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Dibble discusses Strasburg's injury

Granted, Rob Dibble's opinion about Stephen Strasburg is a minor footnote to all the news coverage of the kid's elbow this week. Yes, there were a lot of jokes made about Dibble after the Tommy John diagnosis came down on Friday morning, but they were largely made by fans who were broken up over the thought of another lost Nats season, and by out-of-town smart-alecks. I don't think any Nats fans were deriving any pleasure out of saying "I told you so" to Dibble, and I'm positive that every Nats fan alive was crushed by the news.

Still, Dibble's comments on Monday generated a bunch of Internet discussion, so I figure I should record his post-diagnosis remarks.

As you'll see, Dibble believes people -- presumably including me -- twisted his previous remarks about Strasburg. I just went back and looked at my item again. I included 678 words from Dibble, in extensive context. I think he could possibly argue that the headline -- Rob Dibble to Stephen Strasburg: "Suck It Up" -- was needlessly sensationalistic, dropping all context from the money quote. I'd plead guilty to writing sensationalist headlines.

I also think you could very persuasively argue that if one were to transcribe the comments of anyone who talks for six hours a day, a few impertinent quotes would stand out, and that no one could possibly survive such an analysis unscathed. Ten years ago, you could conduct a radio career without fear of any quote showing up in print and then spreading virally, where far-off readers would see the quote without hearing the tone, or the context, or knowing the speaker. I completely sympathize with such a complaint.

But Stephen Strasburg was hot news this week. Rob Dibble is a D.C. personality. His comments on the issue were polarizing, and newsworthy. And I really don't think I quoted him unfairly, or even added a single sentence that was critical of the speaker. I just wrote down what he said.

Anyhow, Dibble was on Jim Bowden's Sirius XM MLB Network Radio Show on Friday afternoon, and was asked how he thinks Strasburg will fight back from this setback, in light of his previous comments.

"He's an absolute animal when he's on the field," Dibble said. "And to take my comments from Monday, my comments were made about a healthy, 100 percent, strong, strapping kid. And it was more so directed as a pep talk, it was never directed towards Stephen in general, it was more my own opinion. So on a baseball only, year-round show, on MLB Network Radio, it was more baseball-generated jargon by myself, my partner and the listeners.

"Now, to have someone transcribe that, twist it and say Dibble's telling Strasburg to suck it up, that wasn't the gist of the conversation. And to have sick individuals twist it to try to make me look bad, that's fine. You can hate on me all you want.

"But now there's a bunch of sick individuals in cyberspace that are deriving some kind of sick pleasure from this injury to this young man. This young man doesn't deserve any of that. He doesn't even deserve to have me in the same breath. What he deserves is people to just understand that it's a devastating injury to any athlete, especially one of his caliber."

The next question came from Bowden, who praised Dibble's work on both Sirius XM and MASN, and then asked how soon the Nats can contend.

"I think they can contend by next year, it depends on how many starting pitchers they pick up," he said. "Here's the scenario, I think....You could have Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Bernadina and Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, all ready for the 2012 season. And if you just look a little bit ahead, maybe past next year, and you look at what this franchise is gonna have just from that standpoint without even going out into the free agent world, they're very talented, they're very deep....

"It's a slow process. Major League Baseball had gutted basically the [franchise]. You did a great job, Jim, [and] Mike Rizzo's done a great job, they've rebuilt this system. It's not even there yet, and they've made great strides....I see the Nationals either next year or the year after definitely competing for the crown in the NL East."

And the next question concerned what the Nats can do to keep fans engaged during the 2011 season, which presumably will involve hardly any Strasburg or Harper.

"I think it really depends on what they do in the offseason, and what direction they go in," Dibble said. "Probably now you go after some younger free-agent type guys, maybe even a foundation of the rotation around Stephen and around Jordan Zimmermann and guys like that. Because they're so young. You're looking two years down the road maybe, you're saying Strasburg's gonna be back probably August, September next year.

