Glavine "Not Thrilled" About The State Of Baseball

Hall-of-Famer Tom Glavine isn't a huge fan of the three-outcome at-bat – or the way in which pitching staffs are used

Zach Gelb
July 25, 2019 - 9:02 am
Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies

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Tom Glavine played in the major leagues for more than two decades – from 1987 to 2008 – and witnessed many changes in the game. But he never experienced anything like what we have today.

And he doesn’t think it’s good for baseball.

“I’m not thrilled about the fact that it’s kind of become that three-outcome at-bat,” the Hall of Famer said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I do miss the strategy of a hit-and-run or a stolen base for even a sacrifice bunt. So many of those things seem to have been taken out of the game because of analytics. I just don’t like that style of play as much. I think you can have a 3-2 ball game that’s extremely exciting, and we don’t seem to have much of that anymore, which I don’t like.”

Glavine also doesn’t like the way in which pitching staffs are managed. 

“This whole notion that starting pitchers can’t flip a lineup for the third time – well, why not?” he asked. “Why can’t they? A starting pitcher can get a guy out twice but he can’t get them out a third time? Really? . . . Develop these guys to do that. Stop telling them they can’t do it and start developing them so they can do it. I think it’s become too much of a mentality with pitching that you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Well, why not? Develop these guys. If there’s something they’re missing that you don’t think allows them to do that, then fix it. That’s what I don’t like.”

When Glavine played, teams wanted starting pitchers to eat innings. They wanted to use as few bullpen guys for as few innings as possible.

“Now it’s like they can’t open that bullpen door fast enough,” Glavine said. “Now you’re starting to see bullpens getting over-exposed. Guys are getting tired. Guys are getting figured out. There’s a reason why those guys are in the bullpen and they’re not starting. So if you’re exposing them more and more, then I think their weaknesses are going to become more and more apparent, and there’s going to be more and more struggles.

“So no, I don’t particularly like the game the way it’s being played right now – particularly the way pitchers are being used.”

Click below to listen to Glavine’s interview in its entirety.