January 10, 2014

Tom Glavine Was A Good, Not Great, Met

Yes, Tom Glavine absolutely blew that game against the Marlins in 2007, no doubt about that. I understand that he rubbed some fans the wrong way with his post game comments, saying he was, "not devastated." I'm frankly okay with that sentiment. Devastation is not for baseball, or for your job for that matter. Devastating is something that might happen in your family or personal life, not on a ball field, and not at work. But I understand why some people were angered by it. I understand that he was a Met killer for many years in the Atlanta Braves rotation. So I understand why so many Mets fans spewed anger when Glavine was elected to the Hall of Fame. I just disagree.

Glavine joined the team in 2003, and at the start posted some bad numbers. With a 4.52 ERA on the season, he shared in the blame, but playing on a poor, 66 win team had a lot to do with his 9-14 record. He progressed slowly, along with the team, improving to the high point of a 15-7 in 2006, an incredible feat for a 40 year old pitcher. While we all know how that season ended, Glavine posted solid numbers and was an effective pitcher all season.

2007, the first step in this absurd slide of morale and results in Met baseball, was also an effective one for Glavine. 13-8 and pitching over 200 innings in his forties, Glavine looked to have enough in the tank to help push the Mets back into the playoffs. Then, this happened. Tom Glavine allowed 7 runs and got only one out with the season on the line for a Met team reeling, having squandered it's huge NL East lead over the course of a few weeks. The good feelings, the work he'd done to overcome his reputation as a famous Brave was undone in one bad start.

It's important, though, to put his Met career in perspective. Already fading when he arrived, he still restored some credibility to this team just by signing here. He was not the long term, home grown star we all hope to root for, but he was a solid veteran presence and a good fit for the teams he was on. He was at the top of the rotation the last time they made the playoffs and, outside the final start of the season, was certainly not the reason the Mets collapsed and missed the playoffs in 2007. He came to New York, performed reasonably well after playing in the cozy Atlanta market, and helped lead this team back into contention. You don't have to love the guy, but we should at least respect his contributions to the Mets.

But still, 7 runs and one out? Come on, Glavine.

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