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Rob Dibble's strike zone is still weird

Played out? Never?

Earlier this spring, you'll recall, Rob Dibble called one pitch "way out of the zone," as MASN's Pitch Track showed it inside the strike zone. He also called a strike call "brutal," as MASN's Pitch Track showed it well within the zone.

Wednesday night, he flipped the script, on this ninth-inning pitch to Jerry Hairston.

"That's strike three!" he said. "C'mon! Ring him up! Man, [the umpire's] missed a lot of sliders tonight. Doesn't get any better than this right here," he said, as the replay began. "0-2 pitch, it's gonna go right across the plate."

Well, close enough. "Pitch was at least two feet outside," ESPN's Jorge Arangure observed on Twitter. Dibble's strike zone is going national!

Actually, I know this disqualifies me from the cool kid's club, but I think Dibble is growing on me again. Take away the "we," the growling and the celebrations, and I think I'd be ok. Witness this eighth-inning conversation, when Pudge Rodriguez awesomely approached the plate to "Rapper's Delight." (Or, as commenters point out, it wasn't actually "Rapper's Delight," and I now appear to be slightly less hip than Bob Carpenter.)

Dibble: Was that Rapper's Delight that he just walked up to the plate?

Bob Carpenter: Now how would I know that?

Dibble: C'mon, you know one of the first rap songs ever.

Carpenter: "We Are the World?"

Dibble: Grandmaster Flash? Sugarhill Gang, thank you.

Carpenter: You young people.

Dibble: Young people?

Carpenter: Where did we go wrong? You guys aren't listening to Perry Como like we did.

Dibble: That song's as old as some of your scorebooks over there. It's 30 years old.

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 8, 2010; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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That pitch in the 9th should have been a strike. The picture you show makes it looks worse than it actually was. It moved over the plate and ended at that target. Also, those strike zone things are BS... C'mon Bog, back off of Dibble, he's awesome. Don't become a Kornheiser-like hater.

That reminds me, why do you bash him for saying "we", "us", etc... that hometown bias is awesome. Why not support someone who legitimately supports the same team as us!!!!!!

I love your work tho.

Posted by: Smashionals | July 8, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I've always liked Dibble. There was 1 pitch last night Dibble was like "that was a strike" and in the replay Dibble walks through it and was like "Yea...BALL."

He adds insight to what the pitchers are going through that you just can't get from anyone else, especially old fart ex-managers. With so many young arms on this squad, Dibble makes the Nats much more watchable.

Posted by: HogsHaven | July 8, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Also, those strike zone things are BS..."

You are literally the first person I've ever heard say this. Care to back it up with anything concrete?

Posted by: McBride33 | July 8, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

That wasn't "Rapper's Delight" that was on when Pudge came to bat. It's a song called "The Message" and -- by total luck on Dibble's part -- it IS performed by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

I guess this explains why Dibble was the least of the Nasty Boys. Doesn't know the strike zone.

Posted by: redskinsfreak | July 8, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm cool with Dibble too. Local announcing teams are supposed to be homers and a little bit corny.

Best interaction was when they were catching us up on where John Patterson is and they mention that he married his wife, former Miss DC and 4th runner up in Miss America, and Carpenter says "and there she is..." clearly looking at a picture of her on their computer.

Posted by: pstew652 | July 8, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Wait, you a softening on Dibble? What next, Sweet Caroline can come back because removing hurt an usher's feelings?

Being a homer isn't wrong in and of itself, but coming from a meathead who never played/lived here it makes for pretty bad television.

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | July 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Actually, that first sentence doesn't help the meathead argument. What I should have written:

Wait, are you softening on Dibble?

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | July 8, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I heard the Rapper's delight exchange - didn't sound like it to me, but whatever.

Dibble is not awesome, but vodka + lemonade makes him bearable. I grew up with Harry Caray, so I get the homer thing. It's just that Dibble kind of sucks. So did Harry to be honest, but he had Steve Stone doing color - not Hawk Harrelson. And he was off getting drunk during the 4-6th innings so we got a break.

Entertaining? Sure. Meathead? Yep.

Posted by: tha_prophet | July 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Come on, we all know Dibble is good for the booth. Prior to his working in DC, I can't remember watching many games, but starting last season I always wanted my WDD (Weekly Dose of Dibble).

