ATLANTA— I have atlantabraves.com plugged into my blackberry. Whenever I get out on the internet, I start by opening up that website and checking in on news surrounding the Braves.
For weeks now, I’ve been reading headlines about Tom Glavine’s recovery. Tom Glavine feels better after throwing in the outfield (April 28). Tom Glavine pitches 3 simulated innings, ready to begin his rehab (May 19). Tom pitches 5 scoreless innings in Gwinnett, close to returning to the Braves (May 28). Tom pitches 6 scoreless innings in Rome, final start before joining the big league team (June 2).
Then yesterday I read: Tom Glavine CANNED!
Hall-of-Famer and MVP of the only World Series the Atlanta Braves ever won, having dutifully completed a successful rehab, is congratulated by being given the option of either retiring or being released.
Frank Wren says: “This is how you give someone the SHAFT!”
This one disappointed me. The messaging of this move was even worse than the cold shoulder they gave John Smoltz last winter. This one blindsided everyone: players, fans, and Tom Glavine himself. Who saw this coming?
Now granted, I believe the move on a whole is a smart one. The Braves are steadily building a team of the future, and I think they could be a winner over the upcoming several years. They are putting the right pieces in place, and have some good, young talent to build around. In the end, Glavine did not fit in those plans. Tommy Hanson did.
But the Braves really could have dealt with this better. Going into the rehab, they should have been clear with the fans and with Tom Glavine that he may not be in their long-term plans. They should have treated him with some dignity and told him ahead of time that even if he did well in rehab, he may not make the team.
Instead, they led everyone down a path of expecting Glavine’s return and then stripping that away at the final moment. What a sham!
I like where we have ended up on a whole, but I do not like how Frank Wren has gotten us there.
The jury is still out on this man, in my book.