Tom Glavine: It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

Kevin MarkumCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2009

WASHINGTON - APRIL 30:  Pitcher Tom Glavine #47 of the Atlanta Braves watches his team take on the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 30, 2008 in Washington, D.C. The Nationals defeated the Braves 3-2 in 12 innnings.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

It is simply a matter of time now before Tom Glavine calls it quits. It is likely that 2009 could be the last time the southpaw plays in the majors.

I'm a Braves fan. Read my profile and you will see the majority of my articles are about the Braves, and my opinions on their players and the decisions the front office makes.

Tom Glavine was never my favorite player on the Braves. I like him alright, but the fact is that of all the Braves pitchers, he wouldn't make my rotation in 2009.

I wrote an article a while back that mentioned both Glavine and Smoltz, and how it was a mistake to bring back either one, but most especially Tom Glavine.

Tom Glavine is a shoo-in hall-of-famer that deserves to ride out of his legendary career on a white horse with all the praise the baseball world can give.  Coming back in 2009 will take him far away from this type of exit.

Every pitcher comes to a point where he is no longer as good as he once was.

Tom Glavine has a career stat line of 305-203 with 4413.1 innings pitched and 2607 Ks.

Over the length of his career, he has pitched in 21 full seasons, plus a short one in 1987 when he was called up.  In that span, he has averaged a record of 14.5-9.7, 207 IP, and 124 Ks in each of those full 21 seasons.

In 2008, Glavine of course showed signs of obvious wear and tear that comes with 20+ seasons of being a major league starting pitcher.  He was injured early, compiling just a 2-4 record with only 63 1/3 innings pitched.

Control was also an issue as his K-to-BB ratio in 2008 was 1:1 compared to his career mark of 7:4.

The fact is that Glavine is a liability to a Braves' rotation that is incredibly deep.  Players like Tommy Hanson, Jorge Campillo, and a red-hot Jo Jo Reyes are forced to start the season in AAA and the bullpen. This is sad when all three would probably end up with a better season than Glavine.

Why is he in our rotation?  Loyalty? Leadership? It has nothing to do with ability anymore.

Bobby Cox and Frank Wren owe it to the fans to make that tough decision, and either move Glavine to the bullpen or cut him from the roster.

Tommy Hanson is too hot to send down to AAA.

Jorge Campillo did too much in 2008 to lose his rotation spot in 2009.

And Jo-Jo Reyes is having too good of a spring to be beaten out by a guy that posted a 5.54 ERA in 2008 and is trying to come back from surgery.

While it is tough to see a legend die, Tom Glavine owes it to his fans and his teammates to step aside. The best way he can help his team out now is to apply for a role in the franchise as a pitching coach to help develop the young guys with the knowledge he has.

I know, I know. It's hard to let someone go that was so good for so long.  It truly is so hard to say goodbye, to yesterday.