09/25/2003 7:49 PM ET
Notes: Two Glavines, one field
NEW YORK -- There was a Mike playing first base Thursday night at Shea Stadium.
By Kevin T. Czerwinski / MLB.com
He was wearing No. 27, though, not No. 31 and he answered to the last name of Glavine, not Piazza.
Still, the evening proved to be significant because it marked the first time Mike and Tom Glavine appeared together in a Major League game. Tom Glavine was making his final start of the season while his younger brother was making the first start of his career. The tow had previously only played together in a few exhibition games.
While big brother found out about the start a few days ago, Mike Glavine got the big news as he walked into the clubhouse before the home finale against Pittsburgh.
"It's going to be pretty cool," said Mike Glavine, who has pinch-hit twice for his brother this season. "It probably won't hit me until after the game, though. Everyone has been asking me about it. It's definitely a big thrill.
"I want to play well and get a few hits. Everyone probably expects me to fail but I want to play well for Tommy, the team and myself. I'm not nervous. I just want to play a good game."
Manager Art Howe told Tom Glavine a few days ago that he would be starting his brother against the Pirates. But Glavine was under strict orders not to tell anyone, though he strongly suggested to his parents to be in attendance. So, with several Glavine family members looking on, Mike Glavine took the field on Bob Murphy Appreciation Night.
"I just didn't want to tell him," Tom Glavine said. "I didn't want him worrying about anything. I told everyone else and didn't let him know. At least he got a good night's sleep. And I told our parents there was a good chance he'd be playing."
The game also marked the conclusion to what has been a bumpy ride for Mike Glavine, a career minor leaguer. Many were skeptical when he was promoted, accusing the Mets of simply currying favor with his older brother. But management, including principal owner Fred Wilpon, have denied any wrongdoing, simply saying they were in a position to do something nice for someone so they did it.
While Mike Glavine is aware of the criticism, he has not paid attention to it. He said he doesn't read the paper or listen to the talk shows.
"I just want to go out there and play well and prove some people wrong," Mike Glavine said. "My coaches and my family believe in me. I don't want to know what other people are saying. I also want to save some credibility. Whatever I do, I don't seem to get credit for."
Pedro feels good: Pedro Astacio spent 20 minutes playing long toss in the outfield at Shea Stadium on Thursday. It was the eighth time he has thrown since undergoing labrum and rotator cuff surgery in June. While he is nowhere near cutting loose, Astacio said he feels very good and is looking to step up his rehab this fall.
He still doesn't know if he'll be pitching in winter ball, though. He last pitched in winter ball in 2001-02, using those games to prove to prospective teams that he could still pitch and that his labrum was fine. This time around, however, it may be a bit trickier.
"Right now I'm just going to work on my rehab," Astacio said. "When I get to that point, I'll make a decision. Right now I'm focusing on rehab and one thing at a time."
Barring a set of unforeseen events, Astacio won't be back with the Mets next season.
As the rotation turns: It only makes sense that the rotation for the final weekend of the season is in limbo. Howe has juggled and been forced to wait to the last minute to make plans often this season and it appears as if he's going to go that route for Sunday's season finale.
Al Leiter is scheduled to make the start, but Howe said it would depend on what Leiter wants to do, leaving open the possibility that Jeremy Griffiths could get the nod. Leiter has 15 victories, one shy of Steve Trachsel for the team lead. He may want to pitch just to catch Trachsel.
Then again, Trachsel may get a shot at No. 17. He is in line to pitch Monday if a game is needed against the Giants. Howe said Trachsel would likely go through his side sessions this weekend just in case he is needed Monday.
Olympian: Mets prospect Royce Ring, who was selected this week to participate in the U.S. Olympic team trials, said he wasn't disappointed that he didn't get a call-up to the parent club this month. He pitched well for Double-A Binghamton since coming over in the July trade with the White Sox. The Olympic trials begin next month in Arizona and the Tournament of Americas is in Panama City in November.
"That's [the Mets'] decision," said Ring, who is in San Diego. "I'm not trying to rush myself up there. It's up to them to decide when I'm ready. Until then, I'll just keep busting it."
Kevin T. Czerwinski is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.