ATLANTA (AP) -Enjoy John Smoltz and Tom Glavine matching up against each other Saturday for the first time as starters for a game in Atlanta. It may never happen again.
“It probably will be (the only time),” Smoltz said. “I don’t know what the future holds for either of us.”
Smoltz and Glavine face off in Saturday’s second game of the weekend series between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. The series opened Friday night.
Glavine is beginning his fifth season with the Mets after pitching with Smoltz in Atlanta from 1988-2002. This is only the second time they have faced each other. The first time came in 2005 at Shea Stadium.
Smoltz was the Braves’ closer for the start of Glavine’s time in New York.
Smoltz and Glavine have remained close friends, and Smoltz hoped the left-hander would return to Atlanta as a free agent last winter. No offer came from the Braves, who instead focused on upgrading their bullpen.
Instead, Glavine again returns with the Mets.
“It should be fun,” Glavine said.
“So much is made of matchups like this so many times and so many of them fall short. Everybody tends to make too much out of that one-on-one battle that doesn’t really exist.”
Added Glavine: “The last time it lived up to the billing.”
The only previous time the two pitched against each other came on July 15, 2005, in New York. Smoltz and the Braves won 2-1.
Glavine got the no-decision after allowing six hits and one run in seven innings. Smoltz also pitched seven innings, giving up four hits and one run, and picked up the win.
Glavine is 3-9 with a 5.68 ERA in 15 career starts against the Braves. He was 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts against Atlanta last year.
Glavine won the 1991 and 1998 Cy Young Awards with the Braves and was the winning pitcher in the decisive game of the Braves’ 1995 World Series championship. He is the most successful left-hander in Atlanta history, but he has been booed by Braves fans who labeled him as greedy for leaving the team.
Glavine said he no longer is bothered by the boos. Smoltz isn’t so understanding.
“My disappointment is how he’s treated when he comes here,” Smoltz said. “Not so much from wearing a different uniform. I totally understand that.
“I know it’s the fans’ prerogative to get to say or do what they get to do,” Smoltz said. “I just know when other players have come here from the past from different teams, they’ve gotten standing Os. That’s my biggest disappointment.”
Smoltz acknowledged the boos were not as noticeable last year and hinted the fans’ collective sentiment might change if Glavine were to enter the Hall of Fame as a Braves player.
“I think what everybody here in Atlanta is going to realize, when he does become a Hall of Fame pitcher it’s going to be pretty special for this city,” Smoltz said. “I can’t speak for him and how he feels.
“For the time being, what I admire the most about his situation is he’s taken the high road.”
Said Glavine of the fans’ reaction: “I think I’m beyond that. I know I’m beyond that.
“A lot of people don’t understand what happened or why it happened. I’m not really interested in trying to explain it. It’s the kind of thing where no matter what you do, they’re not going to be happy. I guess it took me a while to understand that. Or to believe that.
“Now … what are you gonna do? I’m happy where I am. I enjoying my life professionally, I enjoy my life personally. Beyond that, I’m not all that interested in people that don’t like me that don’t know me.”
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