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Friday, August 06, 2021

Doug Glanville: Do I look happy to be here? How I came to terms with a trade I never wanted

I had played at Wrigley Field many times, mostly as a homegrown Chicago Cubs player but also as a Philadelphia Phillie. In 2003, though, I returned to Chicago as a hired hand, dealt on July 30 by the Texas Rangers for cash and a minor league catcher—right before the MLB trade deadline.

And I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it.

When I was told I was traded, it was by phone. When I went to say my goodbyes in the Texas clubhouse the next day, my locker was already packed. I was gone before I was gone. That was hard. I would miss manager Buck Showalter’s humor. I would miss teammates like Michael Young, Juan Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez. I would miss our wild team meetings. I would miss my fan club program—the Good Grades Club, where students would mail me their report cards for an autographed photo or other rewards, a brilliant idea by the Rangers’ marketing team. Now the mail would stop.

Worst of all, I was 32 years old, recovering from a torn hamstring tendon, and after hobbling around minor league rehab for a month, I had finally got my timing together. No one could get me out in the American League in July: I posted a .925 OPS that month, and despite a dismal season for Texas (we were in last place when I was traded), I was building my way back to being a viable free-agent candidate and a starter again. I didn’t want that run to end on someone else’s terms. But it did.

This week, many players will have these kinds of feelings and more. Lost, revitalized, the new kid, the old vet, pushed out of a job, last to first, starter to bench guy, all in a simple transaction—with no guarantees as to how the story will end.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2021 at 10:02 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: trade

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   1. JRVJ Posted: August 06, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#6033254)
I really like reading Glanville.

Just that.
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 06, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6033275)
I really like reading Glanville.

Just that.


Seconded.
   3. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: August 06, 2021 at 04:58 PM (#6033279)
doug glanville is good people.
   4. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 06, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#6033282)
At a SABR conference a couple of years ago, I asked a question that prompted Strat-o-Matic founder Hal Richman to tell the story about how Doug Glanville had pushed for his range factor to be upgraded. Richman told Glanville to prove it, and Glanville actually put together a little evidence pack to do just that. It was a great story.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: August 06, 2021 at 08:08 PM (#6033307)
Glanville is great and something of a nerd but he oversells himself quite a bit here (at least in the first half, I didn't make it through the whole thing). He had a couple of hot weeks with the Rangers ... to get his OPS+ up to 64 ... an OPS+ that hadn't been above 72 for 4 seasons. He hadn't been a full-time starter the year before, he had just 175 PA left after this season. He was below-replacement in 2003, barely above in 2002 and he's more than smart enough to know that he didn't deserve PT over Lofton. He is correct that, to the extent he could hit anybody, he could hit RHP (701 OPS) a bit better than LHP (676).

Anyway, I liked Glanville the player, I like Glanville the writer, I assume I would like Glanville the person and the part of this article I read is pretty good. But any objective view is that Glanville 2003 was lucky to still have a bench job. I'd probably rather read him on the difficulty of that transition (which he's probably written about) than the way this article is pitched.
   6. Lance Posted: August 06, 2021 at 09:24 PM (#6033314)
I went to college in Philadelphia while Glanville was a Phillie. I remember they would put up a fact about players on the screen at the Vet, and the moment I saw that Glanville's was that he majored in engineering at Penn, I was a fan. He's a good writer and an insightful commentator.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: August 06, 2021 at 10:31 PM (#6033323)
Glanville is the pride of Teaneck, NJ, which in the mid-1960s became the first white-majority municipality in the US to vote in favor of integrating its schools. it's just a few miles west of NYC.

about 5 years later, Glanville was born to math teacher and psychiatrist parents and grew up there.
   8. Scott Lange Posted: August 07, 2021 at 07:46 AM (#6033361)
But any objective view is that Glanville 2003 was lucky to still have a bench job.

Why would you expect a major league ballplayer fighting to extend his career to have an objective view as to his own worth? And why would anyone be interested in reading an objective analysis of Doug Glanville's value at that specific point in his career right now anyway? That's for some junior writer at Baseball Prospectus to write in June 2003; now is the time for an insightful piece on the subjective mindset of a traded player from a traded player at a time when a bunch of other players were just traded.
   9. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: August 07, 2021 at 12:56 PM (#6033381)
I was building my way back to being a viable free-agent candidate and a starter again.


