Former Met Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
Yet another New York Met and former 300-game winner will enter the Baseball Hall of Fame: Tom Glavine.
It doesn’t really FEEL like Glavine was ever a Met, despite spending five years in Flushing (yes, it was that long) and helping to pitch the team into the 2006 postseason (and pitching them OUT of the 2007 postseason).
In the same way some Mets fans are unable to forgive Carlos Beltran for taking strike three to end the Mets’ 2006 postseason, many Mets fans can never accept Glavine for his pitiful performance that ended the Mets’ 2007 playoff hopes and capped the greatest collapse in baseball history. Still others can’t accept Glavine as a Met because they’ve heard the story of him sobbing to Braves GM John Schuerholz after the MLBPA pressured Glavine into taking the Mets’ contract offer in December 2002. (Funny side note: that was over ten years ago, and the reason the Braves didn’t match the Mets offer? Because the Braves were mandated to limit themselves to a $93M payroll. Wait, if $93M was a small payroll a decade ago, then what would it be considered today? Hmmm …) And for those Mets fans who don’t fall into the first two camps, chances are very good they fall into a third: those who can only remember him and his condescending-smirk-buddy Greg Maddux as Met-killing Braves. So if you’re a Mets fan, you’re forgiven for not being joyous over the election of this hurler who called Flushing his home for half a decade.
Glavine joins Maddux and “The Big Hurt,” Frank Thomas, into Cooperstown. Mike Piazza missed out by a decent distance, garnering only 62.2% of the votes (75% is required for induction), while another former Met, Jeff Kent, missed by a mile (15.2%). Finishing up the coverage of former Mets on the ballot, Paul LoDuca received no votes (probably, people held against him his fondness for teenage girls and the horses, despite his never combining the two in a viral youtube video), Moises Alou received six, as did Hideo Nomo (yes, he was a Met, for about five minutes), and, unbelievably, both Kenny Rogers (the pitcher, not the singer) and Armando Benitez each received one vote; I’d love to hear the arguments supporting those cases. (As well as how J.T. Snow deserved TWO votes!)
Sound off in the comments.
I welcome him into the Hall with a resigned sigh — yeah, 300 wins gets anyone in, I guess you earned it, Tom — rather than any sort of celebration. Who was Tom Glavine, the pitcher? He was the guy who realized that hitters want to hit, so he could just nibble all game until one of them finally rolled over a change-up a few inches off the plate for the inning-ending grounder. It was the most underwhelming path to success ever.
I guess Glavine deserves credit for his unwavering discipline in sticking to his approach, and most pitchers could learn a lot from him, but man, watching him wait for hitters to screw up was not why I watch sports.
I’ll always remember what Albert Pujols said after Glavine shut out the Cards for 7 innings (with 2 Ks) in game 1 of the 2006 NLCS. “He wasn’t good.” At first I was shocked by Pujols, who’d always been so respectful, trashing a veteran. But then I realized, “Pujols gets it.” Glavine doesn’t beat you. He lets you beat yourself. So just don’t beat yourself, and he’s got nothing. I guess the Cards got Albert’s message, because they knocked Glavine out after 4 innings in Game 5.
If your retrospection is more positive, please go ahead and tell us what you enjoyed/respected/admired about Tom Glavine. Mine is just one opinion, and I’m happy to hear others.
He maximized his ability, which didn’t include the talent to throw balls by hitters. He knew how to pitch rather than throw. If that meant that he let the batters beat themselves, more power to him. There is, at least to me, something enjoyable about watching a “crafty” pitcher outwit hitters. I loved to watch Bobby Ojeda and Carl Erskine among other cerebral pitchers. The fact that Tommy Glavine could do it for so long is a testament to his career. I have no negative feelings about Glavine or Carlos Beltran, as some Mets fans do.
• Summary: The Mets made history, becoming the first team to blow a lead of at least seven games after Sept. 12, as they fell to the Marlins at Shea Stadium while Philadelphia beat Washington.
• Goat: Tom Glavine, in what could be the final start of his Hall of Fame career, retired just one batter and allowed seven runs.
To me his is and always was a Brave. He talked up NY but in reality he came to the Mets because the Braves refused one more big payday. Yes, I understand it is a job to these guys, but still, an arch rival changing colors simply for the dough and performing so so is something as a fan I can live without.
Lastly, in regards to NormE and the conversation above, there is absolutely no way we can assume that Glavine or anyone in sports from the 80s on to today is or was PED free. I’m sure some guys were, and are, but at fans and frankly as teammates no one can truly know. To assume it by someone’s look or build or image is not accurate.
Fair point about the PED era players, but without hard evidence we have to be careful that we don’t become Murray Chass-like.
Agreed. I do not ascribe to the camp that is penalizing by innuedo. I don’t believe in including or excluding by appearance. I’m not sure where to draw the line, short of admitted guilt or conviction, but the whispers about doers and the impression that less physically imposing guys that projected a better image were non-doers is very dicey.
I have to admit I was surprised Kent only received 15%. He was the top second baseman of his time. I guess the double barrel of PEDs (though I don’t remember his name linked) and having a Jim Rice/Eddie Murray relationship with the writers killed his chances. Shame since he was judged by everything other then performance.
I’m not a huge WAR fan, but in this case it might be telling. Baseball Reference gives Kent +44 runs for playing 2B, and -42 runs for his defensive performance.
Maybe he was as special as the records say… or maybe he was just lucky that none of his teams ever shifted him to 1B or 3B (as has generally happened to players of his skill set), in which case he’d have no shot at the Hall at all.
The voter might have thought he was voting for the singer on a ballot for the country music hall of fame.
I was appalled by some of the votes as well. Whoever voted for Armando Benitez better be related to him.