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.

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. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies January 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm
    Joe, your post sums up my take on Glavine. I don’t have any happy feelings about him.

    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.

  2. NormE January 8, 2014 at 7:08 pm
    C’mon, Argon. If a guy can win over 300 games without juicing he deserves the HOF without your back-handed cynicism. From reading your many posts I thought you were better than this.
    • argonbunnies January 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm
      I agree that 300 wins during the PED era is extremely impressive. But when I think back on Glavine’s career, as many fans do when a player is elected to the Hall… well, I saw the whole thing, and never particularly enjoyed watching the man pitch.

      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.

      • NormE January 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm
        To me, Glavine went about his job in a professional manner.
        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.
        • crozier January 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm
          My relationship with baseball is emotional and irrational (which is not to leave out my attraction to statistics, but that’s for some other discussion). In the end, I like players or I don’t, and for the most part no amount of talent will change that. Still, while I may not have cared for Maddox, his talent was immense; I had no choice but to admire him. Glavine, though…”professional” nails it, Norm.The guy was punching a clock, and he left me cold. Still does.
        • argonbunnies January 9, 2014 at 12:38 am
          “A pitcher, not a thrower”. That’s something I can certainly get behind.
  3. DanS January 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    Here’s my fondest Tom Glavine (but heck, it was a HOF career!):

    • 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.

  4. DaveSchneck January 9, 2014 at 9:26 am
    I congratulate Glavine on his HOF election. Never met him but seems like a decent guy, That said, I was never big on him wearing a Met jersey. His first game and his last game were complete disasters, and more importantly his entire Met career was very mediocre and not worth the cost.

    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.

    • NormE January 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm
      Dave S.,
      Fair point about the PED era players, but without hard evidence we have to be careful that we don’t become Murray Chass-like.
      • DaveSchneck January 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm
        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.
  5. Dan B January 9, 2014 at 10:36 am
    One thing I admired about Glavine was how he went about the entire game. He fielded his position and he looked like a professional at the plate. He was intelligent and well spoken. He is excellent roll model for pitchers.
    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.
    • argonbunnies January 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm
      I’m not sure how much positional scarcity ought to make a player a HOFer all by itself. I mean, when he played, how did Kent rate among the top hitters in the game? 20th? 30th? He never led the league in anything besides sac flies; he was only in the top 10 in the NL in HRs once; he was never higher than 4th in RBIs despite Bonds walking 150 times in front of him. But now his HR and RBI totals are regarded as not just solid, not just great, but Hall of Fame-worthy? Because he could play a mediocre second base?

      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.

      • Dan B January 11, 2014 at 11:24 am
        Positional scarcity (great term!) shouldn’t play a role in the sense being the best of a bad lot isn’t good enough. But there was a lot of good second basemen in Kent’s time and he was one of if not the best. And it is true if he was a 3b or 1b his numbers wouldn’t stand out as much. But that is exactly the point, he could play 2cd while most 1b and 3b could not play 2cd. Using that logic, Frank Thomas shouldn’t be in the HOF because he would of been a terrible 2cd baseman.
  6. friend January 9, 2014 at 10:44 am
    “Kenny Rogers …(the pitcher, not the singer) … I’d love to hear the arguments supporting those cases”

    The voter might have thought he was voting for the singer on a ballot for the country music hall of fame.

  7. chris January 10, 2014 at 2:25 pm
    I was glad Glavine pitched for the Mets, but I always saw him as more of a mercenary, in NY only for the paycheck. Sure, everyone is there for the paycheck, but he WAS the Atlanta Braves, or a big part of them. Congratulations to him, but he is going in for all the things he did in Atlanta, not NY.

    I was appalled by some of the votes as well. Whoever voted for Armando Benitez better be related to him.