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

TommyB

April 15th, 2009
2:25 pm

Thank you, Terence.
You nit the nail solidly on the head.

SavFalcon

April 15th, 2009
2:24 pm

Well said Terence!

chris

April 15th, 2009
2:14 pm

The same Glavine who as the Braves rep during the strike had the audacity to make comments like, “we’re not stiking for guys like me, I’m set, we’re striking for the newcomers who barely get by on the minimum (approx. $115,000/year in 1994)”. Like most players, he lost whatever sense of reality he had years ago. I say good riddance. I get tired of reading about these guys and all theor troubles as they age. I get tired of columnists writing in defense of these “upstanding players”. These are just regular guys who happen to earn more money than most people and who think very little about the fans. Send him back to the Mets!

richbrave

April 15th, 2009
2:07 pm

TMo:

At times I’ve agreed with your takes on matters ATLANTA and at times I haven’t. But thanks for the memories bud and best of luck with the rest of your life.

Supes

April 15th, 2009
2:06 pm

I agree, Tom Glavine has EARNED the right to go out on his own terms whatever they maybe. Even though he bolted for the money and the hated Muts, he’ll always be an Atlanta Brave and a HOF pitcher. He has earned my respect for that.

TM, shouldn’t you be burning with ROME in LA?

coach joe

April 15th, 2009
2:02 pm

Man. You generate more hate mail than anyone I read in your paper.

Tommy deserves to go out on his terms.You too if you R really leaving.?.

enjoy your work ( even on the Rome show..)..

spotts

April 15th, 2009
1:52 pm

Oh, and for everyone complaining about Bobby going with Jojo over Hanson…it’s best not to rush Hanson. A little more time in the minors can’t hurt, plus you don’t want to wear out a young pitcher’s arm (Mark Bradley wrote a great article on that the other day).

That’s about the only time I’ll defend Bobby.

Spud Webb

April 15th, 2009
1:51 pm

Tom Glavine, thank you for all the great years here in Atlanta. You will be missed. Good job and GREAT career!

richbrave

April 15th, 2009
1:50 pm

As if anyone else could. You brought it up with this column. Leave the guy alone, O.K.?

spotts

April 15th, 2009
1:49 pm

If you’re going to badmouth the man, at least spell his name right. It’s Terence. One ‘R’ and no ‘A.’ It’s at the top of your browsers, people.

The Braves did the right thing by not resigning Smoltz. I can understand why they wanted Glavine for insurance after last season’s pitching fiasco (our opening day 1-4 pitchers all injured…3 of them for the season), but I still don’t think signing a sentimental, aging pitcher coming off of surgery was a good idea. Loved him as a Brave, but we need to look to the future.