Uh, no. Walt Davis is right. In 1999 and, maybe, 1998, Glanville was an OK player. Other than that, he probably shouldn't have ever been a regular. The idea that he was gonna be anything more than, maybe, a bench player at age 33 is laughable.

Good guy, though.
   10. JRVJ Posted: August 07, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6033382)
9, does it really matter, though?

I certainly don't read Glanville for pinpoint accuracy.
   11. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: August 07, 2021 at 04:19 PM (#6033395)
Sorry, I meant to post that on a site where people discuss linked articles about baseball. My bad.
   12. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2021 at 07:33 PM (#6033408)
It's been almost 20 years since and Doug is supposed to be an intelligent guy. You'd think he'd be capable of some self realizations.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: August 07, 2021 at 07:59 PM (#6033410)
I liked the article, and I liked the reality checks here.

presumably unintentionally, Glanville is revealing the mindset of a just-okay professional athlete - that even the smartest of them don't step outside of themselves, maybe ever.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: August 07, 2021 at 09:01 PM (#6033419)
You people do realize that Glanville is telling the story from his perspective AT THE TIME... not whether it was reality or not. I think a big point of the article is him pointing out that perspective of a player being traded from a situation to another situation is a big deal, and that players should look at changing perspective. At least that is what I got from the article, which is what it appears the entire point of the article was about.

At the time, he had battled injuries and was finally fully healthy, and in July, the first month that he felt he was healthy he was kicking ass, and his goal was to get another contract as a starter, and being traded to a contender to be a bench player, was going to hurt his chances of winning a starting job. From his perspective, being traded to a contender actually hurt his career (at least his perspective at the time... the article made it clear that he changed his perspective subsequently)
   15. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 07, 2021 at 10:31 PM (#6033427)
OF COURSE players are viewing themselves in the best possible light.

I guess you guys would go home from practice, stare at your WAR spreadsheets, and think "I'm just lucky to be on a roster."

   16. Scott Lange Posted: August 07, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6033429)
Imagine you got to talk to somebody who played major league baseball twenty years ago. Would you ask that player:

A) Wow, what was it like?
or
B) Here’s a spreadsheet and bbref.com; please accurately analyze the playing time options available to your manager at your position in July 2003.

I believe some of you would choose B; I just can’t understand why.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: August 07, 2021 at 11:20 PM (#6033432)
we're getting well into "overbid" territory
   18. jingoist Posted: August 08, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6033434)
I double that 7 no trump bid.
You ar3 spot on Howie
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 08, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6033443)
Imagine you got to talk to somebody who played major league baseball twenty years ago. Would you ask that player:

A) Wow, what was it like?
or
B) Here’s a spreadsheet and bbref.com; please accurately analyze the playing time options available to your manager at your position in July 2003.

I believe some of you would choose B; I just can’t understand why.


I absolutely agree with Howie's [17], but I also add most of us are too old to be awe-struck by a baseball player. I'd still get excited to meet Willie Mays or Ricky Henderson, but the modern guys are too overexposed. We know most of them are ignorant jerks. I wouldn't even want to have a beer with Bonds or Clemens; they're asses. I'd much rather hang out with Howie.

I'd say the same thing about famous businessmen. I wouldn't walk across the street to talk to Bill Gates or Elon Musk.

Doug Glanville seems like he'd be a cool guy to talk to, but that would be just as try if he had maxed out in AA. He has insights b/c he's smart, not because he was a meh major leaguer.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 08, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6033445)
I'm sure that there are many, many pro athletes in all sports with whom you could have an interesting conversation. The problem is that the way they're handled by their teams and their agents makes it almost impossible for us outsiders to know the real person underneath the cliches. The "brand" that today's athletes are allowed to display in public is ridiculously constrained for obvious reasons, many of them understandably self-imposed.
   21. McCoy Posted: August 08, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6033456)
You catch a famous person at a bar and like most people they'll be talkative just as long as you don't raise their defenses.

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