Stay out of the way, folks, and let Glavine be Glavine

If we weren’t talking about Tom Glavine, it wouldn’t be worth it. 

He’s ancient. He’s hurting. Mostly, he’s not Tommy Hanson, the Braves’ 22-year-old pitching sensation who could bring his roaring fastballs in a flash from the Class AAA likes of Gwinnett Stadium to the big time at Turner Field.

So, if we weren’t talking about Tom Glavine, it’s like this: Out with the old, in with the new — like now.

It’s also like this: When you’re the Braves, and you’ve missed the playoffs for the past three seasons, sentimentality deserves a firm handshake along the way to the door and your version of a gold watch. That’s especially true if sentimentality has a strained 43-year-old rotator cuff after missing much of last season with a damaged elbow that needed surgery.

We are talking about Tom Glavine, though. As a result, those in charge of such things with the Braves should wait slightly longer than forever before saying so long to their future Hall of Fame pitcher and his increasingly creaky body.

Glavine deserves nothing less. In fact, he has spent more than two decades in the major leagues — mostly with the Braves — earning the right to leave the playing field whenever he chooses.

Under such a scenario, neither Braves officials nor the choppers and the chanters would fret. Glavine would choose the right thing. He is a splendid combination of wisdom and pride. For instance: After he discovered recently that this latest shoulder issues will require two weeks rest before the need of another evaluation, Glavine said, “Right now, for me, the glass is probably half-empty, simply because I’m frustrated and tired with this whole rehab thing. But at the same time, being as close as I am — or was — I’m not willing to just say, ‘OK, that’s it.’ I’m willing to put in a little bit more time.”

Sounds reasonable. We are talking about Tom Glavine, the guy who remained the classy face of the Braves from their wretched days in the1980s through their wonderful days in the 1990s.

He’s the guy who threw that shutout for eight innings to help secure the only world championship for an Atlanta professional sports franchise.

He’s the guy who stood up the most to the Evil Owners during the Mother of All Baseball Strikes in 1994.

He’s the guy who always has been involved in a slew of charities and operated as the perfect representative for baseball in general and Braves baseball in particular.

He’s the guy who should be allowed to exit the home clubhouse at Turner Field as a player without being shoved.

106 comments Add your comment

Mort Merkel

April 15th, 2009
12:40 pm

Folks, the AJC buyout isn’t instantaneous. Other buyout folks have bylines in today’s paper too. Give it a couple of weeks and he’ll be gone … unless they offer him the opportunity to write on a freelance basis, which they did with Bisher and Barnhart.

Tracey

April 15th, 2009
12:38 pm

Thank you Mr. Moore for an excellent column. Glavine has always been a class act, even when I didn’t necessarily agree with him. He may have spent those handful of years with the Mets, but he was always be a Brave and after all that he has given this franchise, he deserves the chance to end his career on his terms. He’s a competitor and wants to be able to contribute to the team. If he can’t do that, then he’ll hang it up, I have no doubt.

Murph

April 15th, 2009
12:37 pm

Glavine was a great Brave. His legacy with Atlanta is complete. There’s nothing else to prove. It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t spend his entire career with the Braves and have his swan-song, farewell tour, but he chose to leave for more money. That’s not the club’s problem, and they shouldn’t feel obligated to try and give it to him now.

The Braves should feel obligated to the fans to put the best team on the field each and every single day. Anyone who says Glavine is the best option the Braves have as a fifth starter is kidding themselves. Be it Hanson or Reyes, there are pitchers who will give the Braves a better chance at winning than Tommy Glavine. Again, great player, love what he did for the team all those years, but his time is over.

Willie H

April 15th, 2009
12:31 pm

If Glavine retires from the braves he can devote his full attention to being a Gene Chizik look alike.

LivinginAL

April 15th, 2009
12:31 pm

Bunch of people in America have been shown the door after many years of work recently. Why are bseball players “owed” so much more than the millions already paid?

Skip & Pete Fan

April 15th, 2009
12:28 pm

I agree wholeheartedly Terence, but did you mean to praise Glavine or insult him (increasingly creaky body)?

Ron E.

April 15th, 2009
12:27 pm

The Braves already gave Glavine all the special treatment he ever deserved by even offering him a contract at his age and after he flopped badly last year. If he can regain his health and pitch effectively in a number of minor league rehab starts, then they can consider letting him pitch in Atlanta again. One game may mean the difference between making the playoffs or not in this tough division, so the Braves really can’t afford to give Glavine any undeserved starts in the bigs this year out of sentimentality. Prove you’re up to it or go home, Tommy.

ryan johns

April 15th, 2009
12:25 pm

Tommy is throwing 83 mph fastballs that will get crushed. He needs to hang it up and the Braves need to ease Hanson into that 5th spot. The youth movement is now!

Sonny

April 15th, 2009
12:12 pm

terrance,

i was hopeing the rumors about you leaving the ajc were true. i was saddened to see you writing this article.if the rumors were true then don’t let the door his ya in da you know what !

rickman5

April 15th, 2009
12:12 pm

While we’re on the topic of moving old people out, can we get that goat Garrett Anderson out of left field too?