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Bobby Belt: All John Smoltz Knew is That ‘He Hated the Rangers’

The Texas Rangers hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy on Wednesday night as World Series champions for the first time in franchise history. This subliminal moment was 63 years in the making for Rangers fans, many of whom will celebrate with the team as they return to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a championship parade. As a result, a celebration of the team’s historic season took place on 105.3 The Fan Thursday morning, recapping Game 5 and how the team overcame early offensive struggles to put together a four-run ninth inning that ultimately secured the championship. Shortly thereafter, FOX Sports color commentator John Smoltz became the topic of discussion.

Throughout the World Series, the station has highlighted what it perceived to be apparent bias from Smoltz, surmising that he has a disdain for the Rangers organization. Morning show co-host Shan Shariff asked his colleagues what they observed from Smoltz on the final MLB on FOX live game broadcast in the 2023 season, which elicited the observation that he was quieter and more subdued overall.

“He couldn’t make up his mind,” co-host Bobby Belt said on Thursday morning. “All he knew is that he hated the Rangers, and now he’s somewhere in the fetal position just crying his little eyes out, and I don’t feel bad for the little darlin’.”

Shariff took notes during the game of moments that he felt Smoltz was demonstrating aversion towards the Rangers and expressed that it sounded like he was acting as the pitching coach for Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen. Amid the contest, his commentary was centered on how the Diamondbacks would be able to win the game rather than the Rangers, catalyzing the feeling of bias to be perpetuated among some fans.

“He talked about [Nathan] Eovaldi going out for the sixth [inning],” Shariff said, referring to the Rangers starting pitcher. “He’s like, ‘Oh, he’s got to be drained. This feels like the ninth inning to him. He’s just got to be absolutely drained and finished.’”

After additional examples of his color commentary, Belt mentioned his observation that John Smoltz and play-by-play announcer Joe Davis seem to have similar speaking patterns and voices. RJ Choppy concurred with this sentiment and commended the second-year voice of the World Series for thriving through a matchup that consistently attained low ratings through its first four games.

“A difficult spot for Joe Davis to be in because he’s got to be like, ‘How the hell do I drum up interest for people to stick around?,’” Choppy said.

“I thought he was great; the entire playoff run, I thought Joe Davis was fantastic,” Belt replied. “He was really strong the whole way.”

John Smoltz has not appeared on 105.3 The Fan during the World Series, but he was a guest during the World Baseball Classic wherefore Shariff has been implored by listeners to have him on the air again. Listeners would presumably want the hosts to question him about his bias, but it is something Shariff has decided to refrain from doing at the moment.

“People have said, ‘Y’all need to get him on,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t like to invite people on to attack,’” Shariff said, “and I feel like we’d have to attack to appease the TOLOs.”

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