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Rob Dibble's Strasburg media criticism

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)

Rob Dibble loves the media, usually thinks media members do an absolutely swell job covering baseball matters, and would have been either a newspaper writer or a classics professor had the relief pitching not worked out, but some of the Stephen Strasburg coverage got ol' Dibs a little riled up this week. Turns out someone asked a question he didn't appreciate on Sunday, and Dibble would like that unidentified media members to be cast to the Milton Bradleys of the world

"Some knucklehead asked him yesterday, 'Well, did you not want to have the mound fixed because somebody might think you think you're a hotshot young pitcher?' " Dibble said on Monday's Mike Wise Show. "And I was thinking, 'You know what? Why don't you just take that question and go ask Milton Bradley something.'

"This kid deserves better than that. He's not asking for all of this attention. He just wants to try to be the fifth starter on the Nationals team, and yet it's almost like the media doesn't know how to handle themselves around this kid....

"He just wants to be part of the ballclub. I think he's never gonna be. It's like LeBron James on the Cavaliers. He's always gonna be a little bit different, yet he's trying to act normal. It's everybody else around him that can't act normal."

Yeah. Freaks. Still, Dibble acknowledged that maybe there are some differences with this young man, saying the Nats could have taken him out early when he was struggling with the mound, in order to protect their investment.

"From a business standpoint, you get him out of the game just because it was a cruddy mound," Dibble said. "Hopefully the next time he throws, give both pitchers a better landing zone. I mean, I was worried about [David] Huff, I'm worried about Storen, I was worried about the other guys that came in for the Indians. They tried to make it seem like Stephen was more important than anybody else, and he just wanted everybody to know that listen, college has cruddy mounds, high school has bad mounds. You're in the big leagues, you should be able to have a nice mound to throw off."

Wise asked Dibble if he could throw as fast as Strasburg, and he said he "clocked up there in the 100s" during his prime, but that he couldn't maintain it past five innings the way Strasburg can. He also said he was "told to go out there and act like this is your last day on the planet, and play that way," which is why his velocity was always up there. And he didn't seem to have any patience for Indians fans who were not feeling Strasburg.

"Yeah, there are some Cleveland fans that probably went there just to say, 'Oh, there's no way he's that good,' " Dibble said. "And then there's other people that want him to fail. And then there's the good fans; they appreciate how talented this young man is."

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 14, 2010; 4:33 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Next: Authenticating Strasburg balls and dirt


The question poised to Stras about the mound is perfectly legit and a big F U to Dibble for playing the overly-sensitive homer card. Dibble obviously has a lot more to learn about credibility and impartiality than he would care to admit.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | June 14, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry MACCchamp, the question first of all was hard to parse. Strasburg did not want the mound fixed (first part of stupid question)? Of course he did. One gets injured on cruddy mounds like that. Second part-because he did not want to seem like a hotshot pitcher? One, he is a hot shot pitcher, two he doesn't care one way or another about perceptions-he wants to win games. It was a stupid "gotcha" attempt of a question and Dibbs was perfectly correct in calling out the so called jounalist.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | June 14, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@ adharwick: Perfectly stated.

@ Macchamps04: yeah let's attack our local announcers if they are too pro-local teams. Let's attack Buckhantz and Chenier and Johnny Holiday and George Michael and Sonny Jergenson and Sam Huff while we're at it. I just hate it when the announcers of my team share the same fondness of my teams as I do. You are the definition of a moron.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 14, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

While we're at it, I just hate how all these American sportscasters sound like they are pro-U.S team when talking about the World Cup. What is wrong with these guys?!? Just like we locals don't like hearing our local announcers show pride in our local teams, same goes for national pride. ESPN guys displaying a sense of relief when Tim Howard announced he will play Friday. WTF?

Posted by: Barno1 | June 14, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I just spoke to a guy today who tore his MCL in college because of a poor landing area on a mound. You may think it isn't a big deal, and if you do, then you've never pitched before. If you have to change your mechanics in order to ensure that your foot is hitting the hole that someone else put down, that screws up a whole lot. Your stride will be different, your legs will be different, your arm angle will be different, leading to potential issues.

If you watched the one pitch where his follow through looked all goofy, his foot landed on the high, outside ridge of a landing hole. Evidently, this was a hole created by the other guy, or his foot would have fallen in the middle of the hole. His foot also slipped down the ridge, either because it was a ridge or because the soil was poor. There was a potential for injury to both his ankle and his knee on that pitch.

So, in order to compensate for the issues on the mound, he has to change something. Once he does that, all bets are off.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | June 14, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

As someone who pitched for their hs team, let me just say that the mound makes a world of difference! If my left foot can't land soundly, it affects the release of the ball out of my hand. In addition it can cause me to sprain an ankle. I remember one mound where by like the 5th inning the hole was so deep, I had to be careful not to throw too hard or else I'd fall flat on my face. Of course they didn't have the equipment to fix the hole so I'd have to take my cleats and spend the time trying to fix it myself. It's a pitcher's nightmare.

Posted by: Thundershock | June 14, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Barno: Obviously your post was tongue-in-cheek, but it does kind of reminded me of how Caps fans acted back in February. Back during the Olympics, the American born fans of the Caps were all anti-American and pro-Soviet. Obviously it was because of the Commie-born Ovechkin, Semin, and others on the team, but they actually got mad when someone questioned their loyalty. They felt like they were rooting for "a team" and not "a country". Obviously these people are a bunch of globalists who have no sense of national pride. It made me sick. I haven't seen this (yet) in the World Cup, which is a good thing.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 15, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I guess I’m a little off by myself but I tend to think that the Dibble/Carpenter team is two of the worst announcers in baseball, first off they are way too negative to “certain players” on the team (Nyger Morgan), They give certain players (Dunn) a pass all the time, and the need to take a lesson from the Baltimore announcers.

Posted by: Badwisky | June 15, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't blame the Nats for Carpenter/Dibble (who I don't think are as bad as people say they are). It was ANGELOS who created MASN, and it was MASN who got these guys. The Nats probably hired Slowes/Jagler, and they do an excellent job.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 15, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Carpenter/Dibble are as bad as People say and agree about Slowes/Jagler

Posted by: Badwisky | June 15, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I guess we are all assuming that Stras is incapable of answering a silly question like an adult and that he should be automatically shielded and defended from such. It's pretty simple: reporter makes silly question about the mound, and Stras says "You know, you might not realize it but it's extremely important that mound is in good shape. Not only can I hurt my knee or my ankle but it affects my release point and I could hurt my hip as well. The spotlight is gonna be on me anyway, so I shouldn't worry what others in the league think about me, especially a garbage club like Cleveland."

Pretty simple, huh? But nah, let's just shoot the messengers. Idiots.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | June 15, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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