2008 NEWS

2008 News > 2/15/08


By Mark Bowman, MLB.com
Original Article HERE.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tom Glavine was obviously excited to begin his homecoming. The 300-game winner arrived in Braves camp just after the sun came up on Friday morning.

"All the old guys get here early," Glavine joked. "We got to make sure we get up every day."

Glavine arrived at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex at approximately 7:10 a.m. ET, and about three hours later, he was participating in the new season's first workout for Braves pitchers and catchers.

"I had a weird feeling coming in here this morning," Glavine said. "I knew I would. I guess it's one of those things where it's a strange feeling in one sense and a comfortable feeling in another."

When Glavine arrived at Champion Stadium, he was greeted by former teammate Eddie Perez, who is now the Braves bullpen coach, and his old manager, Bobby Cox. His locker is wedged between those belonging to his longtime teammates Chipper Jones and John Smoltz.

Jones, Smoltz and Javy Lopez, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, are the only remaining players from the Braves' 1995 World Series championship team. With his dazzling Game 6 performance in that year's Fall Classic, Glavine provided the city of Atlanta with the only championship it has won in a major professional sport.

After spending the past five seasons with the Mets, Glavine is looking forward to the opportunity to rejoin the Braves, who drafted him in the second round of the 1984 First-Year Player Draft and then employed him at the Major League level from 1987-2002.

Glavine notched 242 of his 303 career wins and his two National League Cy Young Awards during his previous stint with the Braves. He notched his historic 300th career victory with the Mets at Wrigley Field on Aug. 5 last year in a win over the Cubs.

The Braves believe Glavine, who will celebrate his 42nd birthday on March 25, still has plenty left to offer. He was 13-8 with a 4.45 ERA in 34 starts for the Mets last year. His ERA took a hit when he surrendered 16 earned runs while completing a total of just 10 1/3 innings in his final three starts.

Many of Glavine's critics have chosen to forget that he went 6-0 with a 3.21 ERA in the 13 starts he made before his late-September struggles. They've instead primarily focused on his final three starts and gained a sense that he can no longer be effective.

Glavine admits this provides some motivation. But he says his primary reason for continuing his career is the personal belief that he can still be successful.

"My motivation more than anything else is what I expect out of myself, and I still think I can pitch and that's why I'm here," Glavine said.