Tag:Rich Dubee
Posted on: October 16, 2010 5:31 pm
 

Hangin' in weight room with Halladay -- or not

Roy Halladay's work ethic is legendary, to the point where even the Phillies couldn't believe their first impression.

Halladay's regular spring training routine was to arrive in the weight room in Clearwater, Fla., by 5:30 or 5:45 a.m. By the time most of the rest of the Phillies arrived at 7:30 or 8, Halladay was finished with that part of his day and on to something else.

When I visited the Phillies' camp, a couple of players talked about how this was a perfect example of his competitiveness. A coach told me it isn't that, it's just that Halladay is so focused on what he's doing that he did not want to share the weight room equipment. As he moves through his circuit, he wants what he wants when he wants it.

Whatever, his near-maniacal zeal was legendary in Toronto, and it's already the stuff of legend in Philadelphia.

"We had some guys try to latch on and stay with him this spring," pitching coach Rich Dubee said Friday before the Phillies worked out in preparation for Game 1. "That lasted a short period.

"If you're going to try and stay with him, you'd better start in the off-season."

No kidding.

One of those who experimented with the early-bird special in the weight room with Halladay this spring was fellow starter Cole Hamels.

"I did that one time, I think," Hamels said, chuckling. "I realized it was insanity.

"I had a newborn. I needed every ounce of sleep I could get. He would get there at 5:30, I was waking up at 5:30. That means he was waking up at 4:30."

Likes: Roy Halladay vs. Tim Lincecum to start the NLCS playoffs. What fun. ... I don't think we've heard enough of this Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira as former Rangers story. I think we'll hear much more of it before this ALCS is finished. ... Tweet of the Day, and I had to pass this one alone, from ESPN baseball writer Jorge Arangure late Friday night when the Rangers blew the 5-0 lead to the Yankees in the eighth inning with a certain former President and Rangers owner in attendance: "I bet George W Bush authorized a sign that read "Mission Accomplished" after the 7th inning." ... The Conan O'Brien ads they're papering the house with during the playoffs are pretty funny. Which is no small thing, given how most ads they consistently blast at us start bad and quickly turn grating. ... Congratulations to the Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons and Coach Jack Giarmo, who clinched another Huron League high school football title with Friday's 63-21 whipping of Milan. Excellent work to all as the tradition continues. Great job. ... Great run Saturday morning down Ben Franklin Parkway, past the Philadelphia Art Museum and along the Schuylkill River. Beautiful, especially the trees along the river. ... Geography lesson for the day: How do you pronounce "Schuylkill"? I admit, not being from the Philadelphia area, I didn't know. Until I checked with a bellman at the hotel when I returned: "Skoo-cull." ... John Lennon, still relevant on what would have been his 70th birthday the other day.

Dislikes: Bedbugs. I keep hearing about them. I've yet to see them.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"People asking questions lost in confusion
"Well I tell them there's no problem, only solutions
"Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind
"I tell them there's no hurry
"I'm just sitting here doing time"

-- John Lennon, Watching the Wheels

 

Posted on: February 18, 2010 3:54 pm
 

Anger management with Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels, the 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player who never lived up to the hype in '09, is working hard this spring on perfecting his change-up and developing a cut fastball.

But what's really important, according to his pitching coach, is that Hamels control his demeanor in 2010.

"The biggest problem with Cole last year, in my opinion, was that he pitched with a lot of anger," Rich Dubee said Thursday after the first workout of the spring for Phillies pitchers and catchers. "With himself, mostly.

"He's such a perfectionist. You don't pitch with anger, especially with yourself."

Dubee and various Phillies, including veteran lefty Jamie Moyer, talked with Hamels about it as '09 rolled on, but once the struggles began with a sore elbow in the spring and then spilled over into lack of results on the field, Hamels never could catch up. He finished 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA -- more than a run higher than his 3.09 ERA in '08.

