February 18, 2008
Lake Buena Vista -- After missing out on the postseason for the past two years, the Atlanta Braves are returning to their bread and butter: Starting pitching.
The big move was bringing back two-time Cy Young award winner Tom Glavine, and for the returning pitcher, there's no place like home.
It's not Kansas, but Champion Field feels like home to Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, who's back in an Atlanta uniform, after playing the last five seasons with the New York Mets.
"It's nice to be back home," says Glavine, "and knowing that I'll be playing at home. It gives a lot more stability to my wife and kids."
The Braves, though, didn't bring Tom Glavine back for sentimental reasons.
The organization believes he can help them get back to the playoffs.
Pitcher John Smoltz says, "Had he not been a part of our organization, this would have been a great move, to try and make sure we have a chance to compete in our division, and get in the playoffs. The obvious is the story of what he's done for the 15 years prior to it, and it's like he's never left."
The return of Tom Glavine has brought a renewed sense of enthusiasm to the entire Braves clubhouse.
"It just makes the depth of our pitching staff unbelievable," says outfielder Matt Diaz.
Tom Glavine came back to Atlanta to finish his Hall of Fame career, and Glavine says he would love to end that career with another World Series title.
"Whether this year is my last year, or next year is my last year, it certainly would be great having the ability to retire as a world champion," says Glavine. "So hopefully that's something we're going to be able to do this year, and certainly hopefully again next year."
The excitement here at Braves camp will grow even more on Tuesday, when position players report, and then the entire squad hold their first full squad workout on Wednesday morning.
Glavine won 20 or more games five times while with the Braves from 1991 to 2000.