2008 NEWS

2008 News > 4/25/08

NEW YORK GREETS GLAVINE CORDIALLY IN RETURN

By David O'Brien, AJC.com

Tom Glavine seemed pleasantly surprised by the reaction from Mets fans who recognized him walking near the Braves' Manhattan hotel Friday morning.

"The people I ran into today around the city were nice and considerate," said Glavine, whose five-season stint with the Mets ended on a sour note Sept. 30, when he gave up seven runs while recording one out in the season-finale loss.

"I got a cup of coffee and walked around [Friday]," he said. Then he smiled and added, "Nobody threw anything at me that was a positive."

One of the 20 or so New York reporters surrounding him immediately replied, "The weekend's not over," and Glavine laughed.

He said he knew the reaction might be different at Shea Stadium, in his first visit since rejoining the Braves. Knew that it probably wouldn't be as cordial as what he got on the sidewalks of Manhattan.

"I know it's different when you get to the ballpark," he said. "I'm prepared either way. I'm prepared for the worst."

There were about 200 fans above the Braves' dugout during batting practice Friday at Shea, and most of those fans had on Mets gear. Many were waiting to see Glavine emerge.

They'll have to wait until Saturday, because the 42-year-old left-hander didn't go on the field Friday. Glavine is on the disabled list for the first time in his 22-year career, recovering from a strained hamstring.

He plans to throw a bullpen session Saturday or Sunday, then be activated to start Tuesday's series opener at Washington. He said the hamstring was "a lot closer to 100 percent than it was a week ago."

Glavine won't pitch against the Mets until at least the May 20-22 series at Atlanta. He missed them when the Braves played the Mets in a series the first week of the season at Atlanta, after one game was rained out and Glavine swapped starts with John Smoltz so Smoltz could avoid pitching in the cold at Colorado.

The 303-game winner was 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA in five seasons with the Mets, including 13-8 with 200-1/3 innings pitched last season.

But for some New York fans, the lasting memory was him getting rocked for 13 runs in 5-1/3 innings in his past two starts, part of an unprecedented September collapse that kept the Mets out of the postseason and gave the National League East title to Philadelphia.

He had been 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 10 starts that preceded those final two.