By Mike Steffanos
As promised just after Christmas, I'm going to try to work my way into updating the blog a bit more frequently. One thing that was nagging at me since the end of the season was that I didn't have the time to keep updating my stats on the starting pitchers. You might have noticed the updated Triple-A stats for Adam Bostick, Phillip Humber, Jason Vargas and Mike Pelfrey that I posted yesterday. I also updated all of the Mets starters you find under The Pitchers on the navigation bar to the right. The following starters were updated yesterday:
When I was adding those last few games of the season to Tom Glavine's page, I was struck once again with just how poorly he pitched when the Mets really needed him down the stretch. Heading into the September 20 game in Florida, Tom was enjoying his best stretch of pitching since his strong April and he seemed like the right man for the job. Not quite. Glavine was pounded for 4 runs on 11 hits in 5 innings versus the Marlins, who blew several opportunities to really hammer the veteran southpaw.
I remember having some confidence that Glavine would bounce back strong in his next start against the Nationals at Shea. Instead, he was absolutely terrible. The weak-hitting Nationals looked like Murderer's Row -- shelling him for 9 hits and 6 runs in 5 innings, and taking him deep 3 times.
When Glavine faced the Marlins at Shea in the season finale with everything riding on the outcome, I had a bad feeling from the get-go. As you all know, it didn't take long for those fears to become horribly, horribly real. Glavine pitched the worst start of his career in this huge spot. In a way, I guess, it bookended that abysmal opening day performance that began his Met tenure 5 years ago.
The above paragraphs aren't about kicking Tom Glavine on his way out the door. For the most part, I look back on his five years with the Mets as a positive. Sadly, though, to my mind Glavine's enduring legacy with the Mets will be his poorly chosen words on what constitutes a "devastating" occurrence, combined with the final sight of him cowardly slinking back to Atlanta to finish his career.
I know that there are some out there that will object to this characterization of Glavine. You will point out that he is returning to Atlanta to be closer to his children, and this choice does not merit criticism. Believe me, had Glavine finished his Met career with respectable appearances in his last 3 games I would agree with you. The sad truth, however, is that Tom Glavine's last 3 outings as a Met are high up on the list of culpability for the collapse. If I were Tom Glavine, that would burn me, and I would make it my mission to come back to New York for one last season and try to make that right.
Glavine is a multi-millionaire who can afford the cost of managing one last year in New York and spending the maximum time with his family. He worked it out in 2007 when Atlanta didn't give him the contract he needed. He could have done it one more year. I'm tired of hearing from media types who had a personal liking of Glavine that Mets fans like myself who lost respect for the way Glavine departed this team are wrong. I hope Glavine enjoys being with his family next year, I really do, but to my mind he left New York with unfinished business and is personally responsible for his tarnished legacy as a Met -- and I say this as someone who suspects the 2 draft picks the Mets received from Glavine's defection were a nice haul.
Put any spin you want on it, but gutless by any other name is still gutless. So long, Tom.