2010 NEWS

2010 NEWS > 1/16/10


By Carroll Rogers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Original Article HERE.

Tom Glavine has all but announced his retirement from baseball and is, in all likelihood, preparing to take a job with the Braves if he can coordinate his schedule, which includes coaching two of his sons in hockey and traveling this summer with his family.

Glavine, who is hosting his 18th annual benefit for the Georgia Transplant Foundation on Jan. 29, spoke Tuesday morning from his Alpharetta home about putting his release by the Braves last June behind him and planning for his future.

Q. Why no official retirement announcement yet?

A. I really haven't felt like dealing with it. When I do, it's going to be can you talk to this person, that person. That's part of it. The other part is about me talking to the Braves about [a job]. I was trying to see if I could get that figured out and make both announcements at one time, but spring training is getting closer, so I know people are getting antsy. I figure by now there's a pretty good chance people are starting to figure it out.

Q. When did you mentally move on? A. Not long after it ended [with the Braves] last year. There was a couple-week period where I still felt good, still had a little bit of the itch to play and a little of the "unfinished business" thing, but the more I thought about having to pack up and go somewhere else to play again, it didn't last very long. I knew I wasn't going to do that.

Q. Did you miss out on getting closure?

I don't think so. Part of my being willing to have conversations with [Braves president] John [Schuerholz] and trying to figure out what the next part of my life is going to look like and if it's going to involve the Braves, I think I have to get past that. Is there always going to be a little bit of wondering what would have happened? Sure. But I still wonder what would have happened 25 years ago if I'd decided to play hockey instead of baseball. That's natural. The anger and the emotions, you get past that. And I'm past that for the most part, and I think I have to be past that totally in order to jump back in and want to do something.

Q. Good to come back to this organization, despite two nasty exits?

It's a good thing. It's the right thing. I'll be remembered primarily for the work I did here in Atlanta. I feel very proud of the role I played in helping that organization become what it is today. Anything else that I would consider in baseball, it really doesn't make sense for me to do it anywhere else. I think it was the right thing for both myself and the Braves, for John and I to start having the dialogue about ‘hey, what happened, how did it happen, why did it happen.' Let's get everything out in the open, then let's move past it and figure out where we go from here.

Q. Who approached whom?

It was mutual. I'd heard rumblings that they were going to reach out to me. I'd had some conversations with some friends that I would be open to a conversation. It was facilitated by a call from [manager] Bobby [Cox] to see if I was willing to come down and talk with everybody.

Q. Schuerholz gave you the opportunity to clear the air?

Yes. It was always: I understand the business side of this decision, I just don't understand how it all unfolded the way it did. I always felt like there was an option other than me walking out the door and being fired, in essence. I'm not saying I've gotten 100 percent of the answers I've looked for, but I've gotten a better handle on why things went the way they did ... I just felt like there had to have been a Plan B that day. Some of the conservations we've had since then, we should have been having that day.

Q. What sort of job have you and the Braves been talking about?

A hodgepodge. I don't want to get locked into anything. There are things that interest me in the game. Broadcasting, front-office stuff, whether it be at the major league or minor league level. There's a part of me that would enjoy being in uniform, maybe helping some minor league guys. But I know I don't want to be a full-time coach, not now anyway. With the discussions we've had, it's been trying to get me exposed to as much of it as we can, that makes sense for the organization, and then hopefully get a better understanding if there's one thing I really like and want to focus on.

Q. What's the hold up?

I just want to make sure the timing is right. I'm having fun hanging out with [his wife] Chris and the kids and coaching hockey. I know she's got a lot of plans of things we want to do this summer, travel-wise, so that's part of it. We're trying to [figure out] if these other opportunities come up and it works out, how do I schedule around all this.

Q. Did having this be Cox's last year in uniform influence your timing?

Yes. I want to be a part of it, in whatever capacity that ends up being. He meant so much to me and what I was able to do and all the teams we were able to put together. I'd love to be around for it and see if when the season is over, he actually takes that uniform off and hands it in.

Q. Retiring now means you and Greg Maddux could go into the Hall of Fame together. Would it be fun to go in together?

Look, am I going to lie and say it wouldn't be great to have my own day? Of course it would. But would that diminish anything by going in with Greg, or John [Smoltz] or anybody else? Of course not. Whatever day you're able to get in there, you know what? Take it and run with it. The three of us are forever going to be linked. So much of what we identify as our prime years in the game were together. It'll be fun either way.

Note: For more information on his event at the Mason Murer Art Gallery, contact Kristin Stanley at kstanley@gatransplant.org or 678-514-1187.