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Q and A with Manager Harry Gurley

June 6, 2011

POWER manager Harry Gurley has a wealth of baseball knowledge, having coached at various levels, from high school to the Division I college level to minor league ball to summer collegiate ball. He took a couple of minutes out of his busy day to sit down with me and answer a few questions.

Kevin Seefried: Are there any specific players that seem to be on the verge of breaking out and having big improvements with the POWER this season?

Harry Gurley: Well, we hope so. We’re high on Glover and we hope that he will really come on and be a good player for us. You know I can throw out a lot of names, but right now we’re hoping everyone will continue to improve. That’s one of our objectives: that the players improve on their skills and that when they leave here they’re a better player than when they started.

KS: Is there a different way that you hold yourself around the locker room and interact with the players as a pitching coach versus as a manager?

HG: I try not to, I just try to be myself and hope the players will accept what we’re doing. It’s hard work, but we want it to be fun also. I’m certainly not the manager that Tom Gamboa was, he could tell funny stories before a game and he certainly kept the players loose and I’m not that type of manager. I like to have fun with it, but I’m pretty serious and I like to win every game that we can win.

KS: How are you relying on your returning players to help the new ballplayers adjust to the new team and new environment?

HG: Well, we have named them captains. They will show leadership in the locker room and on the field. They’re very intelligent players and I think it will rub off on the other players. Of course they can go to them for advice,  where to go eat, what’s expected of them. We’ve got great leaders and I’m real proud of those players that are returning.

KS: How do P.J. Jimenez and Dan DiPace add to your staff?

HG: It’s a great staff. Both of those guys bring a lot. Dan has a tremendous amount of experience. He played minor league ball for several years. He’s coached and managed independent league teams, professional teams. He was a fine hitter, a base runner, so he brings a lot that he can share with these players and help them improve. P.J.– he’s the youngster of the crowd. He played here for three years, just graduated from college. He’s a very hard worker. And you know, he was the team captain the year that we won the championship. He’s going to help show the players leadership and what hard work can do.

KS: What distinguishes coaching with the POWER here in Palm Springs at this summer collegiate level from the other teams you’ve worked with?

HG: Are you insinuating that I can’t keep a job? That I’ve moved around so much? (Laughs) POWER baseball—to me—is one of the most fun places I’ve ever been. I really enjoy Palm Springs, I enjoy working with the players and staff. The interns here are great. The full time staff is great. I love this ballpark—being a pitching coach, basically, it’s a great pitcher’s park, so I love it. I just like coming here. Summer baseball is so much fun. If you coach in the Midwest, you’re always fighting weather and you get a loud of rain out games and things change and its hard to get practice, and here—sure, we fight a little heat, but to me it’s not that bad. And we adjust a little bit, but the weather is not a major factor. We play a lot of home games; we don’t have to do a lot of bus rides. Andrew Starke brings in some excellent players. He is president and general manager, does a great job recruiting players. Every year we put a good ballclub on the field. I feel very fortunate to be able to work for the Palm Springs POWER.

KS: On a quick non-POWER note, I’d love to hear a little bit about one of your pupils from Ohio State, Cory Luebke, who’s looked good so far this season pitching in relief for the San Diego Padres after debuting last September.

HG: When I was at Ohio State, Cory was Big Ten pitcher of the year. He’s quite a competitor, got a good head on his shoulders and a lot of talent. I’m really pleased, but not surprised that he made the big leagues. I felt like he had the talent to do it. I’m just wishing him well, that he keeps up the good work, continues to pitch well, and hopefully becomes a star.

Thanks to Harry for taking the time to chat with me. Stay tuned for more POWER Q and A’s throughout the season.

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