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Stan Kasten on Rob Dibble's two-game absence

In the wake of controversial comments he made regarding Stephen Strasburg on his Sirius XM radio show, MASN analyst Rob Dibble will not work tonight's game or tomorrow's game.

Several MASN employees were not certain why Dibble will not work the next two games, but Nationals President Stan Kasten shed some light and perhaps gave a not-so-thinly-veiled opinion of Dibble's comments.

"Rob asked for some time off," Kasten said. "Perhaps he's not feeling well. But I'm not a doctor, nor have I seen his records. So I shouldn't say anything more about it."

Dibble also found the spotlight recently for comments about a pair of women sitting behind home plate during a MASN telecast. Dibble later apologized to those he offended, both in print and on camera.

Ray Knight will work alongside MASN play-by-play man Bob Carpenter for the next two nights.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 25, 2010; 5:03 PM ET
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Next: The latest on Stephen Strasburg


now if they would only give Bob Carpenter some time off... he is unlistenable.

though I don't find him as bad, Ray Knight seemingly can only discuss his own stat history, its ridiculous.

but carpenter is just beyond lame.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | August 25, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Does Dibble have a contract with MASN for next season? This relationship seems to be heading downhill very quickly (and I actually think he's OK, at least as far as his game commentary goes).

Posted by: jcj5y | August 25, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought the comments about SS were probably dead wrong, and those about the women were dumb, but I generally enjoy Dibble and find his take on things interesting. Sometimes he makes me laugh (in a good way) and occasionally he makes me groan, but if the team pushed him off the air for offering a different opinion on SS or for making a couple of silly remarks during a dull loser of a game, then they are off base, imo. A color guy is supposed to be colorful, people!

Posted by: NatsFly | August 25, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

i think Ray is usually a little sauced when he works the game, so maybe he'll give us some color too!

Posted by: DCguy7 | August 25, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone tell him to 'suck it up' and do his job?

Posted by: natswatcher | August 25, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Carpenter just had the weekend off. Johnny Miller is worse.

Posted by: tha_prophet | August 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

...and by Johnny Miller I meant Johnny Holliday.

Still brutal though.

Posted by: tha_prophet | August 25, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Dibs is beyond bad and Carpenter is beyond bland.

Posted by: thebone | August 25, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Based on his recent chat comments re: Dibble's remarks, one might posit that Boz could be the defacto wizard behind the curtain...

"By day, a stat-obsessed columnist and chat aficionado.

"By night, the string-pulling puppeteer behind the franchise, controlling all the gestures of the Nats characters with merely a jag or twitch of a fingertip.

"He is...the Wizard Of Half Street."

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 25, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I love Stan! Great quote.

Posted by: Section314 | August 25, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

According to his agent, Dibble is suffering from a case of rhabdomyolysis

Posted by: DCNative1975 | August 25, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I love Ray Knight ...he is the best the whole MASN universe

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 25, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I've learned to like Ray Knight and his Georgia drawl. I think he'd make a good color guy in '11 if they don't retain Dibble. Johnny Holliday is a terrible play-by-play guy. He makes so many mistakes. The only reason we don't know if he's making mistakes when he does radio play-by-play for the Terps' football and b-ball games is because we can't see what's really happening on the field or court. Bob Carpenter is a good play-by-play guy. I have no problem w/ him. Oh, also, I think the Nats are babying Strasburg too much, but that's the Nats' fault, not Strasburg's. But Dibble's comments blaming Strasburg is not reason to suspend him.

Posted by: lucysun | August 25, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I think Dibble's comments with respect to SS were way out of line and completely wrong. I am happy the team is holding him accountable for the comments. He either needs to give up his Sirus XM radio show or quit being the color analyst for the Nats. I think there is an inherent conflict of interest.

Posted by: 4capitals | August 25, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Since we're offering media crtiques today and criticizing Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble, I'll weigh in. I enjoy listening to both Bob and Rob. I've listen to many broadcasters over the years and few were more entertaining, interesting, or informed, IMO.

Posted by: RLFWDC | August 25, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Dibble was hired to do ANGELOS dirty work ....he said as much the first week he was on the air when he describe that he was there to please Peter any surprize that he has taken after the player with greatest attention the Nationals have had to date..... sure wait until the moment and then pounce.... he did this to Ray Knight that night when Ray called him on his comments on Strasburg .....tring to take out Ray in the process.....the one who knows the behind the camera story of MASN ....the plot tickens

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I recall Ray Knight on a Mets broadcast years ago, voicing agreement with the assertion that Washington should not be awarded a baseball team (oh no, they had their chance).

