When Charlie Manuel was fired as Phillies manager in August, it was only a matter of time until Rich Dubee followed his good buddy out the door.
After nine seasons, including the most glorious era of Phillies baseball, the organization elected not to renew Dubee’s contract.
“Rich was a big part of a wonderful era here and his nine years he served our organization very well,” Ruben Amaro, Jr. said in a statement. “We believe it is time for change as we move forward.”
The Phillies certainly need change after suffering through the first sub-.500 season during the Citizens Bank Park era and their worst record since Terry Francona managed the team.
How much change will the Phillies be able to make this offseason considering how many guaranteed big-money contracts are on the books for 2014 and the lack of top tier free agents?
The Phillies can make coaching adjustments. Expect Sandberg to assemble a group from scratch. Stay tuned for announcements regarding the remaining members of the staff.
But the first off the ship is Dubee, who appreciated his run, which was the longest by a Phillies pitching coach since Ray Rippelmeyer advised hurlers during the 1970s.
“I never thought I would be here this long,” Dubee said last month. “I got to work with some very talented pitchers.”
Dubee did get to tinker with a World Series MVP, Cole Hamels and a pair of Cy Young Award winners, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. Halladay stumped for Dubee in August stating that he believed the veteran and occasionally curmudgeonly coach helped him.
Dealing with the best in the game was part of it for Dubee, but he also worked with a number of young pitchers — many didn’t pan out.
Not one of the Triple-A kids the Phillies were counting on to beef up the bullpen in 2013 came through, save Jake Diekman. Such live arms as Justin DeFratus, Phillippe Aumont and JC Ramirez were either inconsistent or complete flops, and the bullpen somehow went from bad to worse in 2014.
And then there was the development of Gavin Floyd. The Phillies’ fourth pick overall in the 2001 draft was a bust in red pinstripes.
Aaron Rowand may not have busted his face against the fence making a catch for the ages in 2006 against the Mets if a pitcher other than Floyd was on the mound.
“Gavin was out there and I had to get that ball for him,” Rowand said. “I wanted to boost his confidence.”
A year after the Phillies traded Floyd to the Chicago White Sox, the big right-hander found himself and went 17-8 in 2008. Floyd went on to have five consecutive seasons in which he recorded double-digit win totals.
“Dubee had to go,” a NL scout said. “You just knew Ryne would do something different and the Phillies have to go in a different direction. Things haven’t been working for them the last two seasons.”