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Dibble situation still unclear

In a situation that remains odd, to use one word, MASN color analyst Rob Dibble did not join the Nats on their road trip this week. The official explanation is still that he asked for some days off and has been granted them.

It's unclear how many days off he requested, but in the meantime Dibble continues to do his morning show on SIRIUS XM's MLB Network Radio, where vague references to his situation have dotted the broadcast. Monday, for example, Dibble was discussing the way young pitchers are brought along in pro baseball, mentioning that a 30 percent annual increase in innings pitched is now the rule of thumb.

"It depends on if the 30 percent increase is going from 100 innings to 130 innings," Dibble said. "Okay, that's a little bit ridiculous. You need to start getting starting pitchers up to the 200-inning mark....

"If Nolan Ryan told you to pitch with a little bit of pain...would you listen to him? And it's only because people hate me and hate that it comes from my mouth -- that you're going to have to learn your body and have to play through certain pain and injury -- that people hate it. But if Nolan Ryan told a pitcher in that organization, [or if Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux] came on here and said, 'Pitch as long as you can pitch, we'll let you know when you're done," you would listen. Take it from those guys. They know a lot more about it than I do.

His co-host on this morning then jokingly told Dibble that he still loves him.

"Thank you," Dibble joked back. "Oh I don't need people to love me. It's just when you start saying 'Listen, this ex-baseball player is talking baseball, don't listen to him.' Is that asinine or what? That cracks me up."

"I think you'll be okay. Don't worry about it. It'll be fine," the co-host said. Dibble agreed, and then seemed to object to the notion that he shouldn't express opinions on his own show.

"People see the difference, Rob," his co-host said. "People know. The one thing that I've found out doing this for 27 years now: Fans are smart. They see when someone's being censored. They want people to say what they're all thinking. Now, it doesn't mean that we're always right, doesn't mean that they're always right, but they want someone on that broadcast [who's honest], which is why they love homers a lot of times on broadcasts. They want someone to say what they're thinking and feeling. And they know when somebody is putting the censorship down on that. They get it. They understand that."

Later, a caller to the program mentioned Strasburg as part of a larger discussion on pitching.

"Let's take him out of it," Dibble said. "Let's not even discuss him anymore."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 30, 2010; 11:32 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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I think Dibble is great. Love his "quotes" and baseball knowledge. Good luck Dibs, hope it all works out.

Posted by: JIMMURPHY1 | August 31, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Dibble has forgotten more about baseball than all Natinal fans baseball knowledge combined.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 31, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Kasten is going to have to come up with a set of acceptable talking points for the next guy, he should also set up a delay and a cut off button like Pig Vomit had in the Howard Stern movie. Will the replacement need to get pre-approval from all the sensitive blogger types who have been calling for Dibble's dismissal?

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | August 31, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

The people who don't like Dibble are the same people who are offended by shows like South Park....and those aren't my kind of people. Dibble stays. That is all....carry on....

Posted by: fushezzi | August 31, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

You'd think the Post would've published a news story -- and not just rely on blogger Dan -- about Dibble not joining Bob Carpenter on the Nats' current road trip. Doesn't have to be a long story, but it's definitely newsworthy and worth investigating for the benefit of all 5,000 of us who watch and listen to Bob and Rob each and every night. Instead, the Post feeds us a dozen stories a day about the Skins, and the official start to their season is still 2 weeks away.

Posted by: HonestBroker1 | August 31, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out why people are defending Dibble. Despite having been a MLB pitcher and having access to the team, Dibble's "analysis" is primarily macho cliches that are poorly thought out and easily contradicted by facts.

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | August 31, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Dibble is so last week. Shouldn't you be transcribing every word out of Mike Wise right now?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 31, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Grunts trump facts any day, doubleuefwhy. You can't argue with a grunt.

Posted by: FeelWood | August 31, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Does his co-host have a name?

Posted by: RiverOtis | August 31, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed in the nats that they would take the best color guy they have in the booth out because they don't like what he says.


