ESPN’s Doug Glanville played nine major league seasons, posting a .277/.315/.380 career batting line and registering over 8,100 innings in the outfield during his time with the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers.
He’s thrown a lot of baseballs. A ton of baseballs. But the “first pitch” has made fools out of many former athletes and celebrities, and it couldn’t have gone much worse for Glanville before Wednesday’s game between the Phillies and Cubs at Wrigley Field.
CSNChicago.com has the video of Glanville’s throw, which sailed well over the glove of Cubs outfielder Tony Campana and then bounced off Wrigley’s famous brick backstop. “If there was a mascot for the Cubs, which there isn’t, he would have been hit in the back of the head,” Glanville later joked with broadcasters Len Kasper and Bob Brenly.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.