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Glavine makes retirement official
Former Atlanta Brave pitcher Tom Glavine talks to members of the media after accepting the job as special assistant to Braves president John Schuerholz on Thursday in Atlanta. - photo by By Johnny Crawford

ATLANTA — Tom Glavine made his retirement official on Thursday when he returned to the Atlanta Braves in a loosely defined new role.

Glavine was hired as special assistant to Braves president John Schuerholz, and the two stood together before reporters for the first time since Glavine's unexpected release last summer.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner was bitter when the Braves let him go, but he said Thursday that any anger at Schuerholz and general manager Frank Wren has dissipated.

"I'm happy and comfortable with where we are as far as that is all concerned," Glavine said. "I talked with Frank, so that is all behind us. If I didn't feel I could work with Frank or work with John, I wouldn't be here."

Schuerholz said giving Glavine a management role was not about making amends.

"The motivation was here's a Hall of Famer, a guy who has contributed so much to this organization to help us gain the stature that we now enjoy," Schuerholz said. "Once he made known that he was interested in doing something in baseball after playing, it seemed so obvious to us and to me that he ought to do it with the Braves, so we began talking."

Glavine was 305-203 with a 3.54 ERA from 1987-08, winning 20 games or more five times in 17 seasons with the Braves and spending five years with the New York Mets. He was a 10-time All-Star, won the NL Cy Young Award with Atlanta in 1991 and 1998 and helped the Braves win the 1995 World Series.

The 43-year-old former pitcher will work with Schuerholz on baseball and business projects, and he will occasionally assist Wren and manager Bobby Cox. Glavine also plans to work about once a week on the team's radio and TV crews.

Glavine said his emphasis was protect time with his family, including his five children, while also allowing him the flexibility to sample different jobs with the Braves. He expects to be in uniform during spring training in the major league and minor league camps.

"I know I want to at least get my foot in the door with the game of baseball on the business side of it as opposed to being a player," Glavine said. "Quite honestly, I'm not sure what I want to do.

"There are a lot of things which interest me, broadcasting being one of them, so this opportunity that we've come up with gives me a tremendous amount of flexibility to experience a number of things within the organization — broadcasting, maybe some on-field stuff minor league wise, a little bit of player development type things and certainly major league front office stuff."

Glavine said his goal is "that hopefully sometime relatively soon I can figure out if there's one aspect of it I really enjoy and can focus on that in the future."

Because he hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008, Glavine will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in the same year that former teammate Greg Maddux becomes eligible.

"If you're fortunate enough to go in the Hall of Fame, it's a special day," Glavine said. "If you're lucky enough to go into the Hall of Fame with a friend and teammate at the same time, that's even more fun. Certainly Greg and John (Smoltz) and I will forever be linked together, and if I'm fortunate to go in on the first go with Greg, that just adds to it."

Glavine was released last June after making three minor league rehab appearances. The Braves were not convinced Glavine's arm was healthy, and Glavine said Thursday he continues to have soreness that will require rotator cuff surgery.

"In my mind, when my playing days ended last summer, that was the end of it for me," Glavine said. "I never seriously flirted with the idea of pitching any more. I'm OK with that. Physically I wouldn't be able to go out there and do the things I want to do anymore, so that makes it a lot easier to walk away and focus on what you want to do next."

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