10 Questions with ... Rob Dibble
August 14, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I have played many sports including soccer, basketball and baseball, which I went on to play professionally. I was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982, and then by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 1983 draft. With the Reds, I played in two All-Star Games, won a World Series, and was awarded "Most Valuable Player." During my time in MLB, I was also a member of the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox teams. After retiring from baseball, I became co-host of FOX Sports News which aired both on TV and radio. I have also co-hosted The Best Damn Sports Show Period, served as a baseball analyst for FOX, co-hosted shows on Sirius/XM, and was the color commentator for the Washington Nationals on MASN. I originally joined FOX Sports Radio as a baseball analyst several years ago, then became co-host of a three-hour weekend program with NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison. This year, I began co-hosting FOX Sports Tonight during the week.
1. What got you into broadcasting at the end of your playing career? Did you have that as your post-baseball plan all along? How much did your father's career (longtime radio news director in Hartford) have to do with you ultimately going into radio?
I got into radio by chance. I was studying to become a Connecticut State Trooper when I had an opportunity to host an overnight DJ spot on a local radio station. My father was against it, but because he knew my love of music, he set me up with a friend of his and I did the midnight to 6 a.m. shift at WLIS in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. In 1997, I had just got my big break in TV and radio as co-host of FOX Sports News when my father died. Now, every time the mic is "On-Air" I think of my father, Walt.
2. You've built a reputation as someone who speaks his mind, which might on occasion hit some resistance, and as a player you were, let's say, demonstrative. Do you think you're mellowing the longer you're on the air, or do you still feel as opinionated as ever? Are you more likely to hold back now?
I don't think you've really made it in radio or TV until you've been fired. It makes you work harder to back up your opinion with facts. Once I've looked at the facts, I don't have a problem voicing my opinion.
In 1997, my first boss with FOX taught me preparation for your presentation. I was "all-in" as a Major League Baseball player, and I'm always going to be honest and forthcoming with my fans and listeners. The listener comes first; if they smell BS, I'm done. If you want listeners to participate in your show and keep listening, you can't be boring. I'll never be accused of being boring!
3. You've worked with a lot of radio and TV partners over the years, but let's talk about your present on-air partner: What are the best and worst things about working alongside Amy?
Let me just say Amy is wonderful to work with. Knowing how hard she worked to be a six-time Olympic Gold Medalist and that she loves hosting a radio show like I do, I think Amy is amazing. She's awesome to work with because she's very humble, has paid her dues in this business (much like myself), and she treats everyone equally. Amy might have more street credibility then anyone in this business, but most of all, she is great because she really loves dogs like I do.
4. As a talk radio host, you have to talk about a lot more than baseball. Of the other sports, what's your favorite and why?
It would be much easier to tell you what I don't like. I love almost every sport because I respect effort, passion, and of course, pain. Sports aren't easy to play. Football, basketball and hockey at the college and pro levels; MMA and boxing; NASCAR and Indy Racing - anything where you can be injured or killed has always made me enjoy the effort and respect the athletes.
5. Who are your mentors, influences, and heroes?
That's a great question. One of my heroes is my father, who did the news on-air for 50 years and taught at The Connecticut School of Broadcasting and Southern Connecticut University. I also look up to many other people in the sports business, including legendary sportscasters Brent Musburger, Harry Kalas, Jack Buck, Marty Brennaman, George Grande and Dan Davis, along with former MLB players turned sportscasters Don Sutton, Jim Kaat, Mike Shannon, Steve Stone and Joe Nuxhall. Most of these guys cover games, but it's the way they prepare everyday that I've always loved and totally respected.
6. What's your process -- how do you prepare for each show? What resources do you use?
Most days, my process is the same. I watch sports games and read as many stories as possible from FoxSports.com and many other sports websites. ProSportsTalk.com is also a great informational website for all sports. My producers for FOX Sports Tonight send me main-line stories daily. I read these, and we all decide on the best topics for discussion. You can't read everything out there every day, but you have to try.
7. Here's a question for which you might have two answers, one for baseball and one for broadcasting: What's the most memorable moment of your career? World Series win, nine-pitch three-strikeout inning, Obama interview, Times Square in a thong?
My favorite moment from my baseball career was when people booed me at Shea Stadium in 1989, the day after a big brawl. I think 50,000 fans all chanted "DIBBLE" together. It was the only time I ever just walked in from the bullpen, and I had goose bumps.
In broadcasting, my favorite moments are my various interviews with Don Newcombe and Buck O'Neil because these guys played with and knew my favorite player, Jackie Robinson. They all were and are great Americans.
8. Of what are you most proud?
I'm most proud of my visit with our troops in Iraq in 2004. It was a life-changing experience. A lot of these kids were the same age as my own, and they were fighting and dying for our country. I'm proud to have met these heroes during my visits to the Forward Operating Bases in Iraq.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______________.
...a hug and kiss from my seventeen-month-old daughter, Coco.
10. What's the best advice you've ever gotten? The worst?
The best advice I've received: If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.
The worst advice: Go in and tell him you're sorry.