It was in early December when John Farrell, Ben Cherington and Mike Reinold went to Atlanta to watch John Smoltz throw a 50-pitch side session. It was Smoltz's second time throwing since his surgery, but he was confident.
Nick Scherer, the Director of Operations for the Georgia Tech baseball team, was catching:
I'm standing back there ready to get this warm-up pitch. Then, all of a sudden, here comes this 92 mph fastball, low and away, that doesn't touch my glove. I immediately thought, "I better get down now. He's ready to go."Reading this melted about a foot of snow from my winter mind. The potential upside of this signing is ridiculously exciting.
He starts mixing in his slider, and I'm like, "All right, it has a nice late break and it's hard." But then he was like, "Now I'm going to throw a curveball," and he breaks off this 12-to-6 that totally fools me. And then he starts saying we're going to throw split-fingers, changeups, and a little of this and that. I'm like, "Good Lord Smoltzy, you're ready to pitch, aren't you?!"
The Alex Cora Era has ended. Einstein has signed with the Mets.