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

wxwax

April 15th, 2009
4:29 pm

Just a note to say I’m sorry you’ll be leaving the AJC, Terence.

I didn’t always agree with what you wrote… but isn’t that your job, to stir-up opinion?

Best wishes for the future, both to you and too all the AJC staffers who are losing their jobs.

Tami

April 15th, 2009
4:24 pm

Good article, and well said. I hate this for Tom, and hope it’s only a setback. He has earned the right, as you said, to go out on his own terms. If he still has something left in his arm that will allow him to come back in a couple of weeks without risking his arm falling off, then we should all patiently wait. But, if it’s just not there, Tom’s not going to keep trying in vain. And, he’s not going to leave the Braves or their fans in limbo. He’s a classy guy and will know when to hang it up with dignity. We should have a huge, middle-of-the-season “going-out” party down at Turner Field for him if he has to go out sooner than he wanted to. But….I’m pulling for him!

Rico

April 15th, 2009
4:21 pm

No one has earned the right to stay on the team if they are not producing. Glavine has been paid for the service he has rendered in the past. No one person is so important they should remain on the team if they are not helpng to win.

John Hoar

April 15th, 2009
3:59 pm

Good article, Terence. Saying that a professional player like Tom Glavine can be replaced by a rookie is like saying you had rather have your surgery done by a first year resident than having Dr. Andrews do it. I’ll go with the top guy every time. If Tommy isn’t able to pitch because of health he and the doctors, and the team will make a decision. Otherwise, most of us, (naturally not us) need to butt out!

John

April 15th, 2009
3:58 pm

So Glavine at $1M is a “cheap” pitcher, yet he throws 83MPH and has a bum shoulder? He is actually valuable to the team as a 5th starter, or even someone coming out of the bullpen, plus his leadership. I just don’t know why Jo Jo was called up again. Within a week or so of Reyes call up, Joe and Don and Boog will be talking about how his control was so much better in AAA, and how good of a spot pinch hitter he is, but then clamoring about how his control stinks and he just can’t get over the hump. I guess the Braves are trying to run Jo Jo out of options so that they don’t have to send him back to AAA!

Bill

April 15th, 2009
3:57 pm

So are they going to replace Moore with a talented writer, or just go with one less columnist? So many great moments with this guy- the racial baiting, the Griffey fiasco…

Terence Moore just couldn’t hack it in the new internet era.

DMBJAMS

April 15th, 2009
3:43 pm

Mr. Moore, did you notice Jo Jo was called up not Tommy?

How am I laid off, but you have a job? Not for long me thinks.

Tyler P

April 15th, 2009
3:16 pm

That all sounds so good, Terrence. It would make for a very heart-warming story. It may even make a made for ESPN movie one day. The fact of the matter is: time is money in baseball. Wren learned his lesson with Mike Hampton (notice Lowe and Vazquez have NEVER been on the DL). We have a legitimate chance this year. It’s no guarantee Glavine could even return next year. Bring Hanson up and lets pitch our way there a la 1995. The Braves don’t revolve around Tom.

Rob

April 15th, 2009
3:15 pm

This is the same Glavine that was one of the leaders of the ‘94 strike which cancelled the season and the World Series (which was never done before, not even during war times). I have never forgiven him for that and was glad when he left (which was his choice BTW). When he retires from baseball he will not pursue a job with the Braves, he will pursue a career in politics.

Glenn

April 15th, 2009
3:15 pm

Terence,
Its about time you wrote something worth a d**** that does not have anything to do with race or color. Amen give the man the respect he deserves.