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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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You Said It, T#m

Last night, en route to the rainout, Kevin Burkhardt interviewed T#m Gl@v!ne. It wasn't to check in on the wife and kids.

The transaction was predictable. Kevin, who I think does a very good job making something out of what could be a very superfluous role, tossed him an “I have to ask you this” softball about the inglorious end of his mixed-bag Mets career. Gl@v!ne spun into damage control mode with all the aplomb of a Mitt Romney or a Joe Biden demonstrating the kind of political skills that got each of them so far in his respective presidential bids.

Paraphrasing, Gl@v!ne said people were upset with him because he didn't say he was devastated…and reminded us that he and Christine have been busy fighting the scourge of childhood cancer and he understands what real devastation is, but sure he was upset, it was a lousy start, he couldn't sleep.

Thanks for clearing that up, big guy.

Burkhardt's question was a little awkward, making it sound as if millions of us had asked ourselves last September 30, “gee, do ya think T#m is devastated?” when in reality it was Gl@v!ne himself who introduced the d-word into the Met lexicon. We didn't care that you didn't say you were devastated. We were annoyed, maybe more than annoyed on top of how livid we were over your crappy pitching, that you said you weren't devastated. It's not a fine difference.

Once a person has casually brought up his admirable work on behalf of aiding the youngest victims of a terrible disease, he makes us look small for questioning any of what we perceive as his shortcomings in something so silly (yet strangely so lucrative) as baseball and its attendant reactions. But we're not biting. You say you didn't sleep much after that final game? Welcome to the rest of us, T#m. We have families. We have concerns. We — surprise, surprise — have lives outside the Mets. Yet we were whatever it was you said you didn't say you were. And we weren't compensated lavishly for any of it.

Old news, old wounds at this point. My only real interest in invoking Gl@v!ne these days is to hope Johan Santana devastates him and his teammates Sunday afternoon. Still, with Friday night rain having given me the void in which to contemplate it clear into Saturday morning, I do wonder if it could have been different there at the finish.

How?

Alternate History 1:

T#m Gl@v!ne pitches valiantly, the Mets lose, 9/30/07

We write of him something like…

You can't blame Glavine for this. Maybe for the two previous starts, but he came through like the pro and the Hall of Famer he is Sunday and I appreciate him more now than I did when he won his 300th, when he beat the Dodgers and Cardinals last fall. Yes, his two previous starts were killers, but whatever happens now — even if he returns to, yeech, Atlanta — we and he can go in peace. It hasn't been for naught.

Alternate History 2:

T#m Gl@v!ne pitches brilliantly, the Mets win, 9/30/07

We write of him something like…

So that's why we signed Tom Glavine a half-decade ago. So that's why you invest in two Cy Youngs and 242 career wins. So that's why you cast aside a generation of enmity and hand someone like that the ball every five days for five years. So that's why we're going to Philadelphia Monday afternoon for a one-game playoff. So that's why so many of us were wrong about this man.

Alternate History 3:

T#m Gl@v!ne pitches as he did, reacts differently, 9/30/07

We write of him something like…

Glavine sucked, but at least owned up to it. Geez, I didn't think anybody could look worse than I feel right now, but he appears to have taken this debacle pretty hard. I don't know that it helps matters — no, actually, I do; it doesn't — but as a footnote, it doesn't hurt to know that at least one of these players understands the dimensions of a disaster like this. It's almost like Tom is bearing the burden for the rest of us. Maybe he wasn't Manchurian after all.

There are better things worth imagining.

6 comments to You Said It, T#m

  • Anonymous

    Even I may have bought into Alternate History #3 at the time, although I already hated him with the fire of a thousand suns by the time he signed on the dotted line.
    You guys may hate Victor Zambrano for your own reasons, but he cared. When he didn't pitch well (which was due to injury, but whatever) he friggin' CARED. He cared to the point of tears. He was the d-word. His main concern was always that he let us all down, not that his stats were suffering. Say what you will, but that man's heart was always in it, and always with us. And to me, that counts… just like it counts when someone doesn't care and his heart, well, doesn't exist. If you opened him up, you'd find a cash register encased in a block of ice.
    And no, Kevin, it didn't upset us more because he chose to go back to the Braves. Nice of you to give him that out, but it wasn't that at all. He could have gone to the A's and we'd feel the same way. It's not so much that he sucked, but that he didn't CARE that he sucked. My job may not be “important” in the grand scheme of life's true tragedies and disasters, but while I'm doing it, while I'm between the white lines of my job, I care about doing it well. Maybe sometimes I suck at it (like everyone else), but when I do, I CARE.
    I'm just so glad he's gone. I'd rather have 25 Victors on my team than one Gl@vine. What a crappy excuse for a baseball player, let alone a human being.

  • Anonymous

    i don't hate victor zambrano at all, and i think anyone who does needs to take a step back and reevaluate what they mean by “hate.” i don't want the man anywhere near my baseball team but that also goes for billions of other people, some of whom i hold in the highest of esteem.
    maybe t#m was doing us a favor. any of those three alternate histories could have ended with him still in blue and orange instead of that other southpaw we got. that would truly have been devastating.

  • Anonymous

    I know Glavine cared. I believe he's, particularly compared to lots of guys in locker rooms, a good guy. Neither is the issue here.
    The issue, which he makes more of an issue every time he talks, is this: He spoke what he saw as a truth at a time where decorum called for something that might not be the truth. And his self-regard is so vast that he refuses to admit it.
    This is something every 13-year-old understands: When you're at Aunt Agnes' wake, you don't call start screaming “You're all hypocrites for dressing up and being nice to her children when we all know you hated that old bag and never wanted to see her kids! You're all such phonies!” No, you wear your good suit and you bow your head and when someone says “Isn't it sad,” you say, “Yes, it certainly is.” You might even call it devastating, even if you're not even disappointed.
    But no, Glavine continues to talk about the way he is, the way he does things, which isn't the issue any more than our imagined 13-year-old's supposed loathing of little white lies. And now he's lowered the bar by suggesting we please think of the children, which is making it worse. Tom, just admit it: “I was upset after the worst start of my career, and I said something I probably shouldn't have. We all see things a bit differently, but pick any adjective you like and yeah, it felt more or less like that.”
    We'd still boo him — we'll boo him until he's not around to boo anymore, after which we'll boo his memory and his picture and his stats — but I at least would stop worrying at this particular bone.

  • Anonymous

    Amen to that. They're gonna face each other tomorrow, right? Let's see who's devastated then.

  • Anonymous

    I know Glavine cared. I believe he's, particularly compared to lots of guys in locker rooms, a good guy.
    Actually, NO, Jace… he's not. This is a guy who–children's cancer charities notwithstanding–feels that unemployed guys accepting an invitation to camp in hopes of maybe getting a job so they can feed/care for their families is a heinous enough crime to treat them like they're subhuman and instruct–no, DEMAND–that others do the same. He wants to talk about priorities and perspective and what's really important in life, then yeah… LET'S, Mr. Union Bully. He's a hypocrite and a heartless S.O.B both on and off the field.

  • Anonymous

    There are a lot of tedious arguments in this world, but few are more tedious than arguments about unions. Comments closed.