2002 NEWS

2002 News > 12/6/02

THIS IS HOME FOR US

By Thomas Stinson, Atlanta-Journal Constitution

Tom Glavine took time to reacquaint himself with his kids Friday between scattered talks with reporters. By the time staff writer Thomas Stinson caught up with him in evening, Glavine's head was still spinning.

Q: So have you been sleeping this week?
A:
Averaging about three or four hours a night. Yeah, it's been hard. It was not an easy decision. I think today -- this morning -- was probably the hardest day of all, coming to grips with the reality of not being here. But there's been a lot of uneasiness about it. That speaks for the scope of the decision, and the fact that we really wanted to stay here and tried to stay here. It just didn't work out.

Q: Did you get a sense that once the process hit a certain point, that you were just another player on his way out of town?
A:
Looking back, there's only so much that was going to happen. I kind of got the sense that change was inevitable for the organization, and I certainly was not immune to being part of that. I don't know that I was on a fast track out of town or anything like that, but I guess I and everybody else had always assumed that I was going to end my career here. The way things went, for a portion of it, I just didn't get that sense.

Q: Do you resent that?
A:
I won't say I resent that. The Braves do things the way they do it for whatever reason, and there's no saying who's right and who's wrong. I guess part of my frustration during the process was, when you see the attention the other teams are giving you, you don't quite understand why it's not coming from your own club. But I guess that's the way things go when somebody else is trying to get you. They woo you a little bit more. I got frustrated with it because it didn't seem like things were going very far with the Braves at times. The lack of urgency kind of concerned me, and that's why I tried to reach out and get them involved. From my standpoint, it worked. It got them involved, but it didn't get the process to where I would have liked it to go.

Q: There is a split in public opinion on how this went down, some critical of your stance. What do you sense from the backlash?
A:
The people that I've talked to in the community have been very supportive, very saddened by the fact I'm not going to be here but supportive of my decision and wish me luck with the Mets and whatnot. I don't care what the situation is, you're not going to have everyone on your side. All I can say is that I've always tried to handle myself in a very professional manner, on and off the baseball field. . . . The advice I got from everybody was, you find in your heart where it is that you can be and go express that to the Braves and see what happens. And if it doesn't happen, you can lay your head down on the pillow at night and be comfortable about how you proceeded and move on. And that's where I'm at. . . . I knew the minute I ended up leaving here, if it came to that, everybody was going to say it was about money and greed and everything else. . . . I think people who know me, know my situation, know that that's not what I'm about. And that's all that matters.

Q: You still intend to keep your home in Atlanta?
A:
Yeah, we're still going to stay here. This is home for us. We've been here too long. Our kids are entrenched in schools and sports and everything else. We're not going to change any of that. We're still going to be from Atlanta and be a big part of the city and just playing baseball somewhere else.

Q: Obviously, Game 6 in the 1995 World Series jumps to mind, but what are your fondest memories that spring to mind as you prepare to change teams?
A:
Probably the day I got called up and pitched (in 1987), and then winning the World Series. That's what it's about. Your dream is to get to the big leagues, and once you get here, your dream is to win a world championship. Being able to fulfill both those dreams here in Atlanta were big highlights of my time here and something that can't ever be taken away.

Q: When Dale Murphy was traded to Philadelphia, he said it was very difficult to look down at those red shoes. Have you had time to reflect on what it will be like to pitch against the Braves?
A
: Yeah, a little bit. But nothing is going to prepare it for you until you get to the point where you have to do it. I've walked myself through coming to Tuner Field and being in the opposing dugout and sitting in the visitors clubhouse. I've been through all that in my mind, and it's been a difficult process. But as much as I think as time goes by that I'll get more and more prepared for it, nothing is going to prepare me for that eventuality. And it's going to be strange. Real strange. But like so many things you face in life, you have challenges and difficult situations, and you just do your best to keep yourself under control and try to deal with it.

Q: Have you heard much from your teammates . . . or ex-teammates?
A:
A few guys, yeah.

Q: And they hate you?
A:
No. They're kind of disappointed that I'm not coming back, don't understand what went on, and what led to everything. But they've been very supportive and very well-wishing and genuinely just sad to see me go. It's just like what everybody else is saying -- it's just kind of hard to believe.

Q: What's going to be harder? Putting on that Mets uniform, or being a Boston fan who is pretending to be interested in the New York Rangers?
A:
Well, up there, I'm going to have to make sure that I'm interested. Can't pretend for a minute.