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Rob Dibble on the Nyjer Morgan brawl


Chris Volstad, post-fight. (Via this video.)


Early Wednesday evening, the Nats announced that they were cutting ties with Rob Dibble. Later Wednesday night, the Nats and Nyjer Morgan engaged in that benches-clearing, clothes-line filled, ripped-uniform brawl, in which giant blobs of testosterone came flying out of your television set and sat there oozing all over your floor.

And this, believe it or not, made some of the most persistent Dibble critics a bit wistful.

"God help me, but I have to admit this is the one game where Rob Dibble would have been entertaining," longtime Dibble critic Thom Loverro wrote.

"Am I the only one who wants to know how Rob Dibble would have called the Nats' bench clearing brawl last night?" asked Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, another Dibble critic.

Well then. I promise I won't bombard you with Rob Dibble's take on all things baseball for the rest of your life, but since there appears to be some interest, Dibble did address the brawl at great length on his SIRIUS XM program Thursday morning. And God help me, he made a bit of sense.

"You get hit the first time, that should take care of it," Dibble said. "Don't hit our catcher any more, don't do that kind of stuff. But then the second time, ok, that's a little overkill. The one thing I respect about Nyjer, he's an ex-hockey player, he plays the game with a lot of emotion, a lot of feeling. And you know what, he gave away a foot in that fight. And if you think the guy's intentionally trying to hurt you or throw at you, you've got to do something....

"How are you upset that the other guy's stealing when he's down 11 runs? You should be thankful, saying listen, he's really rolling the dice. If he gets thrown out, he's gonna be in big trouble by his team and his manager....

"The fight is a scary moment, when anybody fights, whether or not you're giving away a foot. Take it from me, it's no fun to be at the bottom of the pile. These guys are too talented, and we're having too much fun watching these men play for somebody to go out there and get hurt....

"Remember, his mentality is aggressiveness all the time. He played many years of junior hockey. This doesn't excuse some of the things he's done, especially the shot he took at the Cardinals' catcher. It was uncalled for to run over the catcher. But that being said, the first pitch in the back with a 92 mile-an-hour fastball should be like listen, quit playing out of control, get yourself under control and let's play some baseball. But the second one, you have to defend yourself. And I've had guys charge at me, and I've said this after the fight, I would say 'Listen, if you felt that I was throwing at you and it was intentional, you have every right to defend yourself.'

"And a lot of guys are too open with the comments after the game - we didn't like him stealing second and third. You're up 14-3. It's not smart baseball, [stealing bases] when you're down 11 runs. That was Nyjer's problem. It's not the Marlins' problem....

"People are gonna remark about him going off the field. Now remember, all the years he played hockey and all the years he played junior hockey at the highest levels. What do hockey players do after they fight? They walk off like a gladiator, like yeah, that's right, that was a good one, that was fun, you knew I was here. So he was giving away a foot to Volstad, and say what you want to say, that's a guy that's about 5-7, probably 150, 160 pounds, and he plays with a lot of heart. So yeah, you don't like the way he plays, fine, you hit him the first time. But the second time, he thought he had to take care of some business."

Dibble also had Cal Ripken on his program, and the brawl came up yet again.

"The first time up he got hit intentionally for running over the catcher, and so then he was pissed and so he decided I'm gonna make you pay for it, steal second and steal third, and so then there's more ramifications," Ripken said. "And that just led to the fight afterwards. You can see how easy that stuff kind of gets out of control. If I got thrown at intentionally, I knew I got thrown at intentionally, I didn't want somebody to take things in their own hands. I'd figure out how to try to get that back myself."

Which sort of sounds like a defense of Morgan.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 2, 2010; 10:16 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Next: Gaby Sanchez says Morgan violated unwritten rule

Comments

Dibble was more of a reason to watch Nats games than most other things

You can sort of say the same thing about Nyjer

p.s. Ripken is the greatest

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | September 2, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"giant blobs of testosterone came flying out of your television set and sat there oozing all over your floor".... Hmm, this makes me somewhat less enthusaistic about 3D TV

Posted by: mvm2 | September 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Ripken, there is a guy who could do some time in the booth for the Nats if the O's don't want him working full time in their FO.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 2, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Rob Dibble > Leigh Torrence > Byron Westbrook


And agreed...Ripken IS the greatest!