I will tell you what Ted and Jack would have done. They would have been in the booth later that day talk to Dibbs man to man.

I hate those who oppress free speech. And the lack of spine when it comes to standing up for Americans values is why the MLB has slipped below football in terms of popularity.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe that blowhard Dibble could actually compare himself to Nolan Ryan.

Posted by: stwasm | August 31, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

He was comparing his opinion to Nolan Ryan's not his playing ability.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse


Dibble had an unpopular opinion, and is suspended and possibly fired.

Mike Wise, makes up a story and puts it out there and all he has to do is apologies, no suspension nothing.

Its a F***ed up world. I realize that there is some differences there between the two. But none the less worth looking at.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Dibble is right. Lerner and Kasten are screwing him over for expressing an unpopular opinion, not on MASN but on another show. That other show was part of Dibble's deal with MASN. Do you support this treatment of Dibble, Steinberg? You obviously don't like the guy. But censorship is okay except when it comes to someone censoring you?

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 31, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise is actually a better features reporter than a columnist. He's not the brightest bulb, has trouble speaking in complete sentences on his radio show and his columns aren't very original. If I were Marcus Brauchli, I'd take away Wise column and make him a regular reporter, with an emphasis on sports features and human interest stories. The problem with this idea, though, is he's lost the trust of the readers with his Twitter experiment.

Posted by: HonestBroker1 | August 31, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

poguesmahone: I don't think Dibble should be suspended or fired over his Strasburg comments. I generally don't like Dibble's macho crap, but in this case I like the fact that he was publicly expressing what a lot of people were thinking about modern day pitchers being soft. The problem with his comments, of course, was the timing because, as it turned out, Strasburg was seriously injured, but Dibble didn't know that at the time.

Regarding "censorship," I don't think I'd go as far as to call what the Nats are doing to Dibble as censorship. I usually reserve the "censorship" charge to when the government gets involved, threatening legal action and prison if someone or some organization writes or says something the government doesn't like. The Nats obviously didn't like what Dibble said about Strasburg, and I think they're being thin-skinned about the matter. But, even if Dibble loses his job over the matter, he still has his radio gig and will probably get picked up by another team as a color guy. That doesn't rise to "censorship" in my book.

Posted by: HonestBroker1 | August 31, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

This is so absurd. Peeps should be more alarmed at Mike Rizzo fielding a minor league pitching staff at Nats Stadium, then the few words Rob Dibble has to offer. The Nats are close to being the worst team in baseball again folks. Rob Dibble aint the problem.
Lets try and keep it real!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | August 31, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Dibble is such an idiot. This wasn't about a pitcher pitching through minor aches and pains. He has a torn ligament in his elbow. He has to resort to surgery whose best case scenario has him coming back in a year. If Nolan Ryan told a guy to pitch through pain, and then that pain turned out to be a symptom of a torn ligament, I'd probably say Nolan Ryan was wrong, too.

"The people who don't like Dibble are the same people who are offended by shows like South Park....and those aren't my kind of people."

Get out of here. Don't ever compare Dibble to South Park. Anyone who likes South Park, i.e., likes humor that is actually funny, pointed, envelope-pushing, and "smart" without being overly cerebral or taking itself too seriously, SHOULD be offended by Dibble's idiotic lame sense of humor, and his pathetic attempts to defend his idiotic statements.

Posted by: grimesman | August 31, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

This may be a first. Poopy, Fushezzi, and Barno all in agreement on the same thread.

Bottom line: Dibble isn't going anywhere, get used to it.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 31, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Dibble should be fired. This is more than criticism of the team. When a young pitcher is discouraged from going to the training staff with a serious injury for fear of being called out as a wimp by the team's TV announcer, the possibility exists that these guys could hurt themselves more seriously. Dibble's comments about Strasburg were uninformed and hostile. Not to mention sneaky, because he kept his mouth shut on the Nationals telecast, and waited until he was on his national radio show to 'call Strasburg out' for having the nerve to summon the trainer when he had an injury serious enough to require Tommy John surgery.

