Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Chicks Dig the Long Ball!

Flash back ten years if you will, to 1995. It was a time when grunge music was in, cameras and telephones were two seperate items, and the only time America was talking about high testosterone levels was in reference to President Clinton.

Young Tommy Glavine had a short curly mullet, and the world on a string. He was one of the best pitchers of his day, and ended the strike shortened 1995 season with 8 innings of shutout baseball against the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series, and prevent the Atlanta Braves from being the Buffalo Bills of baseball.

Now we flash back forward to April 27th, 2005. Glavine's hair is shorter. His uniform now says "New York". He has two less teeth, and thousands more excuses as to why he can't win a game of any sort of importance anymore. In the 1995 Series he shut down the likes of Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, and Carlos Baerga before his career went down the toilet in Shea as a Met. (Sense a theme?) Now, he gives up long bombs to back-up catchers...oh yeah, and the immortal Wilson Betemit.

You wonder what the excuse will be today after an 8-4 loss and 7 earned runs in 4 and 1/3 innings pitched by Glavine. We've heard them all. "It was too cold to grip the ball...Questec isn't fair...It was too hot to pitch today...the mound was too low...the mound was too high...the balls were wound too tight." What will it be today? Was the weather too mediocre today?

The Mets signed Tom Glavine for times like this. They signed Tom Glavine to be a stopper. The only thing he stops these days is progress. They signed Tom Glavine under the assumption that a finesse pitcher like himself can stay effective into his late 30's and early 40's, and be the Tom Glavine who helped the Braves (although today he proved he can help the Braves just as much as ever!) With Kaz Ishii, Steve Trachsel, and Kris Benson hurt, the realization that Pedro Martinez can't go 25-0 this season (he lost to the Braves last night), and a bullpen that throws gasoline on fires, Tom Glavine needs to be Tom Glavine, not Tom Hausman.

So a 2-4 record so far against the Braves so far doesn't really advance the notion that these are "new" Mets. While there are very bright glimmers of hope abounding...Mientkiewicz, Cliff Floyd, Reyes and far these Mets remain very "same old, same old". The only old thing they need is the Tom Glavine of old...not an old Tom Glavine.

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