Glavine Given Shaft By Braves
The Atlanta Braves have released Tom Glavine after he had pitched well in his minor league rehab.
Their decision to release Glavine makes it appear that the Braves were hoping Glavine would fail in his minor league rehab. When he pitched well they had to get rid of him fast and that is what they did yesterday.
They apparently had no intention of having Glavine pitch this season in an Atlanta Braves uniform. The Braves claimed they had no place for him with rookie prospect Tommy Hanson scheduled to pitch on Saturday.
Why didn’t they call up Hanson sooner instead of using his callup as an excuse to jettison Glavine?
They saved millions by releasing him before they had to pay him incentives that would have kicked in later this season.
John Smoltz was given the same shabby treatment during the offseason when he was given a low ball contract by the Braves. Smoltz stated after the release of Glavine that he was “disappointed” but he stopped short of telling what he really thought about their move.
Why did the Braves let Glavine reach the point of rejoining the team before releasing him? If Glavine knew he was going to be shafted by the Braves he probably would have retired or signed with another team during the offseason.
There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things and the Braves opted for the wrong way in this case.
Warren Spahn with 363 wins, Steve Carlton with 329 wins and Eddie Plank with 326 wins are the only lefthanders with more wins than the 305 registered by Glavine.
The rookie Hanson will now have the added pressure of being the pitcher that replaced Glavine in the rotation. It is difficult enough to pitch successfully in the major leagues without replacing an icon.
Hanson could find himself back in the minors or in the bullpen in August when Tim Hudson is slated to return to the starting rotation.
Derek Lowe, Jair Jurjjens, Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami fill the first four slots in the rotation. So if the Braves had not released Glavine they could have had Hudson, Hanson and Glavine competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.
The Braves knew this situation would develop during the course of the 2009 season yet they still signed Glavine knowing there could be a logjam of starters.
Their decision to sign Glavine set up the humiliation that he endured yesterday.
I get the feeling that the Braves had no intention of Glavine pitching in a game this season. I also think they were wanting him to fail miserably in his minor league rehab outings and for his arm to stay injured.
That way they wouldn’t have been in the position yesterday where they had to let him pitch or release him.
The Braves have stated he was losing velocity but velocity matters less with Glavine than any pitcher this side of Tim Wakefield.
I have never been enamored by the activities of Glavine when he was active in the player’s union strike in 1994. I still find it hard to fathom millionaires going on strike.
However I still was saddened when the left the Braves for the Mets and pitched for the Mets for five seasons. The first three seasons he was 33-41 but pitched better the last two seasons with a 28-15 record.
The Braves will be explaining their reasons for releasing Glavine for months to come but in reality there is no excuse for releasing a surefire Hall of Famer after working his way through months of rehab only to be released before pitching in his first start of the season.
Glavine may find a team that gives him the chance the Braves refused to give him. The Braves won’t admit it but hope if he does pitch again in the majors that he will fail to win so they can try to justify releasing a future Hall of Famer.