By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, devouring snicker doodles from Dorothy Lane Market, which are almost as good as DLM’s strip steaks. Expensive? Yeah. Worth it? Double yeah.
—Rob Dibble was the most volatile and cantankerous of the famous/infamous Nasty Boys, the three dominant occupants of the Cincinnati Reds 1990 bullpen.
Dibs always had a love/hate relationship with the Cincinnati media, including one incident during the playoffs when he dumped a bucket of ice water over a writer’s head.
And it was all over a headline the writer didn’t even write. If he thought he was wronged, it wouldn’t talk to the media for a short period. Things, though, were always smoothed over. He never held a grudge.
Dibble now hosts a popular radio talk show in Connecticut and just as he did on the field, he pulls no punches. His nearly daily target these days is baseball commissioner Rob Manfred.
“I hammer him on my radio show every day,”
Dibble said recently. “This seven-inning doubleheader crap has got to stop, the baserunner on second in extra innings.
“Although maybe if you did it in the 11th inning or 12th, I could see it. But not immediately in the 10th,” he said. “You are trying to make a fast-moved timed event out of something that for 150 years has never been timed.
“Baseball doesn’t have a clock — you end it on the last pitch of the last at bat,” he added. “I think you have a commissioner who doesn’t love the game. We need a commissioner who loves the game.”
—QUOTE: From Rob Dibble to me and another writer after he blew a save: “Screw you. We won last night and you didn’t want to talk to me. Now we lose and you want to talk to me?” (Dibble had the save in the win, but he apologized the next day and it was all good.)
—From loyal reader Dave Bush, who speaks nothing but truth with this one: “If you show up late to an MLB game to see your favorite starting pitcher, you probably will be seeing a relief pitcher. Be on time.”
QUOTE: From former Dodgers first baseman and Mets manager Gil Hodges: “There are only two kinds of managers, winning managers and ex-managers.” (There is no reason Hodges shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.)
—Former Cincinnati Reds second baseman/showman Brandon Phillips is 40 years old and not giving up his baseball dreams.
Not only is he co-owner of the independent Atlantic League’s Lexington Legends, he placed himself on the playing roster.
Legends CEO/President Andy Shea is a bit optimistic about Brandon’s future.
“To have a future Hall of Famer on the field, in the clubhouse and part of the ownership group is great for the entire community and the entire game of baseball,” said Shea in a publicity release.
He didn’t say which Hall of Fame, but if he means Cooperstown, well, that’s a long shot, at best. Phillips is a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glover, but his Cooperstown credentials are barely on the fringes.
Tony Cingrani, a left handed pitcher formerly with the Reds, also is on the Lexington roster.
—For those who like to bet a bob or two once in a while and also like long shots, BetOnline lists the Cincinnati Reds at 66 to one odds to win the World Series.
Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers currently occupy third place in the National League West, they remain the World Series favorite at 13 to 4, just a nudge ahead of NL West rival San Diego at 13 to 2.
National League Central foes St. Louis and Milwaukee both are listed at 28 to 1. The Cleveland Indians are 33 to 1.
—QUOTE: From professional gambler Pappy Morgan: “A gambler usually never makes the same mistake twice. He makes it three or four times.”
—Some baseball quotes — OK, cliches — that I’ve heard over and over from dozens of players during interviews:
“I’m just glad to be here and want to help the club any way I can.” (Is that opposed to hurting the club any way you can?)
“I’m taking it one game at a time.” (You have no choice, you can only play one game at a time.)
“You’re only as good as your last at bat.” (Or as bad as your last few at bats.)
“If we stay healthy, we should be right there.” (And what team ever stays healthy for 162 games? None.)
“It takes all 25 players to win.” (And if you have 30, it would take all 30., right?)
“We only need a couple more players to take us to the top.” (Yeah, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.)
“We’ll get ‘em tomorrow.” (Or the next day, or the next day or the next day.)
“The catcher and I were on the same page.” (Nobody ever tells us what book that page is in.)
“With a couple of breaks, we win that game (Yes, if the breaks are the opposing pitcher’s arm and the opposing shortstop’s leg.)
“I just went right at ‘em.” (And you are so sorry you did.)
“I did my best and that’s all I can do.” (If your best is an 0 for 5, then try your best at Triple-A.)
“You just can’t pitch behind in the count. You have to throw strikes.” (Uh, duh.)
“Give the guy credit, he hit a good pitch.” (Yes, and he hit it into the next zip code.)
“That why they pay him millions of dollars.” (And what happened is not why they pay you millions of dollars.)
And my favorite, “It is what it is.” (What in the name of Abner Doubleday does that mean?)