2013 in Review: A Conversation with Bob Wease (Part 2)

2013 in Review: A Conversation with Bob Wease (Part 2)

 

Earlier this week, Turks staff writer Chase Kiddy and head coach Bob Wease sat down to reflect on the 2013 summer season. In the second portion of this 30-minute interview, Chase and Bob analyze the team’s regular and post-season performance, briefly preview the 2014 iteration of the Harrisonburg Turks and take a glimpse into the mind of the dugout philosopher Bob himself.

 

Chase Kiddy: So, I got to ask you a tough question here, Bob. 32 regular season wins, but this team was swept in the first round of the playoffs.

Bob Wease: Yeah.

CK: Would you call this season a success?

BW: Yes, definitely.

CK: Why?

BW: Because the best team in the Valley League is the team that wins the whole thing, I mean as far as the Pennant goes. You play 44 games, and over that schedule, you find out who is the best team. The team that finishes in first place with the best record after 44 games is the best team. Anybody can get in the playoffs and win. Covington won it a couple years ago, and they barely got into the last playoff spot. It’s crazy. You know how playoff baseball works.

CK: It’s just like the MLB or NHL playoffs.

BW: Anybody can win the playoffs. The team that distinguishes itself with the best record in 44 games is definitely the best team, over a 44-game schedule. And that’s what we’ve done over the last three years. We’ve had the best team in the Valley for the last three years. And the best players.

CK: You told me on the first day of the playoffs that you thought the winner of the Harrisonburg-Waynesboro series was going to win the championship.

BW: I told you that, yeah.

CK: And I distinctly remember, I looked at you like you were crazy. And you were totally right!

BW: I knew whoever won the series between Harrisonburg and Waynesboro would win it all, because I know Mike like the back of my hand. I  know how he pushes players. But Waynesboro didn’t have near the baseball club that Harrisonburg had this year. And if you look at the stats, the pitching stats, the batting averages, the ERA and everything. That’s a fact. They had good ball players, that kid from Stetson Patrick Mazeika, he was a good player. The third baseman Iac [Anthony Iacomini] was a good player.  Corey Armentrout did a great job for them. But as a team, I didn’t think they were better than us. Anybody that gets into the playoffs can win them. All it takes is a bad game–

CK: Like the first game of the Harrisonburg-Waynesboro series.

BW: Right. We gave up 13 walks, made five errors, and we only got five hits. Now how do you win a ball game like that? You can’t. It’s impossible. You can’t put 18 men on base and only get 5 hits and win a ball game.

CK: Yeah. So you just think it was the right confluence of circumstances?

BW: That’s just the way it happened. The second night, we scored three runs down there and went out in front 3-2. We got to the ninth inning; we should have won that game. But we didn’t. Bases loaded, and the guy hits a line drive past the second baseman. It’s fate. It’s just how the game is played. But that doesn’t mean Waynesboro is a better ball club than we are because they beat us 2 in a row in the playoffs. Rockbridge beat the Turks three times in the first three games of the season. Rockbridge only won, what, 12 or 13 games all summer?

CK: That’s right. Something like 25% of Rockbridge’s wins were against Harrisonburg.

BW: Off of Harrisonburg, yeah. Simply because that’s the way the ball bounces. All it takes is a line drive, a past ball.

CK: So next season we talked a bit about lots of people coming back, potentially. Have you started on any recruiting stuff?

BW: Oh yeah.

CK: I figured you had, knowing you like I do.

BW: I’ve already started, I’ve called Wake Forest and Georgia Tech and Auburn and all of those places.

CK: Anything exciting that you want to share?

BW: They’re gonna look at all their players. It’s hard to get them in August — you can’t even sign them until after September 1. But I’m sure we’ll be getting players from all those teams again. Those teams always send me players, and hopefully we’re fortunate enough to get Justin Camp, Connor Kaden, Garrett Ford, and five or six more of those pitchers.

CK: I feel like every year I see a lot of ACC names, good Auburn names.

BW: If we get lucky, we get most of those players back, we’ll be right where we left off this year. We’re gonna be right there again.

CK: Are you coming back next year?

BW: Sure. I’m only 29 years old! Why wouldn’t I come back?

CK: I don’t know!

BW: Do I seem old to you?

CK: Not even remotely. I watch you out there!

BW: Let me tell you something. Age is just a number, just a figment of your imagination.

CK: I’m with you on that. I’m in my 20s, but my hairline is 45.

BW: A man can be 80 years old and be 50 at heart. If he’s still got his body mechanics and able to throw batting practice… why would you want to quit? You go through this life one time, and if you’re able to do what you want, do it as long as you can…. look at the people that are 70 years old, who get up and look around and think, ‘what the hell am I gonna do today?’ Their mind dies. No, I’m not quittin. How many people at 70 can say they’re happy with what they’re doing? I don’t want for a thing.

CK: We should all be so lucky some day.

BW: And a lot of this Turks stuff all goes back to [Operations Director/Bob’s Wife] Teresa. It’s not the idea of coaching third base, you know? Any dumbie can go out to third base and wave your arm so someone can score, give a sign to bunt or whatever. But the real brains behind the Turks and making the people happy and making it a family organization is Teresa. She does all that work, all the promotions, all that stuff. Without her, I could not do this. I mean, I could get players, but…

CK: On an organizational level, she runs things with a high degree of proficiency.

BW: On an organizational level, she definitely runs the Turks.

CK: Of course, I see how much work she puts in, because, you know, she’s my boss.

BW: Sure.

CK: Well, I don’t because I’m not here [at the car lot] all the time. But when I’m around, she’s always working. She’s my boss.

BW: I’m really happy. She’s Bob Wease. She runs it. She doesn’t do the players or the coaching, but she keeps me in line. When I get upset, start using four-letter words–

CK: Which you’ve done from time to time.

BW: Sure will.

CK: Every once in a while. What’s your off-season plans?

BW: Sit here on the computer. Talk to every baseball player across the country.

Bob’s son, Matt Wease enters the room briefly to grab a set of keys.

CK: You’re not going on vacation or anything?

BW: No, no. I mean, we might go somewhere for a few days.

MW: Bob, go on vacation? That’s a good joke.


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