When dealing with legends, there’s rarely an exit strategy

“It’s not how you go about it,” John Smoltz told reporters this week, but how do you go about it? If you’re suggesting, as Smoltz and others have, the Braves mishandled the release of Tom Glavine … well, how do you handle it? How does a team say goodbye to someone who isn’t ready to leave?

Joe DiMaggio retired at age 37, saying he could no longer “be Joe DiMaggio every day.” Today’s athletes are different. Smoltz got mad and left for Boston because the Braves had the gall to offer too little money to a 41-year-old pitcher — he has since turned 42 — coming off shoulder surgery. And now they’ve angered Glavine, who’s 43 and coming off shoulder and elbow surgery.

Two days after he was lopped, Glavine launched a counteroffensive. He accused the Braves of lying to him and being cheap. He said he merited special treatment for his years of meritorious service. Brett Favre felt the same. Brett Favre went from being the Green Bay Packers to despising the Green Bay Backers because they didn’t show due deference.

But should due deference to a legend trump the greater goal of all professional teams, which is the winning of games? The hardest thing for any ballplayer is to know when to stop playing ball, and the great ones find it hardest of all. They always think there’s another big game or another touchdown pass in that famous arm.

Joe Namath went out as a Ram, Michael Jordan as a Wizard. Roger Clemens “retired” so many times we needed an abacus to keep track. Randy Johnson won his 300th game at age 45, working for his sixth different franchise. And this was the career path of Greg Maddux after he left the Braves in 2003: Cubs to Dodgers to Padres back to Dodgers.

What should the Braves have done differently with Tom Glavine?

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Yes, there’s money still to be had, lots of money. But these guys have made more for one year’s work than the average Joe or Jane earns in a lifetime. How much is enough? How long is too long? What happened to the concept of a graceful exit at the top of one’s game? Did it walk away in 1966 with the princely Sandy Koufax?

John Schuerholz felt moved to apologize Friday for the way things ended with Glavine — “The environment and the tone and the manner … didn’t feel comfortable to me,” Schuerholz told reporters — but what could the Braves have done? Cut him in spring training? (Wouldn’t Glavine have then said, “You didn’t even give me a chance”?)

Brought him up for one start and paid him his million-dollar bonus while strongly suspecting he’d get tattooed? (And what if, come October, the Braves found themselves one game out of the playoffs? Would Glavine have apologized to them?) Should they have offered him a job as a coach? Shoved aside Joe Simpson in the TV booth? Made Glavine general manager and booted Frank Wren to the curb?

In the clear light of hindsight, the Braves might have rushed things. They could have tried to arrange a formal news conference, as opposed to the hasty gathering behind the press box a half-hour before Wednesday’s game, but Glavine had made it clear he wasn’t retiring. And he said Friday he wants little to do with the Braves now. So there.

Every legend wants to depart “on his own terms,” but seldom do those terms account for anyone else’s. This isn’t Tee Ball. Not every player gets to play in every big-league game. And it’s the guys who were once the best players who can’t seem to grasp they’re just not as good anymore.

194 comments Add your comment

brave1

June 5th, 2009
7:07 pm

Two down, one to go (angry ex-Braves). What do you think is going to happen in four years when Chipper is 41 and wants to pitch two more years? Is ownership going to be the bad guy again? Probably. But only if you weasels keep caring more about the back of the jersey more than the front.

Mark Bradley

June 5th, 2009
7:13 pm

The Chipper thing could get ugly, too, but I hope it doesn’t. He’s my second-favorite Brave.

Stinky

June 5th, 2009
7:22 pm

If Chipper moved to the A.L., he’d finish his career with 500 HR.

AGTFan

June 5th, 2009
7:23 pm

brave1 – you’re a total idiot.

AGTFan

June 5th, 2009
7:30 pm

John Schuerholz showed great class. A simple gesture did more for my confidence in the Braves organization than any trade for a lifetime .261 hitter ever would. (And no, I’m not dissing McLouth. He’s a big upgrade for the outfield.) And this blog is way superior to the previous two. You don’t sound quite as much like a bitter sportswriter who had his feelings hurt years ago. :)

Mark Bradley

June 5th, 2009
7:45 pm

It’s like the late Earl Strom — the NBA referee — would say of his calls: “Some they like; some they don’t.”

country boy

June 5th, 2009
7:54 pm

I just hope the Braves win now. That would cure the ills of this Glavine/Smoltz drama.