"His approach wasn't very good last year," said Dubee, who added that "it's been addressed."

Hamels' anger and frustration was evident in the way he snapped at the ball on the field when it was being returned from the catcher, and in the way he stomped around on the mound at various times between pitches after serving up a key hit or missing on an important pitch.

"I think that's where the expectations come into play," said Hamels, who never came close to living up to Cy Young predictions in '09. "You have a lot more expectations, and I let that get to me. I became emotional instead of relaxing and letting it happen."

Hamels laughed when told Dubee said part of the fix might be in Hamels viewing video of his churlish behavior.

"I was there. I remember those times," he said. "I don't need to watch the video. I understand what I did wrong."

Among other things, Hamels started throwing much earlier this winter than he has in the past. Dubee said that's evident simply from watching him play long toss during workouts this week.

"You watch him long toss, and he's far beyond where he's ever been in spring training," said the pitching coach, who added that he's quite impressed with Hamels because, after struggling last year, Hamels "could have gone home and sulked."

"I'm a lot more in shape arm-wise than in recent years," Hamels said.

With new ace Roy Halladay aboard, if Hamels pitches the way the Phillies know he can, then they again think they'll be the team to beat in the NL this season.

"I think what he needed was a breath of fresh air in the off season," Dubee said.

Sunblock Day? Yes because the sun was out, but what was really needed was a wind block. "I'll tell you something: I've got three shirts on," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said following Thursday's workout. "And I needed a jacket."


Likes: Phillies manager Charlie Manuel down 56 pounds from last year, proudly exhibiting his jeans in the clubhouse the other day and calling them "my Nutrisystem jeans". ... Now we see why Indians assistant general manager Chris Antonetti spurned interest by other organizations when they wanted to interview him when they had GM openings. Congratulations to Mark Shapiro's hard-working assistant on being named GM-in-waiting Thursday. And given the cratering economy and attendance, Godspeed, Chris. ... Chien-Ming Wang, Washington National. ... How about the double-overtime Notre Dame-Louisville game Wednesday night, a 91-89 Cardinals win? What a great, great game. ... Early Seger Volume 1 is a terrific -- and lacking -- CD. Lacking because, Bob Seger has got to have far more in the vaults than one small disc. Somebody needs to talk with Seger's manager, Punch Andrews, and scold him to release not only more music, but a DVD of Seger's last concert tour a couple of years ago. That there isn't more available -- video and audio -- from one of the all-time masters is criminal. ... The grilled grouper with mango salsa at Bonefish Grill the other night was very tasty.

Dislikes: Get ready for some serious lobbying for a new stadium for Tampa Bay. Rays president Stuart Sternberg said on local radio the other day that the club's $70 million payroll definitely will be chopped next year and insinuated that it would be below $60 million. Commissioner Bud Selig followed that up with an appearance at the annual Florida Governor's Baseball Dinner on Wednesday, during which he said "It almost boggles my mind that there's a debate. They need a new stadium."

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"It may be raining
"But there's a rainbow above you"

-- The Eagles, Desperado

Posted on: June 5, 2009 2:02 pm
 

Moyer: 250 and counting

While Randy Johnson basks in the afterglow of career win No. 300, the only pitcher in the majors older than the Big Unit heads to the mound in Dodger Stadium this evening in pursuit of career win No. 251.

No small feat, either, for Philadelphia's Jamie Moyer, 46, who appears close to getting back on track after a miserable beginning to the season, pitching reasonably well in his past three starts (1-2, 4.00 ERA).

And with the streaking Phillies reeling off a seven-game winning streak and opening up a four-game NL East lead over the New York Mets, there isn't quite the sense of urgency that there was earlier when it seemed as if the roof were caving in on the soft-tossing left-hander.

You don't pitch this long in the majors, though, without developing a philosophical side. And while he's confident that the wreckage of his first seven starts (8.15 ERA) is behind him, Moyer says he never reached panic time.

