Schuerholz issues public apology
Braves president regrets how Glavine release was handled
ATLANTA -- When Tom Glavine exited Wednesday afternoon's meeting with Braves management, he was convinced that he was being released based on a financially based decision that was necessitated after he remained healthy throughout each of his scheduled Minor League rehab starts.
While Glavine believes the move was economically motivated and the Braves contend it was performance-based, both parties conclude that the ending proved to be much uglier than they had ever anticipated.
Bothered by the way Wednesday's meeting was handled, Braves president John Schuerholz said that he has had trouble sleeping the past two nights. Thus before Friday night's game, Schuerholz publicly expressed an apology that he'll express to Glavine once the two find time to communicate.
"I as the president of our club could have taken more time to not only explain the circumstances around our decision," Schuerholz said. "Although we made that decision in unanimous fashion, I wanted to express our high regard for him and our view of him being with this organization for many years to come in some sort of connective fashion.
"I'm not regretting the decision making. I'm regretting the manner in which it was portrayed and explained to Tommy. I feel like I could have done a better job with that."
Based on what he heard during Wednesday's meeting, Glavine left Turner Field with a sense that the Braves had allowed him to continue making Minor League rehab starts with the hope that he would suffer an injury before reaching a point where they would be conflicted by the option of adding him or Tommy Hanson to their starting rotation.
"I just think there was a belief that I wouldn't be healthy enough to make it back," Glavine said.
Glavine expressed this sentiment and many others while making his first public statements on Friday. In the process, he said that he felt he'd been betrayed by an organization with which he had spent 17 of his 22 Major League seasons.
"Tommy has his [feelings], and they're all real," Schuerholz said. "His are real and valid. There's no disputing how he feels. I can understand all of that. This was a tough thing. I would have felt better about it if when I thought about it hours afterward that I had done a more effective job of portraying our respect for him in that decision making."
Glavine, who notched 244 of his 305 career wins with the Braves, didn't express specific details about the meeting. He said his feelings might not have been bitter had the club simply told him that it was more comfortable placing Hanson in its rotation.
Instead, he found the club telling him that it had concluded that he hadn't made sufficient progress while rehabbing his troublesome left shoulder, which was surgically repaired in August and aggravated just six days before he was scheduled to make his regular season debut on April 18.
"If they wanted to go in a different direction, then I think there should have been more of a candid conversation in that regard," Glavine said. "Instead they spent the last day and a half telling everybody how bad I was."
When the Braves acquired Nate McLouth from the Pirates on Wednesday evening, Glavine said he became even more convinced that economics played a part in this decision. His contention is that the $1 million he would have gained when he joined the 25-man roster is now being used to pay the prorated portion of McLouth's $2 million salary.
"I think the level of honesty about what the decision was about could have been better," Glavine said. "I don't believe for a minute that this was entirely a performance-related issue, which I'm fine with. But I would have appreciated more honesty."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.