Baseball Notable

John Smoltz

is likely to spend his entire major-league career with the Atlanta Braves after agreeing to a contract extension yesterday.

Smoltz, who turns 40 next month, will return for a 20th season in 2008 with a deal that guarantees him about $14 million.

The contract includes an option for 2009 that can become guaranteed and a club option for 2010. He is making $8 million this season.

Smoltz, who could have become a free agent after this season, has a 195-138 record with 154 saves and a 3.28 ERA. He is one of only two pitchers - Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley is the other - with at least 150 wins and 150 saves in his career.

Smoltz won the National League Cy Young Award in 1996 and has nine seasons with at least 14 wins. Also, he holds postseason records for wins (15) and strikeouts (194).

Marvin Miller received a surprise backer in his quest to make baseball's Hall of Fame: commissioner Bud Selig. Miller, who led players to free agency that has produced multimillion-dollar contracts, fell short of election from the Veterans Committee in 2003 and again this year.

"The criteria for non-playing personnel is the impact they made on the sport. Therefore, Marvin Miller should be in the Hall of Fame on that basis," Selig said at a meeting of the Associated Press Sports Editors. "Maybe there are not a lot of my predecessors who would agree with that, but if you're looking for people who make an impact on the sport, yes, you would have to say that."

Selig also said former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo and Buck O'Neil, a Negro leagues star who died last year, should be in the Hall.

Selig said he hopes the proposed sale of the Braves will be finalized next month. Time Warner Inc. is selling the team to Colorado-based Liberty Media Corp.

- Associated Press