(Originally posted on The Press Box)
There was a big fuss made earlier this week when the Atlanta Braves decided to release old-timer Tom Glavine.
Yes, the left-hander won them a World Series in 1995 (he was the Series MVP) and had been a standout all those years with the team.
But seriously? Everyone from the media to the fans were actually crying because the Braves decided Glavine was no longer good enough?
The reality is Glavine is finished. (Just ask Mets fans, whose 2007 season ended prematurely thanks to Tommy.)
Last season with the Braves, he made only 13 starts and pitched a total of 63 1/3 innings—that’s less than 5 innings per start—and was brutal.
He was 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA.
And this coming off a disastrous 2007 season with the Mets, when he was knocked out of the first inning in the season finale, with a postseason berth for New York on the line.
Glavine, who won No. 300 earlier that season, gave up seven runs in 1/3 of an inning against Florida, costing the Mets the NL East title.
And Glavine says he can still pitch.
Give me a break.
I think I’ve heard enough of whining and complaining from athletes who think they should get whatever they want, whenever they want it.
What good will a return to the big leagues do for Glavine? He’s proven he can no longer pitch, he can no longer stay healthy, and he sulks when he is no longer part of the Braves’ plans.
Does he really want 2009 to be an encore of 2008, when he was atrocious?
Baseball—as with any sport—is all about business, and Glavine—who was a high-profiled players’ union rep during the 1994 strike—should get that. It’s not about being sentimental, about “oh, you pitched all those years in Atlanta so you should AUTOMATICALLY get a spot in the Braves’ rotation” or whatever nonsense people will have you believe about him “deserving” to be there because of his past.
Professional sports is a business. If you can’t do the job anymore, you don’t “deserve” to be there just because you were good A LONG TIME AGO. Pro sports isn’t a charity or anything like that, and it’s very ironic Glavine doesn’t get it.
Funny, we never got this much outcry when Barry Bonds wasn’t re-signed by the San Francisco Giants, who benefited when the home run king was going after No. 756.
Another funny thing about Glavine’s career is he always got help from the umpires.
Glavine, a finesse pitcher, made a living “painting the outside corner”, as baseball people will remind you all the time.
He would throw a pitch one inch outside the strike zone, and the umpire would call it a strike. And then as the game went on, his pitches would continuously go away from the strike zone, but since he could go to the “corner” consistently, he got the calls from the umps.
Again, that’s really ridiculous. Why bother having a “strike zone” when a pitcher can throw the ball outside the zone and have it called a strike?
Just because he can do it consistently while say, his mound opponent, rookie Joe Blow, can’t?
That’s one thing I never understood. If the pitch is not in the strike zone, it’s not a strike! And yet Glavine (and his Atlanta buddy Greg Maddux) got the calls for years.
It’s just like saying, “Oh, Tommy, you’re an A student consistently, so it’s okay if you didn’t do your homework this time. Oh, it’s okay you’re late. BUT JOE!! You’re an F student and you’re LATE! Go to the principal’s office… NOW!”
Just another one of baseball’s dumb “rules.” Double standards.