2010 NEWS

2010 NEWS > 1/14/10


By Mark Bowman, MLB.com
Original Article HERE.

ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine is not ready to officially declare that his legendary pitching career is complete. But as he nears this likely reality, he has wondered whether it's time to mend relationships and accept the Braves' offer to rejoin their organization in some capacity.

Still, while there's seemingly a good chance that Glavine could soon return to Turner Field to serve as a broadcaster or possibly assume some kind of front-office role, it appears the 43-year-old left-hander has at least resigned himself to the likelihood that he will never throw another pitch in a competitive atmosphere.

"I haven't officially [retired] yet," Glavine said. "I don't know why. I think if anybody has any common sense, they can figure out that I'm probably not going to pitch again."

With the calm that he displayed while becoming the third-winningest left-hander in the game's history, Glavine essentially confirmed his plans to retire and re-enter the baseball world in a capacity that remains to be determined.

Once Glavine makes his retirement official, fans will begin their countdown toward January 2014, when he and his longtime Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux could certainly find themselves inducted as first-ballot Hall of Famers.

Glavine's plan has been to coincide his retirement announcement when it comes time for him to reveal that he is ready to return to the Braves organization in some capacity.

Along with talking to Glavine about the potential to serve as an announcer or a front-office executive, the Braves have also provided an offer that would allow him the chance to travel to their Minor League affiliates to serve as an instructor.

"We're talking about a hodgepodge of things," Glavine said. "I don't want to commit to something and then determine that I don't like it or that the club doesn't like me in that role. That's why I may get a taste of a couple of different things."

Along with determining what kind of role might be most suitable, Glavine finds himself still debating whether he's ready to rejoin this same Braves organization that just seven months ago shocked him with the revelation that he was being released five days shy of his scheduled June 7 season debut.

Time has seemingly cooled Glavine's frustration with that situation. But as he prepared to travel to Canada on Thursday afternoon to help coach his 9-year-old son's hockey team, the 300-game winner admitted that all had not been forgiven.

"I'm not going to lie and say everything is cool and that I'm beyond it," Glavine said. "Maybe that is part of the reason that I haven't committed 100 percent to going back to join the Braves yet. I really have enjoyed spending time with my wife and our children, and I don't know how much of that time I want to miss."

Glavine's attempted return from surgical procedures that mended his left shoulder and left elbow in August 2008 hit a snag in April of last year when he aggravated his shoulder during what was supposed to be his final Minor League tuneup.

By the time Glavine was deemed healthy enough to make his season debut seven weeks later, the Braves gained more concerns about his ability to pitch effectively. In addition, they'd grown much more comfortable with providing the available rotation spot to heralded prospect Tommy Hanson.

Making matters worse was the fact that Glavine's release came less than 24 hours after he had made the three-hour round trip to Rome, Ga., where he threw six scoreless innings in Class A and provided the organization with the financial benefits of a sold-out crowd.

Braves general manager Frank Wren expressed that the decision to release Glavine was purely performance-based. Glavine countered that it was financially motivated.

Whatever the case, the decision likely put an unceremonious end to the playing career of one of the greatest figures in Braves history. Glavine notched two Cy Young Awards and 244 of his 305 career wins for the Braves, who drafted him in the second round of the 1984 First-Year Player Draft and kept him in Atlanta until he began a five-year stint with the Mets in 2003.

Now, as Glavine potentially nears the start of a new chapter with the Braves, he has found himself understanding that he's going to have to be able to work with Wren and some of the other decision-makers who drew his ire last year.

"If this is something that I'm interested in doing, then that is something that I'm going to have to do to be able to do my job," Glavine said.