Dwatyne

June 5th, 2009
7:58 pm

Mark , the Braves handled this very poorly. It was classless. The Fans and Glavine clearly deserved a better send off than that debacle . I’m glad Scherholz finally stepped up to play grown up in this situation.

Tim

June 5th, 2009
8:02 pm

Like Schuerholz said, this one really didn’t feel good. The Braves were in a tough spot. Maybe they should’ve gone to Glavine to let him know their decision was to release him but they were willing to bring him up for a opportunity to pitch an inning or two in order to let the fans say goodbye IF he would forego the million. It would’ve been nice to let the fans say goodbye, but was it worth a cool million to the organization. I think not.

Glavine deserves better. I can understand the bad taste in his mouth. But, the circumstances were such that the Braves organization had to make a hard business decision. That’s what they are paid to do.

May Nate and Tommy Hanson help us to get over this as soon as possible!

Tom

June 5th, 2009
8:14 pm

I am a 56 year old ex-dawg baseball player who was in attendance at the Rome game. I believe Glavine’s changup had more velocity than his fastball, He would have been killed in the show. Didn’t the Braves make him a millionaire? Get a life and quit whinning. That goes for Smoltz too.

Dannyboy

June 5th, 2009
8:18 pm

You handle it by avoiding the situation altogether. They knew what they were getting into when they signed him over a year ago…and I say this with the utmost respect as Glavine has been one of the most accomplished and respected Braves, but when he left the Mets, he was already in the twilight of his baseball career. If signing him was anything more than sentimental, then management needs to reassess themselves. I think they handled the Smoltz situation perfectly. You make him a decent offer, one that won’t break or strain the budget, but isn’t insulting either. If a team like the Red Sox comes in and offers him a more lucrative contract, so be it. They can say they tried, but couldn’t afford to spend as much on a pitcher that’s been in and out of the DL for the past few seasons. Bottom line, those two were a huge part of the 14 division title run, but it’s a business. Hopefully, one day, they will accept a role similar to Hank Aaron…one that isn’t a ceremonial position, but reflects the value of their place in Braves annals as well as their contributions to the community and the city of Atlanta.

JD

June 5th, 2009
8:33 pm

Any way you can put a speech bubble out of Glavine’s mouth saying “SCHAWING!”?

journalist jimmy smith

June 5th, 2009
8:38 pm

oh, the humanity! a possible toe injury in mclouth’s first game as a brave. toes are not to be trifled with.

Will

June 5th, 2009
8:50 pm

Mark:

I am surprised and disappointed by your continued defense of the indefensible.

Not that the team would be better off with the young arms rather than Tom – that’s a given – a given that would have been true two, four or six weeks ago and not something that was suddenly “discovered” after putting Tom through the humiliation of thinking he was working himself back to the big leagues.

You seem to think because this (the mishandled mess) has happened before to other organizations, its okay for Braves management to have made such a mess.

I am proud that John S has stepped forward and tried to make amends. You also may want to take a step back and rethink your position on this sad affair.

Father of 5

June 5th, 2009
8:58 pm

The Prez couldn’t sleep, then publicly apologized. Many national media outlets are making fun of the Braves for dozens of boneheaded moves over the past few years. Many national commentators have, fairly or unfairly, characterized the once proud Braves as a “classless” organization. Many believe the Braves have become undesireable in the eyes of top free agents (Peavy?) who do not want to suffer similar fates. The Braves paid a $15M premium over and above what a cash-loaded NY was team was offering their top pitcher (might seem ok now, but check back in 3 years). The Braves traded their CF leadoff hitter (.290 ave, 10 SBs) for a song before opening day — then had to give up 3 players to get another one. I think anyone who says that this club has handled everything as good as possible has very low expectations.

There is a common thread to all these mishaps — and we didn’t have this reputation when the current Prez was in charge. About 10,000 fantasy leaguers could have done a better job with this club than the current GM. He keeps making controversial moves “to make the ballclub better” — but they’re still a .500 team. And he mortgaged the future to save his own skin. I happen to agree with JS, Glavine, Smoltz, Chipper . . . . My family will be enjoying games in Gwinnett until the key change is made in the front office.