"But there's no rush. He could be back by 2012, and Bryce Harper will be 19, your other guys will still be in their mid-to-late 20s. And for any sick individual that thought I didn't love watching this kid play every five days, I'd love to meet you alone somewhere. I mean, that's just sick. You know, that kid was as good as any young man I've ever seen at this level in my lifetime. And when he does come back, definitely when he comes back, the city and the town and the fans will definitely be ready to welcome him back."

There was more to the interview, both before and after these three questions.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 27, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Next: Tommy John wants to help Stephen Strasburg


Dibble literally said, "suck it up, kid." So what is Dibble's complaint? If I was part of the Nationals organization I would be furious. The context of Dibble comments were throwing Strasburg under the bus for not being "a man" about it. Not only is Dibble a liar for saying people are twisting his words, he should be on the next Southwest flight out of DC. He belongs on Eastbound and Down, as Kenny Powers' sidekick. He's a joke.

Posted by: johnc_80 | August 27, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Dibble literally said, "suck it up, kid." So what is Dibble's complaint? If I was part of the Nationals organization I would be furious. The context of Dibble's comments were throwing Strasburg under the bus for not being "a man" about it. Not only is Dibble a liar for saying people are twisting his words, he should be on the next Southwest flight out of DC. He belongs on Eastbound and Down, as Kenny Powers' sidekick. He's a joke.

Posted by: johnc_80 | August 27, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I love this part:

"And for any sick individual that thought I didn't love watching this kid play every five days, I'd love to meet you alone somewhere. I mean, that's just sick."

He wants to meet certain people alone somewhere... to do who knows what, yet these other people are the sick ones? Great perspective. He sounds on edge. Hey Dibs, you've stopped playing. There's no reason to be on the 'Roids!

Posted by: prokaryote | August 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Just fire this clown now, Angelos.

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | August 27, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Those two deserve each other.

Posted by: tha_prophet | August 27, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

basically, all Dibble is trying to say is... 'sick.'

Posted by: NatPack11 | August 27, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I still love ya Dibbs. Lot of fans do. Keep doing what you're doing, we don't have to agree with every single thing you do.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 27, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Dibble has said suck it up about a lot of current day players. He's not alone in thinking a lot of them may be tending to whine a bit prematurely - check out Nolan Ryan's attitudes about pitch counts and expectations of the Texas Ranger starters (200+ innings/year for their 1,2,3 starters and 180 innigs/year for their 4 & 5 starters). And I do think you fanned the flames on this and other Dibble-related comments, just by choosing to focus and write about his radio show and his words as if they were important news in an of themselves (and by putting things in bold font, etc.) Nevertheless, we are all bummed about Strasburg and Nats fans everywhere are going to have to deal with other fans laughing at us and chiding us for signing 'damaged goods', when we know that when a pitcher has poor mechanics, stuff happens.

Posted by: PostIDJYP | August 27, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't watch MASN until they fire Dibble. He needs to go.

Posted by: swanni | August 27, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and I still like Dibbs as a color guy. I appreciate his honesty and really don't like Ray Knight as color guy with Carpenter. I think it's pitiful if Stan Kasten can be so petty to go after MASN and Dibble for him expressing his opinion.

Posted by: PostIDJYP | August 27, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting take - suggesting that pitchers should get more work not less. I'm betting Dibble and Nolan Ryan would agree.

Posted by: PostIDJYP | August 27, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The ironic part here Steinbog is that Dibble was in the majors for only six seasons. His career was ended by an arm injury...

Posted by: CapsNut | August 27, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Dibble gets payed to be controversial. Not like he went don imus. People need to get over it. Dibble is a funny guy.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 27, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Let's face the facts: Dibble has danced on his dingus with golf shoes this time and calling his critics "sick" won't change the impact of his screed against SS. Let him go join Jim Bunning to chew on the carpet in the padded cell. The toothpaste is out of the tube -- he is not on the air tonight and I doubt if will ever return to NatsTown. To say his comments were directed at a fully healthy SS is completely bogus -- he knew there was a MRI exam coming but he couldn't wait to wave his manhood over SS broken elbow.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 27, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

By all means, lets remove anyone with a personality or anyone that speaks their mind from the media. God forbid I get to hear something entertaining during the error-fest that is Nats baseball these days. Someone like Dibble that says what he is thinking and also talks hours a day about baseball is going to upset people sometimes. Kasten and some fans just need to get over it, grow up for goodness sake. Or "suck it up", whichever you prefer.

