2008 Philadelphia Phillies bullpen workhorse and savior Chad Durbin cozied up to the computer for a Q&A session with WSBGM's. The recently turned 31 year old worked in a career high 71 games last season (nearly doubling his career total) and will be back to help the Phils defend their World Series championship in '09. For all those Durbinator fans out there, enjoy...
1. Derek Jeter checks into hotel rooms under the name Johnny Drama, have you ever used an alias?
Funny thing, I haven't used one...but the popular one's are great names from movies or shows, or buddies from the minors. It's funny stuff, right!??
2. Do you fill the long hours in the bullpen the same way the rest us do when we are bored at work, with Ebay and minesweeper?
No internet connection out there! In all seriousness, we watch the game with the idea that the way a pitcher got a guy out in his first couple at bats should dictate how we pitch to those same hitters in the later part of the game. Due diligence.
3. Any pregame superstitions, like eating a whole chicken or giving rum to Jobu?
The pregame superstitions are more "set routines" than superstitions. If our routine is beat up a little due to this, that, or the other...I tend to break my routine up into segments so I can pick up the routine down the line and still stay comfortable. Part of the gig!
4. What is your opinion on Philly fans and blogs?
Philly fans give genuine reactions to performance...their expectations are high and they expect winners in town. I respect that, and when there are some boos directed at me, I respect that it's based on the expectation that I should've gotten the job done that day, or week, or year. I understand...doesn't mean it EVER feels good to get booed for poor performance, but I understand.
5. How do you handle going from hero to goat and back and forth on a daily basis?
I credit dealing with failure and success to your mental preparation. If you live in the moment and handle your situation/game that day as the most important game that year...you have no choice but to have a short memory. If you got out of a bases loaded, no out, jam the day before? GREAT! But, what does that have to do with executing a pitch today? A mental edge, maybe, but that can go away in the swing of a bat.
6. You did an amazing job in the bullpen...do you remember the exact date your arm fell off?
Thanks, very much. It's a grind, that's for sure. I was thrilled, every single time I came into a game or got up in the bullpen...to be part of such a special team and season. So, if there's a moment in the season when I felt that I ran into a wall...had to be late August. You know what happened, though, and the beauty of baseball? Ryan Madson went on an absolute tear, right as I cooled off. It's amazing how those special seasons consist of story after story of teammates stepping up during the year. MadDog was amazing.
7. You've bounced around over your career, and last season was by and far your most successful. What do you attribute to your success?
Most of all, the success was a result of trying to do less. A "one pitch at a time" approach is the only way I can be consistent. So, having a consistent gameplan helped me stay consistent.
8. What is Showcase U?
ShowcaseU.com is a Do-It-Yourself Recruiting Solution website. Student-athletes and their parents today need the tools and resources available so they can "Market Themselves," and ultimately give themselves a better opportunity to find a scholarship and play at the next level. We want to save parents time and money during the process of promoting their child. ShowcaseU.com is a website where coaches, student-athletes, and their parents can find each other and market to each other.
9. What's your favorite offseason activity?
My favorite offseason activity is watching my little boy, Cade, grow and play. All the rest is great, but that trumps everything. So, hanging out as a family is my favorite.
10. Funniest clubhouse story?
If everyone doesn't know about it, they should...the Kyle Kendrick "Traded to Japan" prank last Spring Training.
11. Opinion on recent additions- Raul Ibanez and Chan Ho Park, as well as the dearly departed- Pat Burrell.
Raul Ibanez is one of baseball's best people...a truly great person and a great player, to boot. Chan Ho Park gives us more depth in both the rotation and the bullpen. In regards to Pat, I know how much everyone loved him and what better way for a player to depart a city like Philadelphia than to give them something they've been after for such a long time!
12. Biggest perks of being a MLB player?
The perks...being able to play the game you love for a living. The ability to help set your family up for the long-term is also a great perk.
13. Biggest drawbacks of being a MLB player?
The drawbacks...missing out on seeing your family and friends during the season. We are away from everyone for 8-9 months a year.
14. Best Big League memory?
2008 Philadelphia Phillies Season.
15. Tell us about Charlie Manuel...
Charlie is one of the best baseball people out there. He loves the game, he loves his players, and he loves winning. I think Charlie gets a bad reputation because he doesn't speak like a politician. What everyone out there needs to know is that he is one of the brighter men in baseball. Nothing gets by him and he can hold his own with anyone when it comes to talking about baseball or any other topic. He knows stocks, he knows news, but most of all and most important for this job is that he knows how to relate to his players.
16. When we come to a game next year, and you meet up with us afterward for a beer, what are we drinking?
I'd have a Guinness and make sure I wasn't driving.
17. How are you spending the holidays?
I'm spending my holidays with family and friends in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Merry Christmas all and Happy Holidays!
*For an audio interview of a WSBGM's favorite, Doug Glanville, go to Jimmy Scott's High & Tight.