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 2, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I also think Cal should be our Manager.

In some way the Nationals should steel Cal away from the O's.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 2, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I remembr years ago a game against the Marienrs where Mussina accidentally plunked the Mariner's catcher after the guy hit a hr the previous at bat. Anyoen who knows anything about Moose knows he's not a guy who went aroudn plunking guys who hit hr's off him. The catcher, who had well over a foot and at least 50 pounds on Mussina, charged Moose, who basically just put his arms up and prepared for a tackle.

Before the ctacher even got there the benches and the bullpens were emptying. Cal was oen of the first guys in and he apparently did enough to get himself tossed from the game. Him sorta defending Nyjer doesn't surprise me at all. Cal never liked seeing the little guys get picked on.

Posted by: EricS2 | September 2, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I am not old enough to remember, but I don't recall Cal ever getting into a fight himself. But I looked up that incident Eric mentioned, I believe this is part of it.

"Ripken also came close to benching himself in 1993 after he twisted his knee during a fight with the Seattle Mariners. Ripken finished the game, and although his knee was swollen and painful the following afternoon, he didn't even miss infield practice. "

Posted by: alex35332 | September 2, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Needs more Ripken

Posted by: GFisher1 | September 2, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Found some footage of the Martiners brawl:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2vPI0F8A4A

Posted by: 202character | September 2, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

*looks it up* My apologies, Cal wasn't ejected from that game. For some reason I thought he was. Sorry. Cal very much was a part of that fight, along with everyone else on the team.

Posted by: EricS2 | September 2, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think we're going to miss him.

Posted by: ridgely1 | September 2, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Eric,
Like I said I am not sure its the same game, but how many fights did Cal ever get into?

Posted by: alex35332 | September 2, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

According to David Wells, Ripken used to get people in headlocks and beat up on people a little bit on the clubhouse. People would listen to him in part because he could kick their ass.

That was apparently important to him. I saw him on one of those dumb morning shows, and the host asks, "You've been retired for a while now, and I've been working out -- could I beat you up?" Cal just looks at him and says something to the effect of "never gonna happen, I've got about 100 pounds on you."

Posted by: 202character | September 2, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Dibble does not have a leg to stand on about the right and wrong thing to do here, he fought his OWN manager for crying out loud.

Posted by: markfd | September 2, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I can't fidn anyhingsayign that Cal got ejected from that game. 3 other O's were, and 5 M's, but not Cal.

True, it is known these days that Cal had a temper in the clubhouse, but he left it there, and what happens between team mates in the locker room, provided there's not outright abuse going on, is their business. On the field it's out business.

Posted by: EricS2 | September 2, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"Which sort of sounds like a defense of Morgan."

If you're left wondering if it's a defense of Morgan, it's certainly not *much* of a defense.

Posted by: HHover | September 2, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Am really going to miss Dibble. He was half the reason I tuned in to Nats games every night. I have no doubt their ratings will take a little bit of a hit.

The PC Police win again.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 2, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Eric, I'm not criticizing Cal for that, and as far as I know his teammates all said he was a great leader. I'm just saying he's not a guy who was shy of fights. I think that's a good thing. And he should get more credit for not being an instigator on the field. It's not that he was scared to get in a fight, it's that he was focused enough to do the right thing and not act foolish at his team's expense.

Posted by: 202character | September 2, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Why woudl the Nats get rid of Dibble? He was fun, the team is generally boring (except for Nyjer I guess). He really liked the Nationals, and a lot of the fans (the ones who watch every game, not those Strasburg d*ck riders) loved the guy.

This organization sucks, from the Lerner's to Kasten to Riggleman to Screech to Navy Yard. Anytime something fun or unique happens, it seems the organization is all to eager to part ways.