"It's happened to me before in my career and it's probably happened to everyone on the field," Moyer says. "Obviously, you want to minimize the struggles. For some, it's knocked them out of the game. For some, it's been a character-builder.

"You struggle for a reason. Sometimes it's unknown."

Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee has at least an idea as to why the struggles.

"Jamie likes to tinker a lot," Dubee says, smiling. "Some of the tinkering led to difficulties with his arm angle and with his arm slot.

"But (tinkering) is probably why Jamie Moyer has been around for 23 years. He's always looking for some kind of edge."

He also spent a lot of time looking at an unusual career souvenir at home in Bradenton, Fla., over the winter.

Remember those television shots and photos of Moyer carrying the dug-up pitching rubber around like a bagged hunting trophy in the immediate aftermath of the Phillies' World Series triumph last October?

Well, the pitching rubber -- which measures 18 inches long and some four-to-six inches deep -- is displayed on a shelf in the bedroom of he and wife Karen at home.

"It's pretty cool," he says. "I have it in the bedroom so I can look at it when I go to sleep and again when I wake up in the morning. It brings back a lot of good memories."

He has a second pitching rubber, dug up after his Seattle Mariners tied a major-league record with their 116th regular season victory back in 2001, on display at the house the family still owns in Seattle.

Likes: Saturday afternoon games. ... The days when pitchers were men and, doggone it, stayed on the mound -- like this old game from Monroe, Mich., in 1968. ... The opening sketch from Conan O'Brien's first Tonight Show on Monday, was classic. He "realized" he forgot to move from New York to Los Angeles, and when he couldn't catch a cab outside of his New York office building, he started running and ran all the way west to Los Angeles. Very funny. Letterman is still where it's at, though. ... New album from Jimmy Buffett on the way this fall, Buffet Hotel. That's always good news. ...

Dislikes: One day very soon, the Yankees are going to figure out a way to install each of their exalted players inside of a personalized, portable, plastic bubble so that they can move about without ever having to suffer the indignity of coming into contact with common, everyday street trash like you ... and the fans who actually, uh, support them. The latest evidence.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Thirteen's my lucky number
"To you it means stay inside
"Black cat done crossed my path
"No reason to run and hide
"You're looking through a cracked mirror
"No one really knows the reason why
"Your enemies are gettin' nearer
"Gonna hang down your head and cry"

-- Social Distortion, Bad Luck

Posted on: October 7, 2008 7:57 pm
 

Phillies set NLCS rotation

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies will stay with what got them to this point when the National League Championship Series opens here on Thursday evening: Left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 1, followed by right-hander Brett Myers, lefty Jamie Moyer and righty Joe Blanton, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee.

No official word yet on the Dodgers, who were traveling and expected to arrive later Tuesday night. They're set up to begin with the same three starters who pitched them to a sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the divisional series: Right-handers Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda.

It is expected that Dodgers manager Joe Torre will leave those three in place and go to a four-man rotation in the best-of-seven NLCS. Assuming he does, he and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt must decide on a No. 4 starter, which probably will come down to left-hander Clayton Kershaw or right-hander Greg Maddux.

Based on how the two pitched down the stretch, as well as on the chance to slot a lefty in against a potent Phillies lineup that includes MVP candidate Ryan Howard, it is expected that Kershaw will get the nod as the Game 4 starter.

As for the Phillies, who ranked fourth in the NL with a 3.88 ERA this season, the current alignment leaves them very well-balanced between right- and left-handed starters as well as relatively hard-throwers (Myers, Blanton), a change-up specialist (Hamels) and a soft-tosser (Moyer).

"We're comfortable the way it is," Dubee said. "You start flipping it around, and then somebody is going to have 10 days off (between starts), and that's not good."

Philadelphia's starting pitchers ranked fourth in innings pitched among NL rotations (966 2/3) and ranked second in quality starts (88).

 

 

 
 
 
 
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