Smoltz clinging to the past while moving ahead

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Smoltz accepts three broadcasting jobs.

For a player that refuses to announce his retirement, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Smoltz is making a lot of off-field commitments.

John Smoltz with comedian Jeff Foxworthy in 2004 (AP photo)On Tuesday, the 42-year-old was announced as taking on three new jobs, all related to baseball, but none of them in uniform. The future Hall of Famer is joining broadcast teams at the MLB Network, Turner Sports (TBS) and Peachtree TV. The first two are national assignments while the later is Atlanta Braves-specific. TBS airs national games on Sunday while Smoltz’ Peachtree commitment is 45 games. He will be both an in-game and studio analyst for MLB Network.

While Smoltz admitted that he is “leaning” toward retirement, he isn’t prepared to make such an announcement.

“I’m just not prepared officially to say my playing days are over,” Smoltz said during a Tuesday afternoon conference call, reported by Fanhouse.

A Pedro Martinez-like mid-season comeback was not ruled out, either. “Right now the odds are not very high,” Smoltz said, “but it’s not totally closed, either.”

Recent rumors about the right-hander have ranged from a run for Congress in Georgia to replacing injured Minnesota closer Joe Nathan, but apparently, they were all unfounded.

Smoltz has prior broadcasting experience, including having served as a guest analyst for Turner during the 2007 and 2008 postseasons. Of course, he was busy pitching for the Cardinals in October 2009, though not as long as any St. Louis fans would have liked.

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