Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Glavine Named Mets' Opening Day Starter 

Mark Your calendars! Hide the women and children! Tommy "Noodle Arm" Glavine has been given the nod to start opening day for the Mets against the Atlanta Braves on April 6th. Last year's opening day against the Cubs was a bloodbath, as Glavine got tagged up for five runs in 2 2/3 innings before Howe showed some mercy and pulled him. Glavine was signed by the Mets last off season in hopes that he would be the ace pitcher the Mets lost when Mike Hampton fell in love with the Denver school system. Riiiight. The whole ace thing never really panned out for Glavine. He went 9 and 14 last season with a 4.52 ERA. Against the Braves Glavine was even worse, failing to come up with even a single win en route to an 0 and 4 record with a 10.35 ERA. No, that is not a typo. Glavine was so bad against the Braves last year that Art Howe was forced to juggle the rotation several times to avoid even starting Glavine against them. This prompted Braves manager Bobby Cox to shave a Mohawk haircut into his dome and call Glavine "a paper champ."

Well, Glavine's got no excuses this year. He's had a full year to adjust to Questec. He will have what many believe to be the most dominating defensive player in the game patrolling center field and he'll have what should be one of the best double play combos in baseball. This is actually a pretty good first start for Glavine. Hopefully the Mets' revamped defense will both help him out in the field and in his head by giving him some confidence. Glavine is 48-24 with a 3.27 ERA lifetime at Teddy Turner Field. The Braves line-up is but a skeleton of it's 2003 self. And Glavine will be out of the watchful eye of Questec in Atlanta. This opening day game has the potential to either be a spring board or a brick wall. It's time to put up or shut up for Mr. Glavine.
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