LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - John Smoltz said Friday afternoon essentially what he said this time a year ago: Look for a new John Smoltz in the coming days, weeks and months.
Entering last spring, it was all about the way the Atlanta Braves' veteran ace managed himself on the mound. This time around, it's all about the way he manages himself off it.
And there's certainly enough going on in his personal arena.
Already entering a contract year, the 39-year-old made it known a week ago that he and his wife of 16 years, Dyan, will soon be getting a divorce.
Smoltz didn't go into detail Friday about the breakup, other than to say it won't affect who he is or what he does at work.
"Nothing's going to change in baseball ... who I am as a person. Nothing," he said. "I've been through a lot. It's what I've gotten used to, as far as overcoming. I hate it, but this is another thing."
Despite the adversity, Smoltz said he's already figuring out how to "enjoy the little things" in his life. Even mundane daily tasks such as a half-hour drive to work and putting on a baseball uniform - things previously approached with disdain - Smoltz is now trying to soak up.
"The peace and enjoyment that I have is indescribable, even in the midst of this situation," he said.
With enduring peace in mind, Smoltz has said a couple of times now that he can see himself pulling back in terms of public appearances and donation of his time and resources.
Regarding his contract status - no, Smoltz isn't eyeballing retirement - he said that's an area to again exemplify his new self.
"It's going to be a whole new me this year," said Smoltz, who turns 40 in May. "It's not going to be any future talk. It's not going to be anything other than the moment."
Reach Travis Haney at firstname.lastname@example.org.