A baseball team has a responsibility to its fans to put the best team it can on the field. The recent news that the Braves have released Tom Glavine seems, at least on the surface, to be such a move. The Braves management stressed repeatedly (according to this article) that this was a performance issue and not a business issue. Let's hope that is the truth.
Glavine pitching for the Braves again would have been a nice story. His history and his part of the glory years of the team are well chronicled. The future Hall of Fame pitcher won most of his games there and with Maddux and Smoltz made for one of the best starting rotations in history.
But nobody wanted the nice story tainted with Glavine getting blasted in games and departing early after getting roughed up. The Braves didn't feel that he would be good enough with the current stuff he was throwing. Fair enough. If they really feel that way, they made the right decision.
But many true fans of the game, even those not fans of the Braves, would have been interested and would have smiled if Glavine came back and got a few wins for his former team. But it was not to be.
Life is hard and decisions are hard to make when you are in charge. The decisions can be personal and can hurt. The Fan has shed a few tears when having to tell a long time employee that the end had come and that there were better people to do the job. It hurts, there is no question about it. But if you are a good manager, that is what you have to do.
Glavine will probably get a job somewhere. But the Fan doesn't know if he should. He's an old pitcher now. And even mild success would be a shade of what he formerly could do. His last days as a Met were painful to watch. We don't want to let go of players like Glavine and Maddux, but maybe, it's for the best when it happens.
Yes, there are a lot of mixed feelings here. And since the story is not yet over, it is difficult to know which feeling is the correct one.