Glavine says he is looking for a three-year deal, with thoughts about 300 career wins and a place in Cooperstown. Other than two weak ankles, which prevent him from running sprints, Glavine is in peak physical condition. He has never had a major injury to his arm. He takes just one week off a year from training—the week after Atlanta's season ends—and is stronger than his silhouette would suggest.
"His lower-body strength is well above average," Braves strength-training coach Frank Fultz says of Glavine. "He leg-presses 1,000 pounds. His back is exceptionally strong, as strong as any position player's. The word I would use with Tommy is relentless. He works at it. Years ago I was with the Houston Astros. He reminds me of Nolan Ryan that way. He called me up Thanksgiving morning last year and said, 'Frank, get over here,' and I put him through his workout when everybody else was doing their turkeys and all the trimmings."
In that 1995 Series clincher against Cleveland, Glavine noticed in the middle innings that the Indians were moving up in the batter's box or closer to the plate. "You have two choices," Mazzone said. "You can come inside, or you can go farther out." Glavine saw comfort in only one course then. He aimed farther away, and the Indians took the bait. Now Glavine has more options. He may cut the most familiar figure of any pitcher since the reserve clause was struck down, but look closely and you discover the trompe l'oeil that is Glavine. He's never been this good.
"Every time out this year I've felt like could pretty much execute the way I want ed," he says. "Usually there's a game even five or six stalls where things don't go right Your mechanics get out of whack, and you have to work to get back on track. That hasn't happened yet. I don't know if it's possible to go all year long like that. I might just be one of those years."
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