Dondee

June 5th, 2009
8:59 pm

Glad Schuerholz at least apologized for the way it was handled. The fans deserved a chance to say good bye. If I had remotely thought they wouldn’t bring Glavine back up, I would have made an effort to see him pitch with the G-Braves. Something could have and should have been done, especially with the way Smoltz was treated. Sounds like they were not considering the legend and what Glavine means to the Braves and the fans. Hope Glavine will realize the business side to this decision and come to love the Braves again one day. And, I hope I find something to love about these Braves, soon…..With Glavine, Smoltz, not to mention Skip and the Professor gone, it’s gonna be hard.

brewdawg

June 5th, 2009
9:03 pm

Will,

Forget it. Mark won’t. An otherwise fine journalist and person is cold-hearted when it comes to baseball business. What bothers me is that the Braves act like they all of a sudden realize they are a better team with Tommy Hanson. They would have been better off this entire time with Hanson, maybe even have five or so more wins. But no, they wanted to wait until after June 1st to save money in the future on Hanson, so in the meantime they let Jo-Jo Reyes and Kris Medlen get shelled time and time again (though Medlen showed improvement towards the end). However, the Braves feel it’s too risky to run a Hall of Fame pitcher out there now, because they don’t want to lose any more of the ground that Brave immortals Reyes and Medlen have already spotted the Mets and Phils.

jen

June 5th, 2009
9:03 pm

Poor Tom Glavine

JDM

June 5th, 2009
9:05 pm

Oh Boo Hoo, Glavine should have never been allowed back in Atlanta.

sansho1

June 5th, 2009
9:06 pm

Don’t forget that Glavine would have gotten a slot in April had he not gotten hurt, so it’s not as though the Braves didn’t try to work him in. But then Hanson then spent the first two months of the AAA season showing he’s ready and then some. Frankly, giving Glavine an auld lang syne start at this point would be a patronizing gesture considering he thinks he can still pitch. This isn’t the Niekro situation here. People claiming to be upset on Glavine’s behalf are actually upset for themselves that they don’t get to see him pitch in a Braves uni, but that’s not the team mission. To (harslhy, perhaps) paraphrase the old country song, how can we miss you if you won’t go away?

EP

June 5th, 2009
9:08 pm

Mark, are you being paid by the word these days? Every time I refresh the page, you’ve written another column. Not complaining, but I’ve never seen a journalist crank ‘em out at this pace before.

sansho1

June 5th, 2009
9:09 pm

“harshly”, that should read….

Barney Strickland

June 5th, 2009
9:10 pm

Glavines retirement makes me sad. I’m the same age as him and it somehow made adifference that an active Brave player from my generation was still on the team. Say farewell to the 80’s. Shuerholz apologized…enough said……. Tom should graciously accept the apology and move ahead…end of story.

Mark Bradley

June 5th, 2009
9:14 pm

Paid? Am I supposed to get paid? Is that the way this usually works?

Scorby Jones

June 5th, 2009
9:17 pm

Actually, someone else mentioned this a while ago. I think the best thing the Braves should have done was release Glavine when he re-injured himself swinging the bat a few months ago. I imagine that the Braves were ready to take him on back then, before they thought Hanson would be ready. However, when he hurt himself, you gotta think that somewhere in the brain trust of Braves management, someone was saying “Hanson will be a Super 2 by the time Glav’s ready to pitch.”

and for all the folks talking about possible trades/future lineups/payroll… isn’t attendance sucking this year?? Payroll WILL drop, no question, unless we all get out to see the guys play!! I’m pissed, cause I bought tickets to see Hanson pitch tomorrow, and his debut was pushed back a day… but I’m not that pissed – I still get to see my team play.

that’s all I got.

Legend of Len Barker

June 5th, 2009
9:19 pm

It was nice of Schuerholz to apologize. The gesture was not necessary. I don’t think they could have made Glavine understand in any way that didn’t hurt the major league Braves in the standings.

To Glavine:

The reward for your loyalty will be a plaque in the Braves Hall of Fame and potentially your number retired. That’s your gold watch. You might think that you deserve better, but how about your teammates? Do you honestly think that at this point that you deserve a slot in the rotation above Medlen, Hanson, Jurrjens, Vazquez, et. al? Please sir, come to your senses. This isn’t 1991, 1996, or even 2001. Your teammates deserve someone durable.

Do you remember Doyle Alexander, Tom? Doyle wasn’t a Brave as long as you, but he was 36 in 1987. We cleared him out for you and used to him to get another prospect.

