Tuesday, August 18, 2015

#470 Rob Dibble

About the Front: Oh man, that is an absurdly high leg kick. Do you think Rob Dibble was easy to steal against? Well, the numbers say that opposing runners stole successfully 99 times in 118 tries, for an 83.9% rate...so he practically turned every would-be base thief into Tim Raines.

About the Back: If you want to quibble over Dibble, he didn't pitch enough innings to qualify for any strikeouts-per-nine single-season records. The threshold is one inning per team game, or 162 IP in most cases. By that metric, Randy Johnson is the record holder with 13.4 K/9 in 2001.

Triple Play:

1. He was the co-MVP of the 1990 NLCS along with Randy Myers. In a six-game Reds triumph over the Pirates, Dibble allowed one walk and no hits in five innings across four games. He struck out ten batters and earned one save.

2. During his career, Rob frequently let his explosive temper get the best of him. Most famously, he brawled in the Reds' clubhouse with manager Lou Piniella after a game in 1992. However, he also hurled a ball 400 feet into the center field seats in Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium in April 1991 following a game. The ball struck a woman in the elbow, and he was suspended for four games.

3. He lasted less than two years as a color analyst on MASN for telecasts of Nationals games, getting the boot in September of 2010 after suggesting on-air that pitcher Stephen Strasburg should "suck it up" after the former #1 draft pick missed a start with a sore elbow; shortly thereafter, it was revealed that Strasburg needed Tommy John surgery.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Rob Dibble has been a running personal joke in my family for more than 20 years. My uncle got caught up in the great baseball card boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s, with his most foolhardy speculative purchase being 50 - yes, 50 - Rob Dibble 1989 Topps rookie cards. For this reason, I bought a Dibble Starting Lineup figure when I saw it on sale at a Kay-Bee Toys around this time. Years later, my uncle passed most of his now-devalued collection on to me, including that brick of precious Dibble commodities.

Bill James Said: "Had injuries and lost some off his fastball, got burned on changeups and bad sliders, finally lost command of the strike zone altogether." Yep. 6.48 ERA, 9.1 BB/9 IP in 1993, then he missed the 1994 season and had a 7.18 ERA and 46 walks in 26.1 innings in 1995, his swan song in MLB.

On This Date in 1993: August 18. The Kapellbrucke wooden covered truss bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland is mostly destroyed by fire. The bridge was originally built in the 14th Century. It would be restored in the years following the blaze.

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