LEADOFF: What Tom Glavine thinks about Braves’ new old pitchers

Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox (from left) looks on as Hall of Fame pitchers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine throw out the first pitch for the Braves’ final game at Turner Field on Oct. 2. (Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox (from left) looks on as Hall of Fame pitchers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine throw out the first pitch for the Braves’ final game at Turner Field on Oct. 2. (Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com)

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, the early buzz in Atlanta sports.

Tom Glavine knows what it’s like to be a young pitcher finding your way in the major leagues. He also knows what it’s like to be an aging pitcher able to use experience to win games and help teammates.

So it’s not surprising that Glavine has a good perspective on the Braves’ signings of starting pitchers R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, ages 42 and 43.

Glavine, who won 305 major-league games, 244 for the Braves, shared his thoughts Wednesday about the Dickey and Colon signings with hosts Holden Kushner and Geoff Blum on "MLB on TuneIn LIVE," which shared a transcript and audio files with us.

Here’s what Glavine, a Baseball Hall of Famer who pitched in the majors from ages 21 to 42, had to say:

On what the signings of Dickey and Colon can mean for the Braves:

“First and foremost, the Braves addressed a need with both of those guys. I’ve been saying it for a couple years that they’ve got a young rotation that’s certainly taken their lumps, just like I did and Smoltzy did and Avery did. I mean, it’s hard to come into the league as a young player and be successful right off the bat. It’s really hard to do it as a pitcher. These guys are going through those peaks and valleys where they have some success and then they kind of lose it and what-have-you.

“And I know for me, in my career early on, it was very valuable having guys around me that were veteran guys … that you could talk to who could relate to the struggles that you were going through. Like anything, it’s helpful to talk to somebody so you have an idea of what to expect and some ideas on how to get through things. And this young rotation, for me, hasn’t had that.

“They’re all going through the same things together. When you’re a young kid that’s struggling, you’re going to go talk to another young kid that’s struggling and it’s gonna be, ‘Yeah, I feel ya, I’m going through the same thing, but we have no idea what to do to get out of it.’ So I think that veteran presence is going to be very valuable to those young guys.

“And those two guys both happen to be guys that historically are very durable, and I think that’s another thing that rotation needs.

And on how Colon, a 15-game winner this year, remains successful at 43:

“Here’s how he does it: He locates his fastball. We’re in an era now where, yeah, everybody is enamored with how hard guys are throwing, but very few guys can really locate their fastball. And I think in Bartolo’s case, he can do it on both sides of the plate, he can do it up, he can do it down, and that just shows you that if you can command your fastball you don’t have to throw 97 miles an hour.

“I think a lot of guys in today’s game, the reason they have to throw so hard is because they can’t command, and they have to be able to get away with mistakes. And Bartolo just doesn’t make too many mistakes, and that’s why he’s successful.”

ALSO: What others are saying about the Braves signing Dickey and Colon

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One thing that jumps out from the College Football Playoff selection committee's latest rankings: Tennessee at No. 19.

The Vols, still in the running to represent the SEC East against Alabama in the conference championship game at the Georgia Dome, are unranked in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll and were unranked by the playoff committee last week.

So how to explain the Vols (7-3, 3-3 SEC) jumping to No. 19 in the CFP rankings after wins the past two weeks over Tennessee Tech and Kentucky?

“Tennessee is a team that has played a very strong schedule,” committee chairman Kirby Hocutt answered. “They have five wins against teams that have a winning record, including a very talented Florida team. Tennessee is a team that has done a remarkable job this football season of navigating through a string of injuries.”

ALSO: By how many points would Alabama be favored over Clemson?

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LEADOFF appears Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.