John Smoltz Wants International All-Star Game, Insists Nats Still Playoff-Bound

by Chris Lingebach
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Wilson Ramos #40 of the Washington Nationals gets a base hit in the ninth inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 10, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 5-1. (Credit: Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

Wilson Ramos #40 of the Washington Nationals gets a base hit in the ninth inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 10, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 5-1. (Credit: Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - With the 2013 MLB All-Star Game just around the corner, and a slew of new voting methods for fans to adjust to, former 8-time All-Star John Smoltz felt it the perfect time to offer some other changes he feels would benefit the game, and the sport.

“There’s no way to fix it right now, but they’ve been tweaking it, and I think they gotta tweak it some more,” Smoltz told the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Thursday.

“I mean, they tweaked it into a game that means something for the Game 7 of each league, so if that’s the case, you can’t have the old rules sort of reigning for the managers who are picked to try and win.”

But Smoltz, who spent 22 seasons in the majors, had a bigger offering of what to do with the mid-summer classic, which he thinks would strengthen the sport of baseball around the world as a whole.

“I’m going to throw this in the hat one more time,” Smoltz began. “I really think that if we went to an international All-Star Game within our sport, USA vs. the World of baseball continents that we already have in our game, I think the fans would love it. I think the players would love it, and you would have a scenario that promotes your game within your game to all the other countries, which we’re trying to do in the World Baseball Classic.”

“And I think it would be phenomenal for our game to take a little break, which is what it is, an All-Star break, and pick your best USA team and your best World team and you will see a game like you’ve never seen it,” he added.

That would certainly be different.

Onto the Nationals, who Smoltz insists were not over-hyped prior to the start of the 2013 MLB season, although they’re not as balanced as he thought they would be, specifically pointing out their poor average against left-handed pitchers.

“At the beginning of the year, I picked them to go to the World Series with the Tigers,” Smoltz said. “And the reason I did that is I thought the depth they had overall was going to win out.”

“I don’t think it’s a worry situation. As a matter of fact, I think more people understand that they’ve yet to hit their stride, and I think they will. It’s a long season, and I still maintain their balance and depth, apart from any unforeseen injuries, will give them the opportunity to, I still think, challenge the Braves for the division, but certainly they will be in the playoffs.”

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