Jerseys Cheap Steelers Jerseys Cheap 49ers Jerseys Cheap Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Titans Jerseys Cheap Redskins Jerseys ' ' '
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