The Atlanta Braves just cut Tom Glavine, moving themselves from my “teams which are kind of annoying” list to my “list of teams I officially hate.”
The Braves are claiming this was all about performance and had nothing to do with the millions of extra dollars Glavine would have been owed for making the major league roster and then staying on it for 30 and 90 days, but that is a blatant falsehood.
The Braves cite Glavine’s fastball velocity in the low 80s as the main reason, but Glavine’s fastball has been in the low 80s for several years now, and was in the low 80s in spring training when Fran Wren was talking up how Glavine was going to be a key piece in the rotation this season.
Glavine worked his ass off after two arm surgeries and did everything the Braves asked, pitching in several minor league rehab starts and continuing to do so even after his arm was all ready to go. Plus he pitched very well, going six scoreless and allowing only 3 hits in his most recent start.
Why make a guy go through surgeries and all that rehab for nothing? Why didn’t the Braves just cut him in spring training? Were they just keeping him around as an insurance policy on Kenshin Kawakami or something?
The only honorable thing for the Braves to have done would have been to call up Glavine and let him either succeed or else pitch his way off the team and into honorable retirement. If Glavine put up a bad start or two, then the Braves would have been perfectly justified in cutting him loose, and everyone would have understood.
Look, it’s really besides the point that cutting Glavine now was probably the “best” move, both baseball-wise with top prospect Tommy Hanson apparently all ready for the show, and money-wise.
Because sometimes penny-wise is pound foolish, and it is foolish to so blatantly ill-treat 300-game winner, future Hall of Famer, and all-around good guy Tom Glavine all to save a few million bucks after all that he has done for your francise over two decades. It tears at the fabric of your success, which is rooted in the adulation of the fans, the respect between your front office and the players on your team and around the league, and your reputation for fair dealing.
Yeah, baseball is a business, but even in business, sometimes the right thing to do is actually do the right thing.
They say Karma can be a bitch – here’s hoping she woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday, because the Braves deserve whatever they have coming.