Traver

June 5th, 2009
9:21 pm

This is an impossible situation. In the case of Smoltz, in the case of Glavine, and I might even throw the Justice deal in there (a little different but some similarities given he hit the home run in Game 6) because of one thing – Emotion. These guys have been to war together “so to speak” (don’t want to slight the sacrifice of our real heros) but they were a huge part of turning the Atlanta Braves from perennial losers to perennial winners. Major trials and tribulations involved in making something like that happen. A lot of sweat equity together and the longer they did it the closer they got with each other and the organization. I think about how Cox might feel about all this. Sure, he was a part of this decision but you can’t tell me that inside the deal with Smoltz and this deal with Glavine isn’t killing him. You could just tell when he tried to answer questions about it Wednessday night. It is such a rarity in this day and age to find guys that spend as much time as these guys did with the same organization and no matter how much they try to deny it they feel a sense of ownership in what they helped build in Atlanta and when the organization is ready to turn to the next generation it is very understandable (at least to me) why they would feel some betrayal when they feel they can still be produictive. Its like being told that your family doesn’t want you anymore. People want to make a big deal about the money and it is a lot of money. I will probably never make as much in a lifetime as these make in one year but one million in baseball economics is about like 1,000 for most of the rest of us and really shouldn’t be the main focus of this discussion. This is different becasue these guys are exceptions. Since 1990, they are Hall of Famers who made the Braves who the Braves are (include Maddux of course). They do deserve a different level of respect becasue they have earned it on the field where they have performed at a level that only most wish they could.

The question was “What should the exit strategy be?” How about being honest from the start (all parties). When Glavine signed over the winter I do think the Braves had every intention of having him in the rotation if he was able to comeback but they were in a differnt position at that point. I think Hanson was just beginning to tear up the fall league and I don’t think they had KK or Vasquez yet. The Braves rotation didn’t really get all that crowded until Hanson, Medlen, and Morton started going gang busters. So from the Braves point of view – as soon as they knew that Glavine’s spot in the rotation might become a competitive situation they should have sat him down then and put the cards on the table. He can’t blame the Braves for trying to put the best 25 on the field. In January (assuming he would make it back to this point) Glavine was one of the best 25 but along about March I am willing to bet that Frank started to realize that Glavine might be number 26 or 27 given the development of the youngs guys. On the flip side, the Braves shouldn’t blame Glavine for feeling blindsided when (at least as it appears) there was no indication that things had changed. That is a slap in the face when you have made a living successfully competing at the level Glavine has competed at since high school. You can’t turn off the detemination of a Glavine or a Smoltz with a light switch. When you try to do that, the emotion of it all takes over and they start responding in ways that people do when suddenly, their fate is no longer controlled by their physical talents but by the guys in the fornt office.

I would say there in no one perfect exit strategy but in Glavine’s case(Smoltz too in my opinion) this should have been planned and thought out a lot better. It is painful to watch and frankly I am very disappointed and sad about the whole deal. Glavine and Smoltz should be finishing up their playing careers and planning their non-player roles in the organization and now Smoltz is in Boston and we don’t even know if Glavine is going to show up for Maddux’s jeresy retirement. This really sux for us fans.

Mark Bradley

June 5th, 2009
9:28 pm

The one way this works is if a given legend chooses to retire at the exact moment you’d like him to retire. But how often does that happen? Once a decade? Once a generation?

bravesfan

June 5th, 2009
9:52 pm

Glavine considered it a business decision when he left Atlanta to go to the Mets. The Braves are well within their right to make a business decision when it regards him as well. I would like to see the Braves not create public relations nightmare, but Glavine didn’t worry too much about Atlanta’s fans when he took more money to go to New York.

Traver

June 5th, 2009
9:55 pm

Your right Mark and that is why I think the communication should have been so much more open than it was. 90% of this is “hurt feelings” He doesn’t want to retire because he is a competitor and the Braves are taking away what allows him to compete. The moment this became a competition is the moment the converstaions should have started.

I’ll flat out admit it. This hurts me. Tom Glavine is the Braves of the last 20 years to me like Dale Murphy was the Braves to me in the 80’s. Completely parting ways without it being uncomfortable is probably unrealistic but there could have been minimized.