Posted by: overhead | August 27, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

You're a sicko, Dan. You sickly quoted Dibble's exact words in the headline of your sick, twisted blog and then you sickly quoted a long passage of only the actual words he said so the rest of us sickos could draw our own sick, twisted conclusions.

He's right about one thing: I am really sick of his rants and whining about ball-strike calls. But I'm getting over it. I've got the MASN picture and iPhone sound thing down cold. With any luck I won't even notice when he's gone.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 27, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

By this time tomorrow, no one will care what Dibble said or didn't say! By October, Nats fans will have endured six LONG non-winning baseball seasons in NatsTown! Winning is EVERYTHING in professional sports which is what we haven't had here since the Nats came to town in 2005! That says it all!!!!

Posted by: blufre | August 28, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

The only ones that don't like Rob Dibble are self-important bloggers of the Nats, and the people who hang on their every word and can't think for themselves.

I think Dibs is great, and think Ray Knight is like listening to fingernails run down a chalkboard. I guess the bloggers want boring and uninteresting.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | August 28, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Dibble is a professional knucklehead who said something stupid and, like most people who get rightfully hammered in the media when they say something stupid, tried to claim that he was "taken out of context" and that it's the eeeevil media's fault.

Dibble: Suck it up and admit you made a mistake.

Posted by: theamazingmouse | August 28, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ladson of is reporting that Rob Dibble will not make next week's road trip with the Nationals and Ray Knight will be in the booth for at least the next week. Is Dibs being fired in slow motion?

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I do think too much is being made of Dibble's comments. He was really just discussing the difference between pain and injury. That is, you can play through pain. You can't play through injury. I really don't think it was any more than that.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 29, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Dibble's still 100% right no matter how much Natinal fans cry and pound their fists like little children.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 29, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Obviously the guy didn't know the full nature of his injury. He was speaking from past experience. I think Dibbs is totaly down with the team. By the way, on the Fan this morning, they had an interview with Tommy John,he discoursed and said for Parker and Parker to pass his number to Stephen if he could help. He would be "honored". Good stuff in the interview.

Posted by: ridgely1 | August 29, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

i understand Dibble's point, but it is what he said. instead of calling other people "sick," maybe he should just own up to it and admit that he was just making assumptions about the scenario and was completely wrong.

i mean, just looking at the rest of the article, Steinberg could easily have added another of the quotes: "Stop crying, go out there and pitch. Period." (though, from Dibble's perspective, i'm sure that would be sicker and more twisted...)

Posted by: bacaje | August 30, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Dibble was hired to give his opinions. Doesn't it make people uncomfortable if he is fired just because old man Lerner or Kasten or someone there didn't agree with his opinions?

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 30, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Better to remain silent and be thought a Dibble than to speak and remove all doubt.

Posted by: mdpilot | August 30, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Dibble is an idiot. He said exactly what the post said he said. He literally said part of it was on Strasburg and he needs to suck it up. And it wasn't taken out of context at all, because practically the whole monologue was posted.

What's funny is Dibble was basically calling Strasburg's toughness and manhood into question, but what kind of man is he? He was wrong, but instead of just giving a mea culpa, he's blaming and threatening people for quoting him? What a loser.

How hard is this: "Obviously I underestimated the seriousness of Strasburg's injury when I said he should have stayed in the game, and in trying to fill up a lot of airtime, I spoke a bit out of turn." Instead we got this: "Me Rob Dibble. Me no like when Steinberg use copy and paste for embarrass me in my dumbness. We fight if I see in outside. GRRRRR."

Posted by: grimesman | August 30, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

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