2008 NEWS

2008 News > 3/28/08

GLAVINE RETAINS EMOTIONAL TIES TO METS

By Ben Shpigel, New York Times

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Tom Glavine had just finished answering questions about his new team, the Atlanta Braves, when he started asking some about his old one, the Mets: How serious is Moises Alou’s injury? Is David Wright inundated with interview requests? What’s going on with Scott Schoeneweis?

None of Glavine’s closest friends on the Mets made the two-hour drive here for Thursday’s game, making his reunion with the Mets sort of anticlimactic, but the gang can catch up with one another next weekend. The Mets play the Braves in Atlanta during their six-game season-opening trip, and Glavine is scheduled to pitch against them next Saturday.

“It will be different pitching against those guys, just like pitching against Atlanta was always different than any other team I pitched against when I was with New York,” Glavine said before the Mets defeated the Braves, 9-4. “Pitching against the Mets is going to be the same way.”

Glavine won his 300th career game with the Mets but came away from his five seasons disappointed that none of those teams reached a World Series. He chose to return to Atlanta to spend more time with his family, who continued to live in suburban Atlanta, 25 miles from Turner Field, where Glavine will pitch the Braves’ home opener Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of a crowd he expects will embrace him.

He should get the same reaction from the Mets.

“Even though I was only there for five years, I made some good friends there,” Glavine said. “And those five years had a good impact on me as a person and on me as a player.

“The emotional ties that I had there are much greater, I think, than people give it credit for. Because of that, it’s going to be different, but it’s not going to be like that first time I faced the Braves after being here for 16 years and felt like everybody on the team and in the ballpark knew everything I was doing. It won’t be that extreme, but it’ll be close.”