View Full Version : Ruhle Back With Reds

08-18-2006, 08:14 PM

CINCINNATI -- Cancer treatments had noticeably taken some weight off pitching coach Vern Ruhle and hampered his endurance.

But back with the Reds on Friday for the first time since Spring Training, Ruhle couldn't help feeling great.

"It's been a fun day," Ruhle said. "There's been a lot of smiles and visiting with the different players. A few last year and some even this year that have known about what I've gone through have given big hugs and [said], 'Great to see you,' and so on."

Last week, Ruhle had a check-up at Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and was told he was showing solid improvement.

"'I don't need to see you until after the season is over,'" Ruhle said the doctor told him.

The 55-year-old wasted little time. He quickly called Reds manager Jerry Narron and asked if he could come back to work. Ruhle, who spent some of Friday's pre-game time monitoring bullpen sessions and pitchers' batting practice, will be with the club for the six-game homestand but not travel on the next road trip. Nothing else was planned beyond that.

"We're just elated that he's here," Narron said.

"To see him in uniform and on the field is awesome," reliever Todd Coffey said.

The undisclosed form of cancer kept Ruhle away from baseball, but never too far from the game. As he spent three months confined to the hospital bed undergoing a myriad of treatments and dealing with their side effects, he monitored games over the Internet and on television. He regularly received phone calls and e-mails from the coaching staff, especially interim pitching coach Tom Hume.

It was baseball that kept Ruhle positive.

"It was something that really helped me throughout the summer in the healing process," he said. "I always had something to talk about that was very neutral in the eyes of the doctors, the nurses and the visitors. We could always talk about something other than my medical aspect of what's going on and what was and wasn't working."

In a unique perspective of how massive changes have been to the Reds' roster this season, Ruhle found he was introducing himself to many new players. Most of the bullpen had turned over since March.

"This is baseball," Ruhle said laughing. "You have to find a way to survive and to win. It's about winning. People remember you as a winner and that's what we're striving to put on the field."

With the focus on his completely beating cancer, it wasn't yet known whether Ruhle would be on the Reds' coaching staff next season.

"All the medical things have been going so well," he said. "I hope that I would be considered in that role [as pitching coach]. We'll see what happens."

08-18-2006, 08:22 PM
This is great news! Let's hope he can do some fine-tuning and get more out of some arms that need a boost.

08-18-2006, 08:24 PM

Team Clark
08-18-2006, 09:41 PM
No question he has fought hard. His situation was "grave" for nearly a full month. Having the attitude that he has most certainly helped. I hope he makes it all the way back.

08-18-2006, 09:51 PM
This is really great to hear.



08-18-2006, 10:30 PM
Good luck, Vern.

Welcome back.

08-18-2006, 11:22 PM
I think Ruhle's absence has been a factor in the pitching problems this year. I have absolutely no faith in Tom Hume as a pitching coach FWIW.

God Bless you, Vern and welcome back.

08-19-2006, 01:42 AM
No love for Hummer? '06 staff features the best Red's rotation in years. And the bullpen's struggles could be traced to Tom focusing on the starters

Not bad for a guy who stepped into the big shoes with no advanced warning

Great to see Vern back in the dugout, tonight

08-19-2006, 08:00 AM
Welcome back, Vern - our brief glimpse at your talents at the tail end of last year made our mouths water for more.

08-19-2006, 08:29 AM
Maybe he can pitch. I'm sure he could throw as hard as Michalak

Team Clark
08-19-2006, 02:18 PM
Maybe he can pitch. I'm sure he could throw as hard as Michalak

Vern has some "filthy stuff"... Maybe he could close?

max venable
08-19-2006, 02:23 PM
No love for Hummer?
Nobody said they don't like hummers. ;)