|VEIN MAN OUT OF THE BULLPEN.|
|ARMED AND ALWAYS DANGEROUS.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- Rob Dibble didn't nibble. The vein-popping hothead always pumped gas out of the bullpen while frequently lighting a match. Making his bones first as #182 Randy Myers' set-up man for the World Series champion Reds in 1990, Dibble became a two-time All-Star and inherited the closer's job before injuries wrecked his career, which lasted only seven turbulent seasons. He packed a lot of drama in that time, during which he saved 89 games, averaged 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings and was suspended more times than a goth teen.
- Dibble got into several scraps with the opposition, but his clubhouse throw-down with manager Lou Piniella on Sept. 17, 1992, took the cake. Especially because it was all caught on film by a TV news crew. After the Reds held on to defeat the Braves 3-2, Piniella was asked why a rested Dibble wasn't called on to close. Sweet Lou said Dibble had a sore shoulder. Dibble was told this and said it wasn't true. That's when Sour Lou bolted from his office and attacked the 6-4, 230-pound Dibble, yelling he was a liar. The wrestling match was broken up and the two made up, with Dibble being called on to pitch the next day.
- Taking over as Reds closer in '91, Dibble saved a career-high 31 games, blew only five and averaged 13.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- Dibble made his major-league debut in '88 but emerged in '89, winning 10 games in relief and striking out 141 batters in 99 innings.
- One of 51 pitchers to record an Immaculate Inning (striking out the side on nine pitches). On June 4, 1989, against the Padres, Dibble got Carmelo Martinez swinging, Mark Parent looking and Garry Templeton swinging.
- Was co-MVP of the '90 NLCS (along with Myers) after saving a game and striking out 10 in five innings covering four appearances.
- Achieved his 500th strikeout in 368 innings, the fewest in major-league history. Craig Kimbrel (305) and Aroldis Chapman (292) have since surpassed him.
- After retiring in '96, Dibble embarked on a broadcasting career and has managed to rub just as many folks the wrong way.