A. Einstein

June 5th, 2009
10:01 pm

Athletes are pampered far too much by our society, consequently we sholdn’t be surprised when they act like spoiled brats. I don’t recall any press conferences or appearances on TV/radio for any of the people that lost their job at the AJC where they whined PUBLICLY about the way they were treated. While I’m sure that there was some grumbling, most of those affected by job loss responded as adults and not over-grown adolescents. Glavine should look at it this way – He’s still part of an elite group – the 9.4% of Americans that are out of work. If he needs the number for the local Labor Dept. office, I’ll be glad to provide it.

Billy

June 5th, 2009
10:03 pm

I love people who say that they’ll never watch another Braves game again (I’m looking at you, Maximus…). If you’re more tied to a certain player than the team, then hit the road! I wish that Glavine had spent his entire career with the Braves, but he took care of that 6 years ago. I don’t begrudge him going for more money, but when you leave a company, you have no right to ask them to treat you like the prodigal son when you come back. I hated to see Smoltz go, and I’m sorry that Glavine is old and washed up. But they didn’t “owe” him a million dollars to say goodbye. When the day comes that Chipper is dealing with this, maybe I’ll feel differently, but I grew up watching all sorts of Braves “icons” being traded away. People get over it.

Billy

June 5th, 2009
10:04 pm

By the way, Mark, you’re definitely on fire these days. You keep me from actually having to work at work…

mike

June 5th, 2009
10:13 pm

Said it once, and I’ll say it again. This was a bush-league way to handle this. Sometimes, it takes someone to sit down and ask, “is this the way we want to end this relationship.” Someone in the front office (Wren) really blew this one. If Hanson is your answer, fine. But letting TG come back for one last start isn’t going to make or break this season. That is, if it really wasn’t about the money.

Fred

June 5th, 2009
10:16 pm

If Glavine wanted to pitch here to be close to his family then why did he DUMP the Braves for the Mets? MONEY not family.

Reid Adair

June 5th, 2009
10:21 pm

Mark, you present a lot of “what if’s” with this one.

Given the offensive struggles, I don’t believe it will be (or would have been) a situation where the Braves finish one game out of first – or the playoffs.

If they were going to give him a chance, they should have given it to him. Otherwise, they should never have started this in the first place. To have turned on him then probably would have in no more backlash (possibly less) than they’re getting now.

I thought John Schuerholz showed class with his statement this afternoon. I wonder if he will grow tired of trying to save the organization’s face after another Frank Wren lie down the road.

Mitch

June 5th, 2009
10:25 pm

I seem to be in the minority, but, while it was in a different environment than Phil Niekro did in 1987 for his “farewell game”, I would have given Tom the chance for one last big league start.

After 18 years, and all that Tom meant to this team, and this city, I thought the Braves did right by re-signing him last winter, even after the injury plagued 2008. The guy had never been on the disabled list for any extended period of time in a 22 year major league career, so the Braves thinking that 2008 was an aberration, and that Tom could help us in 2009, was the correct one.

When I read that Glavine pitched two outings of six scoreless innings each in his rehab starts, it really makes me wonder… Even if his velocity was a little slower than before, the guy is 43 years old, and coming off major arm surgery. Tom didnt throw 95 mph in his prime.

With as hard as Tom worked, and with the money the Braves paid, I dont think there would have been any harm in giving Tom a start for the major league club. I have a feeling that if Ted Turner was still the owner, he might have told John S and Wren that Tommy deserved that, like Phil Niekro did in 1987. While Braves attendance is down this year, we know it isnt as bad as in 1987, and that Ted also got a good gate turnout, on a Sunday afternoon, at a time the Braves were out of thr race, a Glavine start now, especially if it was his last, and fans thought that, would have brought people into the park.

Yes, Glavine is rich, and yes, athletes are often overpaid whiners, but I still think that out of respect for how hard Tom worked, and the fact that the Braves re signed him in the first place, he deserved one last start.

I know many dont agree, but this is how I see it.