Baseball is a fun sport, and Dibble has fun in the booth. You can tell. And he is at that right age where he is young enough where he gets pop culture from now, and can still reference pop culture from the 90's 80's and 70's.

I mean do you want someone doing the broadcasting, who can't make a reference to anything pop-culture wise from the past 20 years? Do we want old and senile?

Posted by: alex35332 | July 8, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't Rappers Delight. It was Ice Cube - Check Yo Self (The Message Remix). (Sampled The Message as redskinsfreak said).

Posted by: Section138 | July 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I am so bummed I missed this, Dibble is awesome.

Posted by: capsfan772 | July 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Also, those strike zone things are BS..."

You are literally the first person I've ever heard say this. Care to back it up with anything concrete?

Posted by: McBride33 | July 8, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Let me be the second person to say it. Here's why. That pitch track they show on MASN does not define what's a strike. Neither does what's shown on the MLB Game Day or the Pitch f/x. The only thing that defines a strike is the umpire. The strike zone is not the little box you see on the screen that the ball either goes through or doesn't. The strike zone is a concept, totally defined by the home plate ump. So when Dibble or anyone else says "come on, that has to be a strike" he's saying it straight to the ump who is calling it. That's who he's arguing with, not the little box you see on the screen. Until MLB adopts some sort of automated calling of balls and strikes that is then fed into what you see on your TV screen, that little box you see that compels you to say Dibble is wrong is absolutely and totally meaningless. If you are using that to base your judgment of Dibble's commentary, then you're the fool, not him.

Posted by: nunof1 | July 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Dibble is great! Does Steinburg want some stiff in the booth? Ha-ter!

Posted by: Hondo5 | July 8, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the Official Rules of Major League Baseball define the strike zone. Umpires might ignore the rules, but that hardly makes them correct.

Rule 2.00 - The Strike Zone
The Strike Zone is defined as that area over homeplate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.

Posted by: cassander | July 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Layoff Dibble. He was the only reason some of our games were watchable last year. Considering that he replaced the ridiculously boring Don Sutton, and the alternative of Jim "Mr. Personality" Palmer, give the guy a break. I hope Dibble stays on for a long time.

Posted by: Andymr | July 8, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Ice Cube - Check Yo Self (The Message Remix).

That's what I was thinking too.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | July 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

And did they really cancel Sweet Caroline? Hilarious. Totally didn't notice that last weekend.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | July 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Steinz, it wasn't even rapper's delight being played, it was The Message by grandmaster flash...also nearly 30 years old.

And Dibble actually corrected himself and called that 9th inning pitch a strike when they reviewed it. Worth pointing out that at least he admits when he's wrong.

Posted by: Barno1 | July 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Totally agreee with everybody lovin' Dibble.

They call them color guys. Not Excruciatingly Boring That's the Cubed Concatenation of WAR/Slug Pct/Days Injured/Days Injured With Flu/Number of Seams Held on Fastball I Am Totally Objective No Team Is My Team Guys. The song says "root, root, root for the home team"; if you do not get that you are about as personable as a wall, trust me; and you BETTER be a homer if you are doing play or color for this VERY sophisticated (as opposed to numerically constipated) baseball fan.

LOVE the growlin'. YEAH! GIT UP! HAMMER! SMACKUM YACKUM! Take away the "we," the growling, the "BIG BAD DUNNNNNNNNNNN!" and the celebrations, and WHAT would there be to grow on you?

Please. Don't announce yourself a Joyless Seamhead. It is a GAME, ENTERTAINMENT, and FUN.

So's Dibble. Doub(b)le his salary! SMACKUM YACKUM!

Posted by: poorskins | July 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Dibble is posting under so many different names here!

Posted by: cassander | July 8, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"I can't believe Dibble is posting under so many different names here!"


I'm a former player; I'm fun; I'm homer as hell; and I am clearly a Rennusauce Man, or whatever that is! SO LAY OFF.




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Posted by: cookienihui | July 9, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Dibble adds a nice homer feel to the game. He is so excited when something good happens for the Nats it's great.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | July 10, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Dibble adds a nice homer feel to the game. He is so excited when something good happens for the Nats it's great.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | July 10, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

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