When the Braves released Tom Glavine last Wednesday before he had a chance to pitch for them in the major leagues, it elicited a lot of angry response. Glavine wasn't happy, neither were former Brave John Smoltz or a lot of fans who remembered Glavine's work in bringing the 1995 World Series title to Atlanta, and the Braves eventually admitted they could have handled it better.
That may not be enough for Glavine, however. He feels the team released him to avoid paying a $1 million bonus due when he joined the active roster, and uses as evidence the fact that they traded for Nate McLouth later that same day. He's contemplating filing a grievance, as the collective bargaining agreement bars teams from releasing players for financial reasons.
"By not paying me, I think that freed up some money for them to do that," Glavine said Friday. "So I think it was much more of a business and financial situation than it was a peformance situation."
Glavine's right about it being a business situation. The Braves are in the business of trying to win baseball games, and they have pitchers better suited to the task than Glavine right now. Even if they did use that money to pay for McLouth, that's a decision made on performance. The performance of the team, and not the performance of a 43-year-old pitcher who is, at best, the seventh best option for the Braves' rotation at the moment.
But he's not any 43-year-old, he's Braves legend Tom Glavine! Not anymore he isn't. Glavine's only argument from a performance standpoint is that he deserves the benefit of the doubt because of what he has done in the past. If his name was Bruce Glavine, would anyone think there was anything behind the decision other than his lack of velocity and inability to stay healthy? No, and if the Braves thought he would help them, a million dollars wasn't going to stand in their way.