Freedom became more than money, it was opportunity, it was a fresh start, and it was an escape.

December 13, 2019
I waited a long time to become a free agent. From the time I was first drafted, it was over 10 years before I earned the right to exercise this choice. 
I entered free agency after my father had been gravely ill for three years, an illness to which he would succumb by the end of the 2002 season. It made me re-think what would go into my decision to embrace my new freedom. 
Freedom became more than money, it was opportunity, it was a fresh start, and it was an escape.
So after 5 years in Philadelphia, a city that was special to me – home of my favorite team growing up, the city of my alma mater, a place where I lived in the off-season, I signed with Texas, fighting to be a starter again, healing from the loss of my father, and choosing to reinvent myself as a ballplayer. I had left the nest. 
It was not easy. The nest was comfort. Being able to play where I live, or at least make the choice to live year round where I play, was a reason to stay. Yet, free agency also offered the chance to bet on yourself. Push you off of the couch to reinvigorate the confidence that is required of all pro ballplayers. My last year in the nest relegated me to a 4th outfielder role. I came off the bench for the first time since I had arrived in Philadelphia in a late 1997 trade. I didn't want this to be how my career wound down.
Free agency allowed me to start again. The Marlon Byrd era had arrived in Philly and I thought I had another good run before I was a veteran caddy for the next generation. It was Texas who still saw me as I wanted to see myself. A starter. Sure, I could stay home, heed the wise advice of my mentor, Garry Maddox,  who saw post-career opportunity in my current home, but years of pro ball also taught me that if you believed you could start, your home was found at the address of opportunity.   
I would leave where I lived. This time by choice.  
- Doug Glanville
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