There is more at stake here than just 'censorship' for an announcer calling a guy out for making a bad play.

Posted by: raymitten | August 31, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Nyger Morgan misses a fly ball and throws his mitt down in a hissy fit (a bush-league move that would get any little leaguer tossed) not to mention giving up an inside the park home run on the play but he isn't even set down for a single game.

Jim Riggleman uses up all his available players on his abusrd double switches so he has nobody to play right field in the bottom of the 9th with the Nats leading and so he has to play Christian Guzman in right who on the first ball hit to him with 2 outs in the 9th drops the ball and the Nats lose. And not only isn't Riggleman shellacked by the GM, he is told great job we want you back for next year.

Rob Dibble does the unthinkable, he critisizes Stephen Strasburg who I think the Nats have actually gotten people here to believe is the 2nd coming of God. Well you can't critisize God can you. So Dibble, who hasn't killed anyone last I looked, is sat down for giving his opinion, when he is guilty of nothing but bad timing.
What a town. What a team.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | August 31, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse


Censorship doesn't have to be from the government, though I agree that when it is its much worse. But corporate censorship is more dangerous in this country, why, because Corporate censorship can be enforced through the law, its a loophole in our freedom of speech laws. If you talk smack about Disney and they don't like it, they will sue you and win.

Part of the reason that we see so much of the government being privatized is that a contractor can keep better go after whistle blowers through the legal system than the government is able too.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Dibble is probably already gone. He's a broadcaster, still under contract to MASN for one more year after this one. But broadcast organizations change direction all the time, pulling talent off their air while continuing to pay them for the duration of their contract. Usually broadcast talent has what is called a non-compete clause in their contract which forbids them from going to work for a competitor during the contract period and often forbids them from making any public comments about their situation. In recent years we have seen this kind of thing happen with the old WJFK talent when CBS Radio made the shift to sports, to Doug McKelway of ABC7 when he made some comments that management didn't like, and to weatherman Bob Ryan as he shifted from channel 4 to channel 7 and was off the air for several months in between. When management changes direction like this, they generally don't make an announcement about what happened to the old talent. They just move on in whatever new direction they've decided to go. So in the Dibble affair, the wise course would be for viewers to get used to the Carpenter-Knight broadcast booth and the Holliday-Wood pregame/postgame show for the rest of this season, and start wondering who MASN will be programming for next season. Don't look for Dibble's name to ever be mentioned on MASN again, and don't look for any direct comments from Dibble about MASN either - at least not until his non-compete is over.

Meanwhile, Steinberg needs to get over his Dibble obsession and start reporting the Mike Wise story. Where are the transcripts of his daily radio show, CheeseBoy?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 31, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Censorship doesn't have to be from the government"

Great, we have another Sarah Palin who thinks he is Shakespeare.

But a dictionary. It is not censorship. If you don't like me saying something in your house, you can kick me out. That may be what MASN is doing to Dibble. It's legal, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with freedom of speech (as you also seem to think). Dibble still has the right to say whatever the heck he wants. MASN just doesn't have to pay the guy or put him on the air.

Posted by: prokaryote | August 31, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Censorship is generally tied to the actions of a government. Here the "government" agent is the President of NatsTown.

It reminds me of the incident in 1966 when Red Barber commented on the low attendance (416 paid!) at a meaningless Yankees game at the end of the season. Following the game, the Yankees' owner, CBS, told Red that his contract would not be renewed for the following season.

I disagree with what Dibs said, but I will defend to his death the right for hime to say it!

Posted by: ramgut | August 31, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Dibbs, I love that you speak your mind. But you gotta "man up" and admit that you had this one wrong.

Posted by: shanks1 | August 31, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Look, MASN knew that he had a radio show when he hired him and his deal clearly allows for that. For them and the Nats to now be screaming about something he said on the radio show is extremely disingenuous.....

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 31, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm just not seeing why Dibble is worth the hassle at this point.

I'm pretty sure you can hire any roided up meathead to say "Girls shouldn't be babbling about shopping at baseball games" and "tough it out wuss."

