After a night’s sleep — and upon learning that Tommy Hanson has been called up and will pitch on Saturday — I have moderated my views about the whole Glavine affair. Upshot: While I concede that from a purely baseball perspective the Braves are better off with Tommy Hanson than Tom Glavine on the mound, I’m still disappointed in the way things were handled. I will allow, however, for the possibility that the Braves were placed in an untenable position by Glavine in all of this, and whether that actually occurred depends on whether the Braves actually communicated their intention to release him before or after Glavine made his “I’m ready” announcement Tuesday night. If they did — and if they truly believed that Glavine couldn’t get anyone out in the bigs — and Glavine was playing politics, then well, bad on Glavine. If they did not — if they played their cards close to the vest, encouraging him along in rehab, allowing him to declare himself ready, and then and only then told him he had the choice of retiring or to be released — then bad on the Braves.
UPDATE: One other deep thought. The Red Sox face a similar situation with John Smoltz that the Braves did with Glavine (i.e. a rehabbing legend with no apparent place to put him). There are differences here — Smoltz likely has more in the tank than Glavine, and the Sox don’t have the connection to him that the Braves do to Glavine — but it will nonetheless be interesting to see how they handle him when he’s ready to go (or not).