Glavine Has No Where To Go But Down

When the Mets signed Tom Glavine to a 3-year, $35 million deal in November, the Mets braintrust saw him as the ace needed to help complete a team that could compete for the National league pennant. Other, more astute people, such as many fans, saw his signing as a signal of the quixotic dreams of owner Fred Wilpon and the delay of the inevitable of the rebuilding process the Mets truly needed.

Fast forward to Thursday night, when Glavine pitched six innings, giving up four runs to "earn" his eleventh loss of the season. That dropped him to 6-11 on the season. It also raised his season ERA to 5.15. Sure, one can point out the fact that there are other pitchers in baseball with a few more losses and a few less wins. However, let me add an asterisk to that statement.

Tom Glavine is 38 years old. When his contract is up, assuming he doesn't reach the binding option in his deal that gives him a fourth year (and at this pace, it doesn't look like he will), Glavine will be 40 years of age.

Other double-digit losers at least have one thing Glavine does not: potential. Let me repeat that: potential. Ok, Mets front office? That's directed at you.

Take Jeremy Bonderman. He has 14 losses and a 5.38 ERA. However, Bonderman was a first round pick just three years ago, and owns one of the best futures of any young starting pitcher in the game. His teammate, Mike Maroth, also has 14 losses and a 5.28 ERA. Still, Glavine was going through puberty when Mrs. Maroth delivered Mike to the world. That's right, Maroth is 25 years old. I've got a sneaking suspicion his record and performance can only go up. So, as the Tigers' pitching staff improves and reaches it's potential, just enjoy the ride as Glavine and Al Leiter get older and less effective. QuesTec? Please.

The Mets organization, at least until a few weeks ago, as they should have us believe, is afraid to fail with young players. However, as Mo Vaughn, Robbie Alomar, Al Leiter and now Tom Glavine have shown, losing with "proven veterans" is something they're willing to do. At least that puts people in the stands.

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