The next time Rob Dibble says something insightful will be the first.

Posted by: jbanks979 | August 31, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"Oh I don't need people to love me. It's just when you start saying 'Listen, this ex-baseball player is talking baseball, don't listen to him.' Is that asinine or what? That cracks me up."


Just because you're an ex-baseball player doesn't mean you're not a complete moron.

Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | August 31, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with what Dibs said, but I will defend to his death the right for hime to say it!
Posted by: ramgut | August 31, 2010 12:16 PM
..... as well as the right of his employer to discipline or fire him for non-compliance with employment conditions, I presume.

Posted by: shanks1 | August 31, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey Stan, get over it. He's the color analyst, not the team doctor!

Posted by: richs91 | August 31, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Great, we have another Sarah Palin who thinks he is Shakespeare."

WTF you talking about, Palin probably loves corporate censorship it falls into her greed is god ideology. Her flaw is she is too dumb to see the difference between when a corporation does it vs the government doing it, she assumes its always the Gov.

I said its legal, I am saying its not right, especially for a broadcast company.

I suggest you look up the term too, as I did after you suggested, nowhere in the definition of censorship is the word government mentioned.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I hope next year's broadcast team is Carpenter and Knight with Johnny and Phil Wood doing the studio work. Dibble will continue to say what he wants to on his radio show and MASN can't censor him from doing it. He's definitely run his course doing Nats games and he's very second rate when you compare him to color commentators Buck Martinez and Mike Flanagan on MASN's other flagship station. It's pretty apparent he's been told to keep him mouth shut about the Strasburg comments and don't expect an on air apology from him if he's back in the booth.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 31, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I like Dibble, but he needs to say that he was wrong. Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery..... So Dibble needs to man up and admit that he made a mistake and was wrong. Don't go talking about someone and you were wrong..... I don't think they were lining up to sign Dibble before the Washington Nationals stepped up for him.....

Be a man and tell everyone how you are not perfect. You made the mistake. With the last line about not talking about Strasburg, Dibble is done in DC.....

Happy Trails!!!!

Posted by: punchdaclock | August 31, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok everyone, say it with me: WHO THE HECK CARES about this? I long for the day that Dibble is the most pressing concern for the Nats. Let me tell you, today is not that day.

Posted by: rodeorob | August 31, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Your summer's work will be complete if you can get Albert Hayensworth's opinion on Dibble situation and vise-versa. A bonus should be in store if you can get Alexander Semin's opinion on either of the two.

Thanks for all that you do.

Posted by: rademaar | August 31, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

For crying out loud, let Dibs say oops and lets move on, just get the man back on the air...he is the fans choice!!!

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 31, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

wizfan89 "I hope next year's broadcast team is Carpenter and Knight with Johnny and Phil Wood doing the studio work."

Great, then I can finally stop taking my sleep aid medication. Yawn.

Posted by: guest1 | August 31, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Dibble's stubborn refusal to admit his words were poorly chosen and poorly timed will ultimately get him fired. He claimed his comments were directed at a helathy SS based on the cursory exam by the Phillies team doctor who foolishly said "you'll be pitching in 5 days". Yes, its legitimate to question when an athelete should play through discomfort but his rush to judgement before a MRI and complete diagnosis was extremely poor judgement. Did he stop to consider that SS might actually be injured and how his comments might play? He then dug himslef deeper by complaining that "sick individuals" were twisting his words. Rather than initiating a broader discussion about the physical toll of professional sports and how to manage the pain versus injury dilemma he boorishly called out SS for not being tough enough. Now after starting the conversation about SS he doesn't want to talk about him anymore. All of that bluster is fine for a talk radio jock, you have to make waves to attract listeners, but don't expect Nat's management to tolerate him for this.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 31, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This is eerily like Angelos getting rid of the great Jon Miller because he was too critical of 'dem O's. However, Dibble is certainly no Jon Miller but he is entertaining.