Mitch

brewdawg

June 5th, 2009
10:28 pm

You want a blueprint on how it should be handled? Look at the Falcons dealings with Keith Brooking. The Falcons offered him a lower contract than Keith felt he deserved, and so they agreed to amicably part ways. Then the Falcons promptly held a press conference praising what Brooking meant to the Falcons, on and off the field, and wished him the best going forward. The contract they offered basically said they didn’t think he was as good as he once was, but Arthur Blank didn’t come out to the media and say, “Well, our scouts all agreed that he couldn’t tackle anybody anymore. This is a performance based decision, not a financial one.” The Braves front office showed no class with Glavine, as has become their norm. No, I’m not saying Brooking is on the level of Glavine or Smoltz, but you asked for how you handle it, and that’s a pretty good starting point. If Arthur owned the Braves, both Smoltz and Glavine might still be gone. But they wouldn’t be bashing the team on radio and in the papers, and it would have been done in a way where the fans wouldn’t think either had been screwed.

TheAntiMe

June 5th, 2009
10:41 pm

There were 2 reasons, I believe, that the Braves were willing to re-sign Glavine this season. The first reason was that after the backlash that the front office was feeling from the Smoltz debacle, it would have been bad PR to let Glavine go that same route so soon after Smoltz appeared to many to have been mistreated.

The second reason was more of a practical reason as they were looking at Glavine as a hopefully adequate 5th starter to be able to hold the fort until either Tommy Hanson and/or Tim Hudson was able to be added to the rotation.

The sad thing for Glavine is that he didn’t seem to realize that he was no longer a focal point of the pitching staff. Part of it was probably him being in denial of his diminished skills, even when healthy, but I do think that part of it was also that the Braves took it to the limit and very muched allowed him to think that he was a part of their plans this season, even after the braintrust had pretty much already decided to cut him.

As it turned out, it has become sort of a Glavinegate, just like the earlier Smoltziegate that the front office was hoping to avoid.

mike

June 5th, 2009
10:41 pm

Ditto Brewdawg. This was a classless way to handle the situation. I expect as much from the “new” brave’s front office.

dan

June 5th, 2009
10:44 pm

brewdawg…

I agree with what you said. Have Smoltz and Glavine let their egos get in the way? Yes. But one can make an argument that they are only being as egotistical has they have earned the right to be. Guys like Smoltz’s have put a lot of butts in the seats and have sold a ton of merchandise for the Braves over the years. The Braves have taken care of both of them, but Smoltz and Glavine have definately taken care of the Braves as well. The bottom line is those two are competitors. When some front office suit like Frank Wren tells them they are washed up, it’s in their nature to want to prove them wrong. It’s that competitve drive that has fueled them to great things. The fact is the Braves are a second tier organization and have been for a while now. Frank Wren better bring home a championship, because if he doesn’t he’ll be out the door too.

Billy

June 5th, 2009
10:45 pm

People need to quit being over-sensitive. People in jobs all over this country who have been with companies longer than Smoltz or Glavine were with the Braves are being fired every day. Please forgive me if I don’t shed a tear for people who have made more than 99.9% of the American populance can even contemplate. When you’ve made over $100 million, you should already feel “respected” and “loved.”

mike

June 5th, 2009
10:45 pm

You, “he took more money to go to NY” fans need to get over it. Glavine didn’t come out afterwords and say, “if the Braves paid me what I was worth, I’d still be Brave”. The truth is the Braves low-balled him and he went somewhere else. I would have done the same. This is an entirely different situation. And even though he was low-balled, he didn’t bad mouth the organization. They’ve done this twice now. How many times before someone notices a pattern?

Piedmont hospital born, ATL/Gwinmett native, left field teepee chief nokahome fire breathing, gritz blitz, tween the hedges dawg fan since birth

June 5th, 2009
11:01 pm

Mark, aside from your Kentucky blue grass hertitage, I wanted to say kudos for picking up the AJC sports blogs tempo. You are defintely on a roll. Keep up the great on the fly blogging.

Jan

June 5th, 2009
11:12 pm

Our Braves are in disarray fromt he top down. Shurholtz admits he didn’t step up in the meeting with Glavine. Wren is making trades and pulling strings in a daze. The players get nicked and disappear for a week or two. This ship is taking on water from a public relations and field product perspectives. Let’s lower expectations by admitting we’re going with kids and going to take our lumps. By owning up to this reality we can shift from expecting wins and competing for the division to making sure the kids play the game right and learn from mistakes and successes. Neither Bobby nor TP are teachers and it will hurt the youngsters for the good ole boys to not show them how to “man up, show up, and step up”. I like the young faces now let’s let them play. Win, lose, or draw just show me improvement each week. How about Willie Randolph for Bobby? Get the fat guy and TP out and let’s get some teachers and some fire in the dugout.