I know I should let it go. Maybe he thinks otherwise now.

Posted by: KenNat | August 25, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is so freakin "PC" Oh Noooooo!!! he criticized the messiah all Dibble did was say what a lot of us say about a lot of today's athlete's there as fragile as a ming vase, What? Dibble's not suppose to say anything about "The Kid" other than he's the greatest thing since Bob Gibson Puleeeze!!! listen i love SS but the front office is treating him like the Virgin Mary don't say anything that might affect his attitude, HELLO!! this just in; the kid has more guts than his manager, StanK ought to focus on building a winning roster instead of looking for scapegoats and trying to deflect attention away from this franchise real issue it's won-lost record.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 25, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I didn't find Dibble's remarks offensive in either case, and I happen to like him (and Carpenter). Just for the record, those bloggers who hold an animosity towards him do not speak for me, either as a woman or as a fan. When/if Dibble or Carpenter leaves, somebody, somewhere will be hating on the replacements. Bet on it. (Did he p.o. someone by not friending them back on Facebook, or something?)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

They all suck. Nats Xtra postgame last night: Johnny: 'Ray, Lannan had a good night except for three pitches' (puts three fingers up for emphasis). Ray: 'Yeah, Johnny, I thought he pitched great.' That's every freakin night. What is wrong with these people? It's mind blowing how idiotic they sound. They can't wait to start making uexcuses or glossing things over. Ah, check that - they don't gloss, they just flat out lie. You start to believe that they think you're stupid. And then StanK suspends Dibble when he's been licking their boots 9.9 nights out of 10 all year. Outrageous. Low rent. Ever listened to Hawk Harrelson for cryin out loud?

Posted by: Brue | August 25, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, since we can't bring back Arch McDonald and Bob Wolf (50s announcers for those not there) I guess Carpenter and Dibble can be regarded as acceptable.

Ray Knight simply is not a professional announcer.He ums, ahs, pauses and otherwise fails to match commentary with the video that is showing. I gather he was hired without needing to undergo an audition. In short, although Knight is very knowledgeable, he is an awful broadcaster.

Holliday is a museum piece, IMHO.

As to Dibble's Sirius radio comments, I found them to be barely intelligible, but what I gathered is that Dibble is afraid the Nats will turn Strasburg into a head case by babying him too much. If my translation of Dibble is correct (and it may not be), that is a defensible point of view.

Posted by: JohnRDC | August 25, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

sounds like if the on-air commentators don't tow the company line or say what htey are supposed to, they will get disciplined. As a viewer, I find it disappointing that they are not allooed independecne of thought.

Posted by: Hattrik | August 25, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

1a1: I like them both also. I listened to several games with away announcers this summer (was out of town a lot) and thought Carpenter and Dibble were superior to about 75% of them. I found Dibble's comments about the women rather foolish and annoying, but it is really hard to imagine talking for hours and hours and hours each week and not saying something that would make you want to face-palm yourself later. I myself do it on a regular basis! So, I am not going to go all hating on the guy over a minor thing. I also find it amusing that Dibs gets bashed (by a few) for being too much of a homer while also being criticized (by a few others) as being an agent of Angelos! Hummm. I'm thinking double agent, perhaps???

Posted by: NatsFly | August 25, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

If on-air personnel have to "stay on script" at all times, then those who have complained about "homerism" in the past haven't seen anything yet.
Not having cable, I only see Dibble on Sundays. What I've seen is interesting commentary, which he is paid to do.
BTW I'm curious, who pays Dibble's salary--- MASN or the Nats?

Posted by: Slidell | August 25, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Brue has it right. It's a low rent, rinky-dink operation, from the pre-game through the game announcers, the inexecrable Ms. Taylor, thru post-game - all of it, except perhaps Phil Wood; but even he is much better suited to the rhythms of radio than the tele-frenetic TV. Carpenter is the pablum of play-by-play; Dibble is a pumped-up blowhard; Knight's drawl is often impenetrable, which would be a problem if he was saying anything worth listening to; Holliday is about 20 years past his expiration date as a sports anchor or announcer; no words can describe the banality of what comes out of D. Taylor's mouth.

I watched last night's game on WGN, and thoroughly enjoyed an announcing crew that called an even game, knew what to say when, and, more importantly, knew when just to shut up. It was refreshing.

