Cubs

David DeJesus joins CSN Chicago as Cubs analyst

David DeJesus joins CSN Chicago as Cubs analyst

MESA, Ariz. – David DeJesus – one of the first free agents the Theo Epstein regime signed during the Wrigleyville rebuild – will be bringing his unique insight to CSN Chicago as a Cubs analyst.

DeJesus, who helped mentor a young Anthony Rizzo and later played for Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays, will be part of the pre- and postgame coverage of the defending World Series champs, the network announced Wednesday, and contribute to podcasts and other studio shows.

DeJesus, 37, carved out a 13-year career in the big leagues as a well-rounded player who could get on base, provide plus defense in the outfield and be a positive presence in the clubhouse.

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DeJesus made it through the 101-loss season in 2012 – and won back-to-back Dale Sveum bunt tournaments in spring training – before the Cubs moved him to the Washington Nationals in August 2013. Days later, DeJesus got traded to Tampa Bay and he eventually finished out his playing career with the Los Angeles Angels in 2015.

"I'm thankful to CSN for giving me this opportunity to once again be a part of the best organization in baseball," said DeJesus in a statement. "I loved my time with the Cubs and I am excited to be able to bring my insight to the viewers and enjoy the ride to another championship."

DeJesus replaces Todd Hollandsworth, another ex-Cub who moved up to the broadcast booth with Fox Sports Florida and the Miami Marlins.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Is there change coming to baseball's diversity problem?

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Is there change coming to baseball's diversity problem?

While trying to get the season going, the MLB and baseball as a whole are starting to address another problem: the lack of diversity. NBCS Cubs reporter Maddie Lee is joined by former Cub and professor Doug Glanville, Laurence Holmes and Eugene McIntosh of "The Bigs" to discuss ways MLB and baseball need to address the issues and how they can benefit from it.

(2:00) - Ian Desmond's comments really struck a chord in baseball

(12:06) - Youth baseball for young Black athletes

(26:09) - Glanville remembers being the only Black athlete on teams in MLB

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(30:14) - Current Black players in majors are still dealing with racism

(32:26) - Ways Theo Epstein is trying to help find solutions to the lack of diversity in baseball

Listen here or below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

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Race and baseball: For a young Doug Glanville, 'Baseball was diplomacy'

Race and baseball: For a young Doug Glanville, 'Baseball was diplomacy'

Doug Glanville remembers watching a teammate get kicked in the chest after a High School baseball game fraught with racial tension.

“Thank goodness my coach was really quick,” the former Cub said on the Cubs Talk Podcast this week. “The bus was right there. And all he could do was whisk people onto the bus because the last thing he needed was a brawl with young high school Black kids and this angry white mob of workers throwing N-words at us.”

Glanville shared the story as part of a round-table discussion on the declining number of African American players in Major League Baseball, and the sport’s access issues from the youth level on up. He, NBC Sports Chicago’s Laurence Holmes and The Bigs Media co-founder Eugene McIntosh talked about experiences from their playing days and sought solutions to the league’s diversity problem.

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Glanville grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. The town voluntarily desegregated its public schools in the 1960’s.

“I came along in 1970 and watched a town that was truly committed to inclusion,” Glanville said. “So, I had this integrated, diverse experience where my teammates were from different backgrounds and different walks of life. And we were sort of this sesame seed inside of a Bergen County that was mostly white suburbs with a lot of wealth.”

He and his teammates took pride in that. Not only were they playing to win, they were fighting in the name of diversity.

“Baseball was diplomacy in my world,” Glanville said. “And it was a diplomacy of seeing players of color, diversity, taking on mostly homogenous teams, catholic schools, and representing.”

During his sophomore year, against one such homogeneous team in what Glanville describes as a “blue collar town,” Glanville and his teammates endured heckling all game long. A spectator hurled a racial slur at Glanville’s teammate, and the teammate said something back.

The encounter grew so heated that Glanville’s team had to climb the football stands to get to the bus. At the top, Glanville said, one of the people in pursuit kicked the team’s captain, who was Black.

“But you know what was so powerful about that was our team bonded even more over that,” Glanville said. “… We were like, we are one family, and we’re not going to put up with this.”

Can MLB harness baseball’s powers of diplomacy? For more stories and analysis from Glanville, Holmes and McIntosh, listen to the Cubs Talk Podcast.

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