Ozzfest

June 5th, 2009
11:18 pm

Dear Tom-puss,
I am sorry you lost your $10M+ a year job. My wife also lost her job…some 8 months ago. If I go on a talk radio show, would you please consider letting me borrow $200,000 (about one weeks pay for you) so that I can PAY OFF EVERY DEBT I WILL EVER HAD…including my mortgage…and so that I can move to NYC and have a fresh start. I stayed at the Peninsula Hotel in NY once about 3 years ago. I only got to stay one night because I was splurging on their cheapest room, it was $425 per night. I understand you stayed in their largest suite for 12 weeks after you left the Braves for the Mets. I digress, could I please borrow $200k at 4.86%…I really need the money…so that I can be a happy little t*rd like you.

tiger7_88

June 5th, 2009
11:31 pm

Dear Tom:

I’m sorry for not appreciating your hard work and dedication in defending the abused and misused millionaires of the Major Leagues back in 1994. All I wanted was to enjoy some baseball that season and I realize now that I showed no concern in the least for the most abused minority in the country: the Major League baseball player.

So I’m sorry.

I’m also sorry for no longer caring a whit how you pitched or whether or not you won 300 games after you left for the Mets. That whole “agreement in principle” you had with John Schuerholz prior to your bolting for the Mets? It doesn’t reflect in the least on your personal integrity. And, after all, you only left the Braves because of the highest principle of them all for the Major League baseball player: money.

So, again, I am so very sorry for thinking less of you.

And, finally, I am also sorry for having no consideration for your feelings this week, here at the twilight of your career. I never realized you were so sensitive about how a certain club treated YOU after you had made it so clear year after year in the past that how you treated that certain club in return was JUST BUSINESS. Nothing personal!

How dare that certain club just CUT you from their roster with no regard for your feelings after giving you only ONE MILLION DOLLARS to get healthy and rehab! Shocking, shocking behavior… and they should be ashamed of themselves.

And I’m ashamed for them.

I’m sorry, Tommy… you are a paragon of virtue. And I only belittle myself for thinking less of you.

Rex D

June 5th, 2009
11:33 pm

Mark: There is no great way to do it, but that does not mean you have to do it in a classless way. Can we agree on that? There was no reason to go public and say “we decided Tom can’t get anyone out.” If you care about Tom, you simply explain your decision a different way. That’s what is pissing people off. Not the decision itself. All they had to say was it was a tough decision, “Tom has shown a lot of progress, and can probably win some games in the big leagues if he wants to – but we have a young gun (Hanson) who we want to give the same chance that we gave Tom 20 years ago. If this young gun can have 1/2 the success of Tom, we’ll be truly blessed. Tom got his chance early, took his lumps, and became a winner at a very young age. Tommy Hanson has now earned that chance, so we’re going in that direction.” What’s so hard about that????

Mike

June 5th, 2009
11:34 pm

Is everyone forgetting that Glavine turned his back on the Braves a few years ago because the Braves ONLY offered $10 million a year when the Mets offered him $11 million? He had no loyalty then. Why should the Braves be the bad guys now. This guy did great things for the Braves for a very long time, and I will always be appreciative that. However, he also proved to be greedy and all about the green for two reasons; 1) he left the Braves for a few dollars to play for the hated rivals and 2) he was the player’s representative on the union and always fought to increase pay for players, even when people like Pay-Rod quarter of a BILLION dollar contracts. He and his ilk continue to push salary numbers higher and higher. WE pay those salaries through increased ticket prices and longer commercial breaks. Glavine was the poster child for that salary growth.

End of story – he turned his back on the Braves – he shouldn’t be allowed to get upset with this latest turn.

DirtyDawg

June 5th, 2009
11:35 pm

The one thing that I haven’t noticed about this, and in my estimation could have made something of a difference, is that instead of telling Tom that they didn’t think he was ‘good enough’ or that he couldn’t get big-league hitters out anymore, would have been if they had said to Glavine – ‘Here’s the story Tom, it’s clear to all that the Hanson kid is about as ready as he’s gonna get…we’ve got five starters already that are pitching pretty good…and we have you coming back from what, for most people would be career-ending surgery. Just what do you think we should do? You would agree that it’s our job to make decisions about which five would give us the best chance to win, wouldn’t you? So, just who do you think you should replace? Pick one then we’ll have a simulated game between the two of you, winner take the job’…probably not.