Posted by: NATurallyYours | August 25, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Remember StanK said he did not care about the TV all he was worried about was the 25 million they are paid has all been Angelos work .....the first year you could not see the games on TV because the MASN was not carried on but by 20% of the cable systems it only got clearence when Baltimore was added and then the Nats spent most of time on the bad signal MASN 2 which was not carried by everybody and then when HD was added we only had maybe 25% of the games in HD while Baltimore got 75% of the time and even now they can't find DC businesses to run ads so instead you see how to buy a car in Dundalk hun.....we know he does not want anything in DC to be successful.... in the words of Joey Eischen "we have to suck on it and like it".....but then again that doesn't always work

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 25, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Turn down the television and turn up the radio.

Ray, Rob, and Bob are tiresome.

Charlie and Dave put those bozos in the shade.

Posted by: jbartelloni | August 25, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Isn't rhabdomyolysis serious? Does anyone know Dibble's condition?

Posted by: RLFWDC | August 25, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I really like Rob Dibble & I think the Dibble / Carpenter team is a good one. Ray Knight is just OK as post-game but not good as a color guy. Dibble IS colorful, which Is what makes the broadcast interesting. He also has a legitimate right to his opinion. Kasten seems to be sucking up to the Post & the Post seems to have something against Dibble. Can't the Post find some real news to report on instead of trying to stir up controversy & create news? And I also think Dibbs had a point about SS & that if Kasten & the Nats feel they have to treat SS so carefully, it will be years before he meets their expectations or fulfills his contract. Maybe they should have left him in AAA longer to improve his durability.

Posted by: PostIDJYP | August 25, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I watch the Nats away games on mlb-tv and hear the other team's announcers. I enjoy that because I get to hear an out-of-town view of the Nats.

I've listened to ball games for over 50 years (I still pine for Bob Wolff and Dan Daniels), Bob Carpenter is a first-class announcer. I'm not saying he's perfect, but he puts any of the so-called experts here to shame. We're lucky to have him.

For me, ex-big league analysts are a dime-a-dozen.

Posted by: nats24 | August 25, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Can we suspend Stan, please???

Posted by: paulkp | August 25, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I personally enjoy listening to both Rob Dibble and Bob Carpenter. The have great rapport and a relaxed and interesting repartee during the games. Especially considering they don't have a whole lot to work with right now(punchless Nats). Just think - it could be worse - if you were an O's fan you'd have to listen to mind-numbing monotony of Jim Palmer who is the absolute worst. The man goes on and on and on and on - Jim never met a conjunction he didn't love. So lighten up on Rob - and please, leave boring Ray Knight wherever he currently is holed up.

Posted by: tbartley | August 25, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I knew having Dibble here would end in flames. What I didn't know was that I'd actually like listening to the big dummy along the way. He'll probably be gone next season and we'll have some lunchbox in his place saying exactly what he's supposed to.

Or maybe the Angelos family will keep Dibs here to continue the harsh Nats critiques. What a weird situation.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 26, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Really sad....I think the announcers are decent (I had the opportunity to meet Carpenter two years ago when he was paired with Don Sutton)....people are too freaking hypersensitive to opinions that if they are against the status quo, we find them offensive....NOTHINNG DIBBLE SAID THE LAST TWO WEEKS WAS GENERALLY OFFENSIVE AND WITH STRASBURG, THERE ARE PROBABLY PEOPLE PRIVATELY WHO PLAYED THE GAME LIKE DIBBLE WHO THINK THE SAME THING! Just because the man says something that we may not want to hear or agree with does not mean we need to roast him about....DEAL WITH IT or TURN THE TV OFF!

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | August 26, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Dibble is a good color analyst. You don't suspend someone for comments about a player that others have as well. I can see suspending him for taking cheap shots at your own players, but this was not that. The Nationals need to bring an exciting brand of baseball here next year. Outscored 18 to 5 by the Cubs???? That's terrible.......

Leave Bob and Rob alone, please......

Posted by: punchdaclock | August 26, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes, rhabdomyolysis would indeed be a serious condition. I wish him good health.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 26, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Dibble is not John Miller or Steve Stone, but it's a bad sign when management starts trying to hush up the announcers rather than improving the team.

Posted by: markfromark | August 26, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

mark, my thoughts as well. What kind of precedent does it set? Will announcers and personnel now be subject to suspension and/or termination based on Internet uproars? Honestly, the whole thing saddens me. I feel for Dibble, though I suppose that's the risk you take when you're a public figure.

