Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and the Mets hope for a Tom — as in Glavine — is dwindling by the day.
In fact, Tom is beginning to turn into a turkey, with his inability to commit to either the Mets or the Braves.
Of course, we don’t want to get too hard on Tom — after all, he does promise to make a decision before the Winter Meetings begin. But, it’s a slow news day, and there’s only so much we can write about Jason Vargas and Damion Easley. And, there are good reasons for a Mets fan to be a little annoyed with Mr. Glavine:
1. The complex player-option / team-option negotiated earlier in the season is moot. After all the hemming, hawing, and ballyhoo, these “flexible” options did absolutely nothing to retain the veteran lefthander — and he’s still going to get $3M out of it.
2. Glavine does not want to make a decision without speaking to the Braves first — this made clear by his asking the Mets not to exercise their option (he couldn’t talk to anyone else until that option was declined). Obviously, Glavine has significant interest in returning to the Braves, and it appears likely he will return even if they offer him a below-market contract.
3. Glavine has left $14M on the table. 99.9% of Mets fans won’t see that kind of money in a lifetime — much less receive such a sum for playing baseball — so it’s hard to comprehend his thought process.
4. The family thing is pure hogwash. Glavine has enough cash to put up his wife and children in a swanky Connecticut community from May to October — which he’s done for the last few seasons. They don’t like all the moving around? Good thing Tom’s not in the military! Part of earning an EIGHT-FIGURE salary is making concessions and sacrifices, such as relocation. Is it really so hard on Tom’s family to be forced to live in an enormous house in one of the most upscale areas of the US for six months?
5. It’s Thanksgiving, and El Duque is our Opening Day starter. Yes, I love Orlando Hernandez as much as anyone, but let’s be realistic: if he’s our #1 starter in 2007, it’s going to be a long, long season. While Glavine is no ace himself anymore, having him in the fold would certainly help us feel a bit more secure about things.
6. Though Omar Minaya claims Glavine’s status does not affect his pursuit of obtaining pitchers, it actually does. Sure, Omar will go after, say, Barry Zito with the same aggressiveness regardless of the Glavine situation. However, it’s doubtful he’ll also go after expensive second-tier hurlers — such as Gil Meche, Ted Lilly, or Javy Vazquez — before knowing what Glavine wants to do. The longer the wait, the more pitchers are removed from the market.
7. Consideration of Vicente Padilla, Javy Vazquez, and Freddy Garcia. While Tom is hemming and hawing, all we as fans can do is comtemplate the alternatives. Some sound OK, but the thought of overpaying (in a free-agent contract or trade) for someone like Padilla or Vazquez makes a Mets fan bristle.
8. Visons of Tom in a Brave uniform, winning his 300th game. The anxiety of not knowing where Glavine will be next year conjures nightmares of him on the mound in an Atlanta uniform, flashbulbs popping, fans cheering, and players mobbed around him right after Edgar Renteria fields a routine grounder and tosses over to first to give Glavine his 300th victory. How many more sleepless nights must Mets fans endure?
9. Visions of Tom in a Brave uniform, pitching the Braves to a pennant. If it’s not one nightmare it’s another. Am I the only Mets fan who woke up in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, after dreaming about John Smoltz and Tom Glavine combining for over 40 victories in leading the Braves to a 98-win, first-place season?
10. Visions of Tom AND Greg Maddux in a Brave uniform, pitching the Braves to a pennant. Dear lord … couldn’t you just see the rumored reunion coming to fruition? Just the thought of Maddux’s smirk, Smoltz’s condescending look, and Glavine’s long sad face together again makes me want to throw up. Maybe it’s time to take sleeping pills …
Thanksgiving can’t come soon enough … and the anxiety has nothing to do with the cranberry sauce, white sales, nor the Cowboys game. Rather, its passing means we’ll finally be closer to closure regarding the Tom Glavine situation, and have a better handle on what the 2007 starting rotation will — or won’t — look like.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.