2007 NEWS

2007 News > 2/22/07

GLAVINE 'LIKELY' TO RETIRE AT SEASON'S END

By Carroll Rogers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Former Braves pitcher Tom Glavine is entering his fifth season with the New York Mets with a lot on his mind. The two-time Cy Young Award winner, who came close to re-signing with the Braves this winter, is about to turn 41. He's 10 wins shy of 300 for his career, and he has started to think about retirement.

Glavine, a major part of the team that ended the Braves' record streak of 14 consecutive division titles in 2006, addressed a number of subjects with staff writer Carroll Rogers at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., this week. Here are excerpts from that conversation:

Q: Is it true if you get 300 wins you'll probably retire at the end of the season?
A:
It's more likely that I will than I won't. I don't want to commit to anything yet. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it and see where my wife and everybody is when this season is over and we'll go from there. ... With each passing year I think about it more and wonder about the timing of it. It was never anything I seriously considered as long as I was healthy enough to continue to pitch and obviously try to pursue winning 300 games.

Q: What made you want to come back to Atlanta?
A:
It was totally to do with ease of life. It wasn't a cut-and-dried decision. I've loved being in New York. But at the same time, I understand that it's extremely difficult on my wife and my kids [in Atlanta] when I'm not there. There were pluses to both places, and in the end it worked out that I'm here. I believe it worked out that way for a reason. What that reason is, we'll see.

Q: Does knowing of the Braves' interest give you some peace with how things went down four years ago?
A:
Maybe to a degree. Closure or whatever you want to call it. But getting into that next season here, I can't say that I really harbored any bitterness towards anybody. There was always a question of why things went the way they did. You don't always understand why [things work out] or why they don't. You have to go with it. It's been a lot of fun for me to be here in New York as a player, as a person. It's been a growing experience for me and my family, so those things are all positives. I wouldn't change that. That all has been a great addition to my career and the great time I had in Atlanta. It only makes the package of my career that much better because I got to experience something different.

Q: When did you first start thinking winning 300 games was a realistic goal?
A:
Probably when I got to 200 wins [in 2000]. At that point in time, the way I was pitching, the way I was feeling physically, I felt like, 'Well, geez, you win 20 games five more times, you're there.' Obviously that's not going to happen. But if you win 15 games a year over this course of time, you've got a shot to get there.

Q: Do you take pride in the longevity you, and former Braves teammates John Smoltz, almost 40, and Greg Maddux, almost 41, have had in this game?
A:
I do. I like seeing those guys do well. They're two guys that I grew up a lot with in the game, had a lot of great experiences with, learned a lot from. Being connected with those guys is something I'm proud of and something that will forever be part of a huge chunk of history for the Braves organization. We all want to be a part of something like that. For us to have been able to do it and be such good friends while we did it, it's a pretty special thing.

Q: How did you handle the Mets being the streak-breaker with Smoltz?
A:
I thought I handled it graciously. I didn't give him too much of a hard time because it's hard. I talked to John a lot last summer. And when things were going bad for him, I could hear the frustration in his voice. It's hard to get on somebody when they're in that state. I went through it my first year here. I know what it's like and it's not fun. ... In the end for me, it's a neat perspective to have been a part of the team over there that started the whole thing and be a part of the team that ended it. Hopefully I'll be a part of a team that started a pretty good streak over here. We'll see.

Q: Maybe you'll win your 300th game against the Braves (the teams play 18 times per season).
A:
Maybe. I don't care where I do it (laughing). I just want to do it as quickly as possible.