Ponce, I think that was a jest in light of recent events with the pointy-ball team. (I don't really follow it, but I couldn't help hearing/seeing a few tidbits due to media saturation.


Yes, rhabdomyolysis would indeed be a serious condition. I wish him good health.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Good lord. How can tbartley say Jim Palmer is the "absolute worst." Palmer is a great color guys who knows his stuff. When he and Dibble team up during the Nats-Orioles inter-league games, he puts Dibble to shame. Even though he's an Orioles lifer, the Nats should try to lure Palmer away from the O's games to do Nats games. Oh, wait a minute. There's a baseball broadcast monopoly in D.C./Baltimore and the asbestos king would never let Palmer move over to to Nats games. Free Nyger!!

Posted by: lucysun | August 26, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I think that was a jest in light of recent events with the pointy-ball team. (I don't really follow it, but I couldn't help hearing/seeing a few tidbits due to media saturation.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 26, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Washington has a football team? ;)

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 26, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

This is a direct result of the PC world we live in today. Ridiculous that people took offense to what he said.

Posted by: Section505203 | August 26, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse



It wasn't offensive but it was pretty stupid. There is a difference between soreness and injury. The way Strasburg reacted that wasn't soreness. That was pain which is usually a good sign that something bad could happen. I understand the fear that babying the kid could result in him not being able to push through soreness but that may have been the case with his first sting on the DL not this one.

As for Dibble's stance about toughing it out maybe if he hadn't been so "tough" he would have had a longer career. Not sure I want Stephen Strasburg emulating a guy whose career was essentially over by the age of 28.

Posted by: ouvan59 | August 26, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

BTW, "If I offended you, then I am sorry" is not a real apology. Man up, Dibble.

Posted by: motogp46 | August 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of Debbie Taylor! Every time I hear one of her interviews I cringe! She's the worse sideline/dugout reporter in the universe! Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble both irritate me be-littling the Nats whenever they get a chance...They're a bad team, we get that but you don't have to tell us that within the first few pitches of the game. I've always said that the Nats need a color person and play by play guy with local ties. Is Frank Herzog available?

Posted by: thedc_kid | August 26, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This is a direct result of the PC world we live in today. Ridiculous that people took offense to what he said.

Couldn't agree more with this post. Toughen up if you're offended by his comments. There's many more important things to worry about than what Dibs said.

Posted by: epwolff | August 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Dibble , like Simon the ONLY REASON to not MUTE the entire broadcast.......

When it looks like sxxx......smells like sxxx...plays like sxxx......

IT IS SXXX !!!!!

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | August 26, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This is a direct result of the PC world we live in today. Ridiculous that people took offense to what he said.

And yet you feel the need to tell people what it is appropriate to get offended about. I say get tougher about my sensitivity, learn to live with it, stop whining.

Posted by: markfromark | August 26, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Dribble is annoying, but interesting. I found his comment Monday nite about getting texts from Katie Couric and Tina Fey borderline psychotic. Calling out SS took guts. Carpenter is lost without him (Phillies traded Sandburg to Cubs because they had Dave Cash???)

Posted by: jsavagelaw | August 26, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I listen to Rob Dibble because he is willing to state the truth which is both refreshing and entertaining.

In fact, Dibble is usually more entertaining than the game itself.

More Rob, less PC whining.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | August 26, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

How on earth the lame-ass, kneejerk claim of "PC whining" so commonly moaned in many circles can be applied here is beyond me. Dibble works for the team and his employers don't like what he said so they shut him up for a few nights. Nothing "PC" going on.

Posted by: divi3 | August 26, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Charlie and Dave are really terrific announcers. I much prefer to listen to them, but their pitiful AM signal drops into the noise floor after dark. Why isn't there an FM station that will carry the games in the DC area?

Posted by: Jackmathias | August 26, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Dibble will be missed. Carpenter is blah, Johnny H is a great Maryland basketball announcer and Ray used to be married to Nancy Lopez. At least Dibble speaks some truth and understands the game.

Posted by: Gooddogs | August 26, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Ray Knight is terrible in the booth. Dibble speaks his mind which is good, look forward to his return.

Posted by: DCFanatic | August 26, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Dibble does not "speak the truth" and he's not being kept down by The Man. He's an opinionated blowhard (not that there's anything wrong with that) who is funny for about the first year or so. Ray Knight isn't a dick about it, and some people find that less interesting. No accounting for taste, I suppose. But he knows more about baseball than anyone in here, I'm sure, and more than Dibble, based on what I've heard.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 26, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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