Posted by: mtorioles | September 2, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Well said Dibble well said. To bad the Nats let you go. I think an apology or interview with Stras would have help clear the air.

I would have love to have Dibbs calling the game last night. Bob Carpenter and Ray Knight were almost as bad as the marlins announcers. Give me a break. I'm losing and I am supposed to sit here and take it???

Nice call Dibbs, maybe you can get a network gig like the mets pitcher that left here a few years ago.....

Smackem Yackem!!!!

Posted by: punchdaclock | September 2, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. Can't you WaPo guys finally stop with the Dibble coverage now that you got him fired? You are all just sports 'personalities' and OpEd guys writing your 'opinions' supposedly about sports. But you, in particular, seem completely obsessed with Dibble. He's just another person expressing opinions about sports just like you. Continuing to cover him is just incestuous. Don't you have anything better to do? Are there maybe too many sports OpEd guys at WaPo and you have to find things to do with your time?

Posted by: PostIDJYP | September 2, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

This is why you keep Dibble. And of course what everybody else has said for him.

The Nats wave in Phils fans in their thousands ("please come to DC and make this an awful place for our team's fans to be"), will let Adam for freaking Dunn go free agency, blowing just about the most certain re-sign in MLB, and scrag anybody who makes watching them any fun. Huh? Zup here?

Why indeed is it that we all can't just laugh when these guys Cross the Line, wherever that Line is today, and just go "whatever you think of him, he knows he's in the entertainment business"?

Huh?

Posted by: poorskins | September 2, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Dibble is good for one thing - for pitchers who need to practice throwing at batters.

Posted by: pjohn2 | September 2, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Dibble is the man he was a straightshooter and that sucks that it cost him his job

Posted by: terpterror21 | September 2, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I remembr years ago a game against the Marienrs where Mussina accidentally plunked the Mariner's catcher after the guy hit a hr the previous at bat. Anyoen who knows anything about Moose knows he's not a guy who went aroudn plunking guys who hit hr's off him. The catcher, who had well over a foot and at least 50 pounds on Mussina, charged Moose, who basically just put his arms up and prepared for a tackle.
Before the ctacher even got there the benches and the bullpens were emptying. Cal was oen of the first guys in and he apparently did enough to get himself tossed from the game. Him sorta defending Nyjer doesn't surprise me at all. Cal never liked seeing the little guys get picked on.
Posted by: EricS2 | September 2, 2010 11:03 AM
| Report abuse


OMG!!!!!!
I WAS THERE!

Also, it was the FIRST BALLGAME I'D EVER BEEN TO. I remember it like yesterday. I was 7 years old. I grew up worshipping Ripken, Mussina (who belongs in the HOF), Brady Anderson, and Palmeiro, and hating the Yankees.

Morgan has been playing poorly lately, but I admire his spirit and balls-to-the-wall approach. It's tough to criticize a guy for hustling.

The Marlins are absolute tools.

Posted by: jboogie1 | September 2, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The "namby pamby" Washington Nationals have gotten rid of a voice who dared to offend their sensibilities,.. this is era where "Political Correctness" has taken us! I worked PR for 15 years people, PC is flat wrong but in today's PC society God forbid that anyone should speak more truth than fiction.

Rob Dibble is a breath of fresh air bringing the reality of being a baseball player to the fans, especially that of being a pitcher. Was he right on Strasburg?,.. well, the kid broke down. Did anyone do their due diligence on his history?? It seems that others have said since he's been hurt that the Nats brass should have known how "fragile" he could be and that a breakdown was possible! The question would be was Dibble on target to question the man's heart?

