Over the weekend, I got the opportunity to speak with former Phillies outfielder – and current ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst – Doug Glanville. A Phillie from 1998-2002 and again in 2004, Glanville is one of the smartest, freshest minds at ESPN. We discussed several topics from the trade deadline to Riley Cooper.
Glanville told me he was surprised the Phillies did not make any moves at the deadline, saying it seemed like the perfect time to unload some veteran players. However, Glanville did say it probably came down to other teams not wanting to part with much, especially for larger commodities like Cliff Lee or Chase Utley.
In regards to the deadline itself, Glanville said players can’t help but notice what is going on around them. We tend to think of players as pieces of a puzzle, but for them, there is so much uncertainty around July 31 date and beyond, that it is noticeable. Glanville reminds us to think of everything going on outside of the rumors; family being involved, kids being uprooted, etc.
We also discussed alumni weekend. Glanville called Curt Schilling one of the fiercest competitors he ever had the privilege of playing with. The former centerfielder also gets to work with Schilling and John Kruk at ESPN, and said it’s just like hanging out in the locker room at the Vet.
His memories of Philadelphia were recalled fondly. Glanville spoke glowingly of the city, saying he loved his time here, mentioning Harry Kalas as a a man that certainly stood out.
When asked about Darren Daulton, he said he was one of the greatest leaders he had ever come across. And of course, Glanville is pulling for him as part of the Phillies family.
I also asked Glanville about his thoughts on Jimmy Rollins as a leader and his reluctance to take on that role in the purest sense. Doug says he just believes Rollins loves being here in Philadelphia and has achieved so much personally and for the city with a title in 2008. He doesn’t see it as a selfish comment, but more an indication of his love for the town and the organization.
As for Jonathan Papelbon’s recent comments, Glanville says that as long as Pap spoke to his teammates before voicing his displeasure, then everything should be fine. However, I think we all know it didn’t go down that way. And Glanville says if it did not go down that way, then it’s pretty much inexcusable.
And we finished up our conversation talking about Riley Cooper. After his racial slur to a security guard at the Kenny Chesney show in Philadelphia, Cooper immediately came under fire. Glanville says that the team will have to get past it as long as Cooper is still an Eagle. He harkened back to the John Rocker comments, saying he offended everyone under the sun. But he apologized and spoke to his teammates about it to try and make it a passable working environment. Glanville talked about the ability to forgive being the biggest hurdle.
It was great to catch back up with one of the players I grew up watching in the Phillies’ lean years of the late-90′s and into the 2000′s. It wasn’t easy to watch back then, but Glanville – a Penn graduate – was one of the players we all rooted for. We should continue to root for him in the media field.