I wrote about Tom Glavine in today’s editions of The Journal News. Take a quick read.
Strong start for Mets’ Glavine
By JOHN DELCOS
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: March 2, 2007)
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – After all these years, one would think Tom Glavine could do this in his sleep.
That he doesn’t, and that there are always nerves, doubts and wonder, is probably why he enters this season 10 wins shy of 300.
Glavine does not mail it in, even now. He started pitching professionally in 1984 and still doesn’t know how to give anything less than his best.
If he’s back next spring, it will be the same.
“You don’t know until you get out there,” Glavine said after throwing two scoreless and hitless innings in yesterday’s 4-3 exhibition victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
“The first outing every year, there’s a little bit of antsiness because you’re not sure if you’re going to be able to execute the pitches the way you want to.”
The seeds of Glavine’s doubts were planted by his earlier bullpen sessions. The finesse pitcher said he just didn’t feel right.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, based on being uncomfortable with a couple of BP sessions I threw,” he said. “Once I got out there, everything seemed comfortable and flowed nicely.”
Glavine nipped Scott Rolen’s jersey with a 0-and-2 fastball leading off the second, his only base runner allowed.
Save that pitch, Glavine described his effort as fluid and “effortless.” He doesn’t know how fast he threw, but this early it doesn’t matter. It will pick up by the end of spring training.
Glavine said he’s working on throwing a slow curveball, designed to freeze a hitter.
Glavine will be 41 by the time the Mets break camp, and his age will be a storyline throughout the summer as much as his quest for 300 victories. It is an age when most players are either golfing – that’s where he was headed after the game – or in a television booth.
He’s still doing this because he has the knack of a survivor. He’s been able to adapt while others haven’t.
It is the quality that could carry Glavine into Cooperstown.
“I don’t feel like there’s anything I want to do, or that I can’t do that I could five years ago,” Glavine said. “Physically speaking, it is still there. Some days you get up and it is harder to get going than you were when you were 30 years old, but that’s natural for everybody.
“As far as me going out there and doing my job, I feel I can do everything I could do four or five years ago. When I look at myself now as opposed to five years ago, and even three years ago, I’m a better pitcher.”