Posted by: dcmg | August 31, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Dibble is not what he said about Strasburg, it's that he's not very good at his job, which is baseball color commentary.

Could I do a better job, no. Could any number of broadcast professionals (including Ray Knight)? Yes, a million times yes.

And getting fired because you said one last stupid thing on top of not being very good at your job, that's not "censorship." That's "getting fired because you're not very good at your job." See, e.g., Dibble's XM buddy Jim Bowden.

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | August 31, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ShovelPlease | August 31, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Dibble can dish it out but can't take it -- free to say that so and so can't play, but when people criticize his commentary, he goes into a sulk.

Posted by: markfromark | August 31, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Dibble isn't worth the trouble. How many "incidents" has he had this year alone? There was the on air blow-up with Ray Knight, the comment about the women that pissed a handful of people off, and the Strasburg comments.

If he was actually a decent analyst, maybe you could overlook the incidents - but he's not.

Ray Knight isn't exactly a top flight analyst, but he absolutely called the Zimmerman(?) homerun last night before the pitch was thrown.

Dibble's meathead brand of analysis doesn't even compare favorably to a guy who is constantly tripping over his own words - let alone someone better.

He gone.

Posted by: tha_prophet | August 31, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I've enjoyed Dibble's work more than I expected to, but I'm pretty sick of his contempt for fans (who happen to blog) and their opinions. Even someone of Dibble's limited intelligence should be able to figure out that the only reason pro baseball exists, allowing him to be paid to play rather than going from high school to rec leagues, is that fans care enough about the game to spend money, watch TV, and yes exchange opinions on the internet about it.

Of course, smartass comments about how to handle an injury from a guy whose own career was cut short when his arm gave out are worth about what we pay for them. I don't blame MASN, who actually does pay for them, to decide to change that.

Posted by: zimbar | August 31, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Still don't see how a commentator telling a player to suck it up and play hurt is a fireable offense in any way. Why is it even a suspendable offense? There was no profanity used. He didn't violate any FCC regulations. He's not the manager or general manager so he's not actually making the player play hurt. He is simply a commentator giving his opinion. Since when is that a crime or even a problem. You like him-- fine. You don't like him-- fine. But what exactly is the problem?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | August 31, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I cannot listen to Knight anymore, he is terrible in the booth. Bring Dibble back ASAP.

Posted by: DCFanatic | August 31, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Look, we're not talking about someone who got in trouble for telling truth to power. Rob Dibble made a personal attack on the single most important player in the organization -- a player who has been through more pressure at a younger age than just about any player ever.

Dibble was reckless, ignorant, and WRONG! And if you think the Nationals are going to take his side over Stephen Strasburg's, you're not only crazy, you're delusional.

If Dibble is going to be wrong in so many ways, then he better be a really good color commentator.


Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | August 31, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I weep for the Nats as a franchise, that their fan base thinks crap like this is important.

Posted by: LouLewis | August 31, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't personally like Rob Dibble, I end up disagreeing with a lot of what he says, and I completely understand people who are offended by him. That said, I'll take him over boring colorless commentators that do nothing the whole game.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | August 31, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Dibble, Just admit you were wrong, and be done with it. It happens. We are all wrong sometimes. You are just making an ass out of yourself by trying to justify it. You had a great job. Stop say stupid stuff.

Posted by: astrober1 | August 31, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Dibble doesn't even work for the Nats. He works for MASN which Angelos owns 90%. So why do the Nats think that they need to stick their noses into something he said on his own satellite radio show? Because it hurt poor Stephen's feelings?

MASN is making itself look like drama in a high school hallway. "I know a secret but I am only going to tell two people, blah, blah".

Either announce that you have fired him or tell us when he is coming back.

Posted by: MKadyman | August 31, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Canadia, so shut your fat Yank-hole. I would spend more time explaining myself to the likes of you, but I need to put some ketchup on my Kraft dinner and watch Terrence & Phillip. Please take off and take your acid rain with you. We don't need you and your sarcasm, eh? It's worse than your flavorful beer.

Posted by: McLobo | August 31, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

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