2007 NEWS

2007 News > 1/30/07

GLAVINE FOR '08 IS A COIN FLIP

By Pete Botte, NY Daily News

In one breath, Tom Glavine says he's "50-50" on whether he plans to continue his pitching career beyond this season. In the next, he said it would take "something bad happening or something very, very good happening" for him to return in 2008.

Glavine, who is 10 victories shy of the magical 300-win plateau, spoke after he and Mets teammates John Maine and Julio Franco participated in a wheelchair Wiffle ball game yesterday at the Henry Viscardi School for students with disabilities in Albertson, L.I.

"If I had to guess right now, I'd say I'm 50-50. If, knock on wood, I stay healthy and win my 300th game, then I think it becomes really hard for me to pitch next year," Glavine said. "But if I do all that and have a good year, and like last year, win 15 or more games, it's going to be hard to walk away."

With Pedro Martinez sidelined until at least midseason following shoulder surgery, the Mets fell short in bids to acquire front-line free-agent Barry Zito, Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka and various other starters available via trades.

Thus, the 40-year-old Glavine - who signed a one-year deal worth $10.5 million in December with a vesting option for 2008 - has been left to front a starting rotation filled with question marks as the Mets look to improve on their 2006 success and reach the World Series.

Glavine and Orlando Hernandez likely will be followed by some combination of Maine, Oliver Perez, prospects Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber and retreads Jorge Sosa and Aaron Sele until Martinez is ready.

"Those guys give you reason to be excited about what our rotation is going to be," Glavine said, mentioning Perez, Pelfrey, Humber and Maine by name. "There's going to be competition . . . but I think we're in a much better position than we were a year ago.

"Last year we came to spring training with quantity, maybe not as much quality, and we pieced it together and did a good job."

Glavine also said it was "never more than 50-50" that he would've returned to Atlanta instead of the Mets this winter.