Lately, Rich Dubee seems about as warm and cuddly as a 200-pound lump of dried-out Play-Doh.
In spring training, Dubee admitted lying to the public last year about Roy Halladay’s health, and then gruffly told everyone that if they had a problem with that, they could go and stick it.
In so many words.
Roy Halladay’s health was none of our business, according to Dubee. Never mind the fact he was the supposed ace of the staff and suffered through his worst season as a professional last year, since he first entered the league.
On the heels of last year’s 4.49 ERA in just 156.1 innings and six-week stay on the disabled list, Halladay continued to struggle in spring training. He could not get Blue Jays minor league players out. It was disconcerting. It was worrisome. And after getting torched in his first two starts of the regular season, in which he gave up 12 runs in 7.1 innings to Atlanta and New York, it was understandable people were concerned the 36-year-old Halladay had officially “lost it.”
Of course, Halladay’s last two starts, in which he’s given up just three earned runs in 15 innings, have been much more comforting. But some scars take a long time to heal for some people.
Enter the Phils’ over-protective pitching coach, who was asked to talk about Halladay’s last two starts on Sunday, per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury.
“I’m not going to talk about it,” Dubee said. “Everybody bashed Roy Halladay long enough. Now he has a couple of good ones and all of a sudden he’s a Cy Young candidate. You guys ride that roller coaster and we’ll stay where we’re at. Let Roy be Roy.”
You would be forgiven if you heard the sound of an infant crying in the background.
For the record, only idiots were bashing Roy Halladay. Only moronic fans booed Roy Halladay. Intelligent baseball followers, especially sports writers covering the Phillies beat, were asking genuine questions about the health of Halladay and whether or not the mileage his arm has accumulated over the last decade had finally taken its toll.
They were fair questions and fair concerns to raise.
Of course, Twitter and other social media are often times not the best place to go for measured, constructive civil discourse. One hopes Rich isn’t spending a lot of time there. It is the land of sarcasm and snark. It’s why I like being there so much.
Dubee’s recent petulance comes off as small, and makes him appear to be kind of angry. He seems to lack an understanding of how to talk to, and deal with, the media. And it seems as though any time you question anything he or his pitchers do, you get the wrath of Dubee.
Perhaps Dubee’s fierce defense of his pitchers is a good thing, though. Perhaps it helps rally them behind him. Perhaps Dubee is prepared to be the bad guy in the public if it means shielding his pitchers from the scorn of the media. It’s what Andy Reid used to do with his maddening, “It’s all on me” nonsense.
But that kind of stuff often times does not have the desired effect one would hope it would.
So, as Rich Dubee snipes at yet another reasonable reporter asking another reasonable question, his thin skin becomes more apparent. Dubee really ought to just be honest with the media and let the other stuff roll off his back. And while that’s easier said done then, the old axiom about the media is true.
You catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.
Especially if that honey is glazed on top of a one-pound doughnut.