Tom Glavine wanted to end his career with the Braves.
If this is the end, it wasn't on his terms.
Atlanta released the winningest active pitcher in the big leagues on Wednesday, a stunning move just when it seemed he was ready to return to the Braves.
The 43-year-old Glavine, who was coming back from shoulder and elbow surgery, threw six scoreless innings in a rehab start for Class-A Rome on Tuesday night and proclaimed himself ready to pitch in the majors again.
Instead, the Braves cut him, another move that figures to draw the ire of Atlanta fans after the team failed to re-sign John Smoltz during the offseason.
Glavine described himself as "very surprised" in a text message to The Associated Press. Atlanta manager Bobby Cox called it "the hardest thing I've ever been through."
The players were most shocked by the timing of the decision: Why was the 305-game winner allowed to make three rehab starts, then told he wouldn't be pitching anymore for the Braves?
"We all would have preferred to see it happen sooner because he worked so hard to rehab," third baseman Chipper Jones
said. "Right when he's saying he's ready to come back, he finds out that it's not going to be here."