2007 NEWS

2007 News > 2/17/07


By Adam Rubin, NY Daily News

PORT ST. LUCIE - Tom Glavine remembers Roger Clemens' drawn-out pursuit of 300 wins, when the Rocket dragged his entourage from the Bronx, to Detroit, and then to Wrigley Field in 2003 before finally notching the historic win at the Stadium on his fourth try.

"Obviously I'd like to win my first 10 starts and get it over with," Glavine said. "I don't think that's realistic. Having said that, I'd like to get it done as soon as possible. I guess there are two models in the recent past - Roger's and Greg Maddux's. I'm hoping to subscribe to Greg's where you get it over quickly."

Glavine - who has a career record of 290-191 - spoke at length yesterday about the 300-win milestone, retirement, his winter wait for an Atlanta offer that never came and dentistry before throwing his first bullpen session since arriving at spring training. Once Mr. Brave, he's now the longest-tenured Met, preparing to enter his fifth season in Flushing.

"Things change in a hurry, obviously, and particularly in this market," said Glavine, who was 15-7 with a 3.82 ERA last year. "It's funny. I look at it on the one hand, it's hard to believe. On the other hand, it just shows me that it's been a good situation for me and one I've really gotten used to and gotten comfortable with. It's a good place to be. It really is."

Glavine couldn't venture a guess as to when his 300th win will occur, though he seemed acutely aware of the unlikelihood it would come against the Braves, whom the Mets won't see between May 24 and Aug. 7. Glavine's contract includes a 2008 player option that kicks in if he pitches 160 innings, but the southpaw foresees retirement after this season. He turns 41 on March 25.

Behind him on the active victories list, Randy Johnson has 280 wins, Mike Mussina 239, David Wells 230 and Jamie Moyer 216.

"If I don't win 300 games this year for some reason, then I will play next year, unless my arm blows out and that's the end of it," Glavine said. "Barring something crazy - assuming I have a good year and I win 300 games - I'm not going to sit here and say I won't play, but it would take an awful lot for me to play next year, and I don't mean monetarily. I just mean there would really have to be some unfinished business, some tremendous burning desire for me to play another year at this point."

Glavine - who finally got his two permanent front teeth implanted last week, closing the door on his 2004 taxi-cab crash ordeal - suggested he wouldn't trade his New York experience, even if he seemed eager to do so over the winter. Seeming inclined to return to Atlanta, he mulled his decision for weeks before deciding in December to stay with the Mets. The financially strapped Braves - who let former All-Star second baseman Marcus Giles go rather than pay him, and who were subsequently sold - couldn't find the funds to make an offer. The Braves' sale from Time Warner to Liberty Media, which was completed on Monday, still has to be approved by Major League Baseball.

"I was obviously exploring some options, but in the end this is where I ended up, and I'm happy to be here and looking forward to being here," said Glavine, who threw batting practice for his sons after completing his bullpen session yesterday afternoon. "I think their (Atlanta's) business in general prevented them from doing anything, at least in the time frame I laid out.

"I knew if they were going to be serious about making any kind of a run at me they were going to have to clear some payroll, and that never happened. That was all based on where they're at financially, regardless of whether that sale takes place.

"Everything happens for a reason," Glavine added. "I'm happy to be back here. My family is happy I'm here."