All Bite, No Bark: Tom Glavine Calls It Quits


From L to R: My Childhood

Tom Glavine joined the Atlanta Braves front office Thursday, officially marking the end of his Major League career.

Tom Glavine retired today. You probably missed it.

He took a job with a team that screwed him.

Correction: He took a job with a team that screwed him twice.

You probably missed both of these screwings, because Glavine isn’t one to speak up, and we’re not ones to notice the guys that don’t speak up.

If Tom was one of these guys, we’d probably know him as “Tom Terrific,” or maybe speculate about a Big Apple comeback, or at least give the man a front page sendoff.

His five 20-win seasons would be common knowledge, as would his six top-5 Cy Young finishes, his two Cy Youngs, his 10 15+ win seasons and the greatest – and most ironic – commercial of all-time.

Tom Glavine probably wouldn’t tell you that he was drafted ahead of Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull – in hockey. He wouldn’t tell you that, yeah, he pitched 10 all-star games.

No big deal.

Glavine only talked big when he had to, like when he’d go to bat for the Players Union or ask his team to reconsider a bad decision.

You want to do what? Think about this John. 

The Braves let him walk after 2002. They had the money, and spent it on Mike Hampton, a move that elated exactly two groups – Mets fans and Atlanta surgeons.

Glavine eventually made his way back to Atlanta, because that’s where his heart is. The Braves fleeced him again, wheeling him out to packed crowds for 3 rehab stints in ’09 before cutting him loose for good.

Tommy’s back with the Braves today. That’s the kind of guy he is.

No Explanation Needed

Tom Glavine was exactly like the other elite lefties of his generation, except he wasn’t a prick (Randy Johnson) or a cheat (Andy Pettitte).

In 20 years of Marks and Barrys, Rogers and Rockers, Glavine took to the mound 682 times with just brains, precision and 88 miles per, which – if you think about it – is like dunking on a 12 foot rim or drag racing a Hyundai.

In other words, he entered a gunfight with a knife, and he came out pretty damn well.

His performance enhancer was off-day tee times – 18 holes of brain picking with the likes of Greg Maddux and John Smoltz.

In the 1995 World Series, he shut down an Indians lineup that included, among other, Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez, in a clinching game 6. By “shut down,” I mean 8 innings, 1 hit.

By “shut down,” I mean he took the monkey on his city’s back and beat it to death.

Glavine wouldn’t tell you that he coined the phrase “hitting the corners,” but he might tell you his secret – in, out, in, out. Backdoor. 

He beat Tony Dungy to Quiet Strength.

If Maddux was the “Mad Dog,” Glavine was the bulldog – the guy on a staff with two other Hall of Famers that you wanted on the hill when it mattered most, the guy on the staff with the 2.16 World Series ERA.

Glavine had “it,” if by “it” you mean the best years of my youth and a devastating changeup.

Once again: Tom Glavine retired today. He didn’t really say anything. That’s not his style. 

– Robbie


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