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Dibble and Knight debate Strasburg

Somewhere around the fifth or sixth inning of Wednesday's Strasmas, this odd concern was raised by Mark Zuckerman: maybe Strasburg was throwing too many strikes. From Mark's Twitter account:

Strasburg may be throwing too many strikes (63 of 78 pitches so far). He might need to try to make them chase more. Strasburg threw 16 straight strikes at one point. 3 hits came during that stretch.

Jose Guillen seemed to back up the point after the game, saying Strasburg "has a little to learn about how to pitch in certain counts," according to Zuckerman. And Ray Knight said the same on MASN's post-game show, arguing that Strasburg needs to make hitters go fishing on 0-2 and 1-2 counts.

Well, Rob Dibble disagreed. And what ensued was A+ regional sports network theater, with Dibble defiantly slouching lower and lower in his chair, gratuitously referring to Knight as "Ray" at least six times, and then finally busting out his World Series bona fides.

The video is above, but I think these screen shots, with dialog, maybe better capture the moment.

Initial irritation

Dibble: "I gotta disagree with Ray, you can never throw too many strikes....I thought Stephen had an amazing day, battled the heat, battled a slap-hitting Royals team, allowed one run. Stephen did his job, he just didn't get any run support....He is just a heck of a pitcher."

Escalating disagreement

Knight: "Well, of course Rob's gonna disagree with me because he's a pitcher."

Dibble: "No, I'm not disagreeing because I'm a pitcher. I thought that was one of his best outings, Ray."

Knight: "Oh it was a great outing. I didn't say anything negative about him. What I'm talking about, you get a hitter 0-2, me 0-2, you throw me a pitch fat over the plate and it's a strike, I'm gonna have a chance to put it in play."

Dibble: "Nah."

Knight: "Don't say no, Rob."

Ron Artest: "Say Queensbridge!"

Dibble: "Most of those hits weren't even hit hard, Ray. Ray. Whatever, Ray. That's fine."

Knight: "I didn't say that!"

Bob Carpenter: [Scanning room for escape routes in case Dibble draws.]


Dibble: "That's fine, you've got your opinion I've got mine

Knight: "I don't care, I'm not disagreeing with your opinion, I know that I'm right as a hitter."

Dibble: [Rolling eyebrows, openly scoffing, laughing in amazement.]

Knight: "If you make pitches fat on the plate, you're gonna get pieces of the ball. The reason you strike out is because you generally chase balls out of the strike zone, in a quadrant, in a different area. I loved the way he threw the baseball today. I'm just saying that when you get 0-2, 1-2, you better make a pitch, because it doesn't matter how hard you throw, somebody'll make contact."

Whip 'Em Out, Boys

Knight: "I got a base hit in the World Series that jammed me as big as anything, but it was a high fastball out over the plate."

Dibble: "That's all right, I got MVP in the playoffs, too, Ray, by striking guys out throwing strikes, so you've got your opinion, I've got mine....That kid did a great job. He did a fantastic job."

Knight: "You got it totally wrong. I didn't say he didn't do a great job. He did a fantastic job. I just said that some of those balls that were hit were balls that were a little fat."


Johnny Holliday: "Down goes Dibble! Down goes The Knight!"

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 23, 2010; 10:14 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Next: Ovechkin's endless acceptance speech


I would pay $100 to be able to read Bob Carpenter's mind during that exchange - more if we could have it on a crawl at the bottom of the screen during every game. This was TV Gold. Dibble is TV Gold. 100% chance Dibble throws at Knight's head if they ever meet en an Old Timer's game.

Posted by: kingrob76 | June 23, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Knight is correct. Stras will learn to waste a pitch at 1-2, 0-2. That is a minor quibble when one has pitched a 1-0 games. The major quibble is lack of team run support.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | June 24, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Telling Strasburg that he's got to throw more balls is like telling Ovechkin to ease up out on the's *possible* that it could do some good, but is that what you REALLY want?

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | June 24, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

You gotta love that these guys get so worked up about the the team. Pretty good stuff. Hope it flairs up somemore.
A nice boiling hot day and an issue of contention.

Posted by: ridgely1 | June 24, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Is Dibble trying to make weight for wrestling? What's up with the long sleeves shirt?

Posted by: Loggie1 | June 24, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love Dibble's professional TV "Yo, screw you" look on his face! And the long sleeves somehow make it even funnier. I love that guy!

Posted by: law3 | June 24, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

MASN is hiding Dibble's full arm tatoos.

Posted by: navboss | June 24, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The funny thing is Dibble probably lost a whole nights sleep on it too.

Chill out Dibble! Its not personal or anything...

Posted by: rademaar | June 24, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I side with Ray Knight here. You have to pitch different when the batter is in a hole 0-2 or 1-2, heck I learned that in Little League! Dibble is wrong, as a starter you have to work the batter because he will see you several times through the lineup, as a reliever you typically have guys on base so if you are a fireballer you go for strikeouts, two completely different animals. Ray 1 - Dibble 0

Posted by: markfd | June 24, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I too, thought Knight was making a good point.

Posted by: 23lil | June 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

If he doesn't throw strikes he will run his pitch count up and he won't make it to the 6th or 7th inning anyway.....

If those guys strike out, it was a great pitch. If they get a hit they were a bad pitches.....

Nobody seems to be talking about the bad call that actually gave Strasburg the loss..........

Posted by: punchdaclock | June 24, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

And once again, Bob Carpenter inserts his usual amount of insight into the conversation. "And that's it from the booth ... for just a little while."

When does MASN cut its losses and finally DFA this homer?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | June 24, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Knight was right on this, and Dibble was embarrassing, both in style and content. If Strasburg wants to be the superstar he has the ability to be, he's going to have to learn this kind of stuff. It doesn't mean he wasn't great yesterday Dibs, it just means he made some mistakes. And I appreciate a pro like Ray Knight pointing them out. Knight might be kind of a buffoon sometimes, but he knows alot about baseball. Alot more than Dibble. They should switch jobs.

Posted by: Section222 | June 24, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Knight is right. There's a difference between wasting a pitch and hitting a spot 2 inches off the black of the plate. Heck, from Dibble's ridiculously slanted point of view, 2 inches outside is a strike- or it will be once Strasburg is a veteran.

Posted by: GeorgeTowner2 | June 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

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