OPEN MIC: Q&A with Tom Glavine

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changed his address to Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia and Pudge Rodriguez suited up for the first time in teal, but perhaps the most shocking sight of baseball's off-season was watching — two-time Cy Young Award winner, eight-time All-Star and an icon of the Atlanta ' celebrated pitching staff — trade in his Atlanta cap for a New York version. Even 37, Glavine remains among the upper echelon of National League pitchers. With a strong attitude and a clubhouse presence to match, Glavine is more than just the bona fide ace the have been searching for since the Dwight Gooden era — he also serves as an inspiration to New York's hurlers of the future. caught up with Glavine recently to discuss just what's kept him on top for all these years, his upcoming season in a new uniform and his experiences in the boardrooms and the podiums of the Major League Baseball Player's Association. Each season goes by, and each season, we can count on to rank among the leaders in the National League in pitching. You've attributed your continued success to your training regimen — could you take us through your typical day's workout? I don't know if I have a typical day, every day's kind of different. I guess I've settled in the last couple of winters into a program to strengthen myself, put on a little bit of muscle. As spring training gets closer, I kind of get away from the heavy weights and get more into the cardiovascular and range of motion stuff in anticipation of the season starting, and being ready to do that. You spend the first part of (the winter) trying to build back up and put some weight on, because when the season starts, you know you're going to lose some weight. That way, you're not going to lose too much weight and feel drained. Has that changed as your body continues to log innings and seasons? Yeah, I think. As you get older, your body changes, and your needs change. I know that, in years past when I was younger, it wasn't uncommon for me to not do anything until Jan. 1 and be able to get in really good shape in eight weeks. The older you get, that's tougher to do, because you put on those couple of extra pounds and it's harder to take them off, and you get some nagging problems that are harder to get rid of. But I've been doing the same program for probably about four or five years now, and like I said, it's just hit it pretty hard for the first two months, and once the holidays are over you kind of get back into running and throwing and doing that kind of stuff that's more baseball-oriented. Was that a program, or was that something of your own invention? No, it's mine, really. I've always been the kind of person who likes to keep things new, keep things fresh. I get bored with it. It's not like I sit around and say, 'Hey, I can't wait to get to the gym.' I do it more out of necessity than out of enjoyment. It just evolved over the years by doing things differently, and you get to a point during the season where you can sense how you feel compared to a previous season. I think it has helped me feel good during the winter, feel good during spring training and then be able to maintain that during the season and stay strong and competitive all year long. Was there a point last season where you physically sensed some difference between 2002 and, say, any other year? You know what, I think last year there was probably more time where I felt as good and as strong late in the season as I did early in the year. I think there are times other seasons where you feel strong the first half of the year, first three-quarters of the year, and then you get to losing some arm strength and your body getting fatigued. Last year, I felt — even though the playoffs didn't go the way I would have liked them to (Glavine was 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA in two NL Division Series starts against the ) — as strong in the playoffs as I did at any point in the year. That was a nice change for me. Have you given any thought to what it'll be like Opening Day — walking to the mound on March 31 in a new uniform, new teammates, taking on the in the New York cold? You know, I have. But I haven't given it too much thought really, because who knows? I could be slated for Opening Day today or two weeks from now, but who knows what's going to happen in spring training? As much as Opening Day may be on the calendar for me, I'm worried about going to spring training and getting through healthy and making that happen. When it happens — if it happens — then I'll probably start to think more about it and get more excited about it. That's not to say I'm not excited about it now: If it happens, it's going to be great. It would be an honor for me, it'd be exciting for me, but I think more than anything else right now I'm looking forward to that first day of spring training, getting into the routine of playing baseball, throwing and working on my pitches, and gearing up for my first start of spring training. Once that happens, you kind of look forward to each start thereafter and get ready for that, and once that's over, hopefully I'll be nice and healthy and ready to go. You've spent the last 14 seasons going to camp with the in Florida. This season, you're headed down to a new city and a new complex, the ' camp in Port St. Lucie. What do you know, or what have you heard, about it? I've had to rely a lot on them (the ). Al (Leiter) and (public relations director) Jay Horwitz and everybody have been great. I don't know Port St. Lucie that well, I've obviously been there a handful of times as an opposing player, but it's different when you're trying to find a place for six weeks and you've got to do all that stuff. As much time as my wife and I have spent flying back and forth to New York trying to find a place to live, we haven't had the opportunity to go to Port St. Lucie, so I've just kind of relied on Mr. Leiter and Mr. Horwitz to put me in a nice place, somewhere that they trust I'm going to be comfortable with. Is Al a good golfer? He says he's not, but he says he's looking forward to getting better. I'll make him a good golfer. I've told him, when the wife's not here, we're playing golf, unless it's thundering and lightning. I think he's ready for it. was the player representative with the , but you were heavily involved in all of the goings-on during last summer's negotiations. Is there any chance you would consider becoming the player representative with the ?

"I want nothing to do with (the union)... I enjoy it, but the day-to-day is not something I need to do anymore."

I want nothing to do with that; I think is the player rep here. That stuff, honestly, I enjoy it, it's a great learning thing and a neat process to be included in, but the day-to-day stuff is not something I need to do anymore. It's not that I don't want to do it, I just don't need to do it. I think it's important that we get younger guys involved, and not rely on the same guys every time, because I'm not going to play forever. You jump in where needed — I'm sure I'll still be a part of it all, but hopefully there won't be anything to be a part of. Hopefully, everything's going to be nice and quiet. You always seemed to embrace your involvement with the union. Do you think some players shy away from it because the business is too technical? I just think for some guys, they're intimidated by it. I think they think either they're going to be blackballed because they're a player rep, or they think things are too complicated and they can't understand it. It's really not any of that. Yeah, if there's an impending work stoppage or something of that nature, it can take up a little bit more time than you probably would like. From my standpoint, I wanted to learn how things worked. There's a lot of things as a player that directly affect you, whether it's the basic agreement or insurance plans and all that stuff. So many guys have no idea what it's about, or what it is, or how it works. I was one of those guys, and I didn't like it. I wanted to learn about it, I wanted to know what went on and how it all worked and how it affected my career, and not have to rely on someone else to fill me in. Do you think that knowledge might translate to anything in your post-baseball careers? No, I don't think so. But I think it's good for my background and a nice educational experience. The more you learn, the better. It's like going to college and having all these classes and a degree. There's a lot of things that go on in a baseball player's life besides going out there and playing baseball. Unfortunately, a lot of guys shy away from it. They just get so consumed in what goes on in baseball that they shy away from everything else, but to me, that's part of the whole package and the enjoyment. I just feel the more I've embraced it, the more fun it's made the whole thing for me. Bryan Hoch is a contributing writer to He can be contacted at
Tagged: Braves, Cubs, Mets, Marlins

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