All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Doug Glanville

Doug Glanville has written a book about baseball, called The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View. It's about the culture of baseball - "from how to pack your bag after you've been cut from a roster to how to manage romantic relationships while traveling for half the year." (Interview and excerpt here.)

Glanville is unusual for a pro ball player in that he has a systems engineering degree from an Ivy League university (Penn).

"My favorite comment was from a guy who ... realized I was an engineer who had written a paper about building a new stadium in Philadelphia," Glanville says. "So I was really struggling when I first came over to Philly in 1998, struggling and hitting like .190 so the guy yelled out 'Why don't you design a stadium you can hit in?'"

He mentions Bubba in the introduction to his book.

I returned to the Phillies for the 2004 season, but I was now firmly entrenched as a bench player, which was not where I wanted to be. I figured that if I was going to be a reserve, I might as well play for a team with a chance to win a championship. So in February 2005 I reported to spring training with the New York Yankees, hoping to win a reserve outfield spot.

The Yankees ran me out there every day during the exhibition games. To combat any wearing down, I was in the gym at least twice a day working on my body.

I was playing fairly well, not lighting the world on fire, but steady. My competition for the last slot, Bubba Crosby, was battling leg problems, and I thought I might get a few points for staying healthy. But Crosby soon regained his health and came back on fire — as I cooled off .

A week before Opening Day, we played the Phillies at their camp, and just as my career had begun with a base hit to left off the Phillies' Terry Mulholland at Veterans Stadium, on this day I smacked a base hit to left off the Phillies' Tim Worrell. After the game, the Yankees' general manager, Brian Cashman, and manager, Joe Torre, brought me into the office to tell me that I had been released. They were giving me a week's head start to catch on with another team. I didn't say much other than to thank them for the opportunity. I thought I was a good fit for the Yankees: a player who had been a starter, able to play all fields, and young enough to run out there a lot. But I was trumped.

Bubba was en fuego that spring training. Still, the Yanks had a long history of taking the aging veteran over the homegrown kid. (Though Bubba wasn't quite homegrown, having been traded from the Dodgers a couple of years before.) In general, fans wanted Bubba, but figured the Yanks would pick some over-the-hill veteran instead. However, there was one fan who touched off a long thread at NYYFans. He said he was intelligent and well-educated, and therefore he preferred baseball players who were, too. He wanted Glanville, the Ivy Leaguer, instead of "uneducated" Bubba Crosby.

Of course, other fans jumped all over him, pointing out that Bubba had a degree from Rice, which put him ahead of the vast majority of baseball players in the education department. They asked him how he knew Bubba was uneducated. Young Crosby was very articulate in interviews. Was it his large glove? His high socks? (Of course, it was the name; I guess educated people aren't supposed to be named "Bubba.")

Anyway, it sounds like an interesting book. I might have to check it out.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:02 PM


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