Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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Smoltz visits Braves before golf with Tiger

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[March 31, 2009]  KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- John Smoltz was back in the Atlanta Braves' clubhouse Monday, visiting his old team before heading off for a round of golf with Tiger Woods.

RestaurantSmoltz signed with the Boston Red Sox in January, ending his 20-year tenure with the Braves. The right-hander is targeting a June return to the mound after shoulder surgery.

"It was good to see everybody," Smoltz said before Boston's spring game against Atlanta. "It was different. There are a lot of memories. ... You miss it. But it's time to move on."

Braves manager Bobby Cox said the clubhouse hasn't been nearly as loud this spring without Smoltz.

"You always heard him," Cox said. "(But) players move up."

The Red Sox and Braves play two interleague series in June. Smoltz thinks he'll be ready to face his old team and expects those games to "really be weird," he said.

During Smoltz's later years with the Braves, a golf date with Woods was always part of spring training. This round came a day after Woods' victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at nearby Bay Hill.

"I didn't see his (winning) putt, but I'll tell him I did," Smoltz said prior to leaving for Isleworth Country Club.

Smoltz, who turns 42 in May, has thrown two bullpen sessions with Boston and said his rehab is on schedule.

"I've learned to wait and trust their program," he said.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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