And so it ends not with a bang, but with a whimper for Atlanta icon Tom Glavine.
Six scoreless innings in a minor-league injury-rehabilitation start Tuesday night, his velocity back up into the low-to-mid-80s and, poof. Released.
John Smoltz and now Glavine in the same year.
Thanks for the memories, fellas.
Business is cold, and the game moves on, and that's life. What rudely interrupted Glavine's homecoming in Atlanta is the fact the Braves' offense remains sluggish and the rotation has come together very well. Probably better than they hoped, given the progress of rookie Kris Medlen and given the fact that phenom Tommy Hanson is waiting in the wings.
The Braves' staff ERA of 4.08 ranks tied for fifth in the National League. Jair Jurrjens, having an All-Star season, currently ranks sixth in the NL with a 2.59 ERA. Javier Vazquez ranks third in the NL with 86 strikeouts. Derek Lowe has six wins. Kenshin Kawakami looks like he can help. Medlen held Arizona to one run over six innings in Atlanta's 9-3 win Sunday.
This isn't to say that Atlanta's pitching is flawless. But it's been pretty darned good. And when Hanson arrives, it'll be better.
There simply is no longer room in Atlanta for a 43-year-old, rehabbing lefty who, by his own admission, is well past his peak. Especially given what the Braves really need, and now we'll see whether Nate McLouth, the speedy outfielder acquired from Pittsburgh can give it to them.
Sad, given that there is nobody more classy than Glavine in the game. But true.
And if he doesn't, well, think about this: Now he and Greg Maddux will be in the same Hall of Fame class, eligible for induction together.
That would be pretty cool.