Smoltz speaks out on behalf of Glavine
DETROIT — When you think of Tom Glavine, the first two names that come to mind are John Smoltz and Greg Maddux. The three of them formed one of the best rotations of all-time throughout the 1990s. So when Glavine was abruptly released by the Braves on Wednesday, it was unsurprising for reporters to swarm Smoltz for his opinion. The right-hander — now with the Boston Red Sox — delivered, pulling few punches.
Did Smoltz speak with Glavine after the news broke?
“I did [talk to him],” Smoltz said. “Like a lot of things lately, they handled it, let me just say, in a very interesting way. One that leaves you scratching your head. It’s unfortunate for Tommy. Obviously, you know, I’m using a very soft word of disappointed because that ain’t right. To go that far and to rehab and then right before the time, you know, do that. That’s not my problem anymore. I just feel bad for a teammate of mine that I had for a long time.”
Was the move financially motivated?
“I know too much,” Smoltz said. “Let’s just put it that way.”
Smoltz appeared to be as upset at the Braves over this, as he was back in January, when he signed with the Red Sox after getting what he felt was a low-ball offer from his former employers.
The righty seemed sincerly stung by what happened to Glavine.
“That’s just not how you treat people. He didn’t have a chance to fail at that level, if that was the issue or concern,” Smoltz said. “It’s just not how you go about it. They’re in control and they made those decisions. They’ve made a lot of them lately.”
On the situation in general, Smoltz said, “They’re going to go on and Tommy’s going to go on and do whatever he decides to do. It’s just too bad for a guy that, first time working his way back, and then pitched fairly well. To talk about his velocity is kind of funny. No one has ever talked about his velocity before.”
Does Smoltz think Glavine will pitch again this season?
“I don’t know,” Smoltz said. “I think he’s at a point in his career where this was probably going to be the only situation that he would have gone and worked this hard to try to come back. I don’t know. I just know he didn’t retire.”
Smoltz is expected to debut with the Red Sox during the series against the Florida Marlins June 16-18. The way the schedule is set up, Smoltz could face the Braves twice in June. The teams play at Fenway June 19-21, and in Atlanta June 26-28.
– Ian Browne