Was Dibble wrong on the talking ladies?? Hell No!! In today's corporate environment when new stadiums are built, the best seats are bought up by mega corporations snatching up the PSL's (personal seat licenses) who then turn over the tickets to "clients". These "clients aren't necessarily fans of the game or the team, they're getting a freebie to be somewhere to be seen, and catered to, they are NOT real fans! I lived in Denver for 11 years and saw the difference in Old Mile High Stadium and the new one. Old Mile High was crazy loud, just like RFK used to be. The fans in the new stadium could care less about the game and are more interested in their wine & cheese. Think I'm wrong??,.. check the background crowd shots the next time you can,.. how many people are into the game? Dibs was making a point, perhaps poorly, but I believe the athlete in the man wanted these fans to be into the game and rooting for their team.

Please people, I'm not saying anyone needs to be racist or derogatory in their comments and I don't think Dibs was derogatory, he was simply stating an "educated" opinion. These folks who disagree with him want their neat little world to be nice and tidy where everything is beautiful (sing with me here). God help them with reality reaches out and the fecal matter hits the oscillating blades because in that, political correctness flies out the window!

Posted by: Royedw1 | September 2, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

"educated"? really? dibble added nothing to the game. cliches like 'go at him with your best stuff' means nothing coming from a guy who really only had one good pitch. is it too much to ask for a guy in the booth who can actually provide insightful commentary? or who at least has a good sense of humor?

And there's a difference between criticizing a team for sloppy play and mental errors, and kicking a team when it's down. Call someone out for jogging to first on a ground ball, but don't spend 30 minutes complaining about a pitcher when he accidentally hangs a curve. I love the nats, but we're already watching a sub .500 team... do we really have to hear dibble remind us how bad they are?

No one wanted dibble to be PC. We just wanted someone less annoying. If you liked him because he was controversial, then you shouldn't be surprised that people didn't like him.

Posted by: NatPack11 | September 2, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I"m really going to miss Dibble. He was half the reason I tuned in to Nats games every night. I have no doubt their ratings will take a little bit of a hit"

The PC Police win again.

Posted by: Barno1

_____________________________________________

The PC police didn't win. Boras did. His prints are all over this one.

Posted by: MKadyman | September 2, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I liked Dibs. But he was NOT a good analyst and he said really dumb things often. His breakdown on pitching was: "more inside fastballs, get beat with your best stuff." Rinse and repeat. Not sad to see him go, though I did like him.

Posted by: WrongDog | September 3, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Long Live Dibble!!! He was the one thing that distinguished the franchise from all the other boring cookie cutter analysts. Part of the the colorman's job is to be a little critical and be a little controversial. Remember how Brother Lo (John Lowenstein) was in the Orioles booth - I watched the O's back then because you never knew what he was gonna say next...Same with Dibs.

Posted by: SeanTaylor211 | September 3, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

mtorioles...if you want to talk about an organization that is boring and sucks...well..look no further than into your own mirror in Baltimore.

Posted by: mpeters4brhill | September 3, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The National’s management appears to be very “thin skinned” when it comes to commentary not supporting their team building decisions. It’s sad that they fail to realize that Rob Dibble’s commentary was a positive in building interest in following the team. I agree that some of Mr. Dibble’s comments were provocative, but overall fans looked forward to his perspective of the game. Given the Dibble firing, the Nationals and MASN must revamp their announcer staff to generate viewer interest.

Posted by: thejackson | September 4, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

The National’s management appears to be very “thin skinned” when it comes to commentary not supporting their team building decisions. It’s sad that they fail to realize that Rob Dibble’s commentary was a positive in building interest in following the team. I agree that some of Mr. Dibble’s comments were provocative, but overall fans looked forward to his perspective of the game. Given the Dibble firing, the Nationals and MASN must revamp their announcer staff to generate viewer interest.

Posted by: thejackson | September 4, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The National’s management appears to be very “thin skinned” when it comes to commentary not supporting their team building decisions. It’s sad that they fail to realize that Rob Dibble’s commentary was a positive in building interest in following the team. I agree that some of Mr. Dibble’s comments were provocative, but overall fans looked forward to his perspective of the game. Given the Dibble firing, the Nationals and MASN must revamp their announcer staff to generate viewer interest.

Posted by: thejackson | September 4, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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