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Out With the Old

Mike SteffanosWednesday, January 2, 2008
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.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (6)

I agree with you Mike that Glavine should have been given more responsibility for the Mets demise last year and I also agree that Glavine should have chosen his words better after the loss and after his signing, but I'm not sure if I agree with you about him coming back to the Mets this year. Glavine should go back home to finish his career and to be closer to his family. I think he will be better for it and so will the Mets. My only concern is that the Mets have not replaced him yet,but unlike other fans, I think Omar will find a replacement who will most likely be better than Glavine (especially the Glavine who pitched 1/3 of an inning in the final game).

I always liked Glavine as a person and as a pitcher(even during his Atlanta days) but Glavine career is coming to a close and the end needs to be in Atlanta where he will be cheered. Knowing how Mets fans tend to react, I have a suspicion that if he would have stayed for 1 more year, the fans would would not be so kind to him, especially if his outings are anything like game 162.

I completely agree he was the primary reason for the collapse. They desperately needed a stopper while everything was spiraling out of control. He wasn't up to it. His parting words were disgraceful; and I still can't believe it.

I absolutely did not want him back. However, I think he knew that management AND ownership (whom he was very close with) didn't want him back. I believe he didn't attempt to come back to the Mets because he was actually doing a favor for the Wilpons. I think if he would have said he wanted to come back, it would have put the Mets in a very uncomfortable position; and both parties would have been embarrassed. So I think he did them a solid.

I'm just thankful he's not a Met anymore; so how can I criticize him for that?

Another thing that irked me about Glavine is the amount of time he took to make his "decision". That makes it harder for the Mets to plan their off season moves etc. At the time I understood it was a big decision but then he came out and said it was Braves or no where. So why not tell the Mets that?

I actually look forward to playing against Glavine on a day he doesn't get a 15 feet strike zone. . . . . lol. . . .preferably with Pedro on the hill to school him in how to pitch.

Definitely agree on Glavine. I feel those last 3 starts are the true indication of where he is now. I do not believe he will ever be consistely effective again. I think he's going to Atlanta to stink it up in 2008. I for one am VERY HAPPY he's gone.

Definitely agree on Glavine. I feel those last 3 starts are the true indication of where he is now. I do not believe he will ever be consistely effective again. I think he's going to Atlanta to stink it up in 2008. I for one am VERY HAPPY he's gone.

Ed - I didn't say I wanted him to come back to the Mets. I actually didn't. He could have won my respect back if he did choose to come back here and take responsibility for those last 3 games. I'm not surprised he took the easy way out, though. Glavine may be a classy guy in a lot of ways, but he is also a mercenary. That's the reason he came here in the first place, and the reason he left this year. For what it's worth, I think if he chose to come back here in an effort to make things right the vast majority of Mets fans would have really respected that. I don't hate Glavine, and I've never been one to hold poor performance against a player who is actually trying. But when some in the media insist on making the tired point that Mets fans don't properly "appreciate" Glavine, I have offered what I think is a reasonable opinion on why I feel ambivalence towards him.
Barry - I disagree. I think the Mets would have welcomed him back. I do agree that I didn't want him back. Again, though, it's not about pitching poorly those last 3 games to me. It's about not taking the personal responsibilty to make it right. I'm not surprised that he didn't, that's his track record. He will not be universally welcomed back to Atlanta by that fan base, either.
toasterdude - Hopefully the Mets players will show patience and a willingness to work the count against Glavine. Otherwise, he is the exact sort of mediocre pitcher who gave them problems this past season.
BigEd - I do think that getting Atlanta's first round pick and a sandwich round pick could be more valuable to the Mets in the long run than a return of Glavine, especially if they do make a deal where they ship out their few remaining top prospects.

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