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Rob Dibble no longer broadcasting Nationals games

In the wake of controversial comments Rob Dibble made about Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals announced today Dibble will no longer broadcast their games. The separation will be permanent, and the Nationals -- not MASN -- made the decision. The Nationals offered no further comment on the matter.

There is no word on a permanent replacement for MASN, but Ray Knight will serve as the analyst at least through the end of the Nationals' current road trip. He may finish the season out, but the Nationals may also try out new analysts in the season's final month.

Dibble, who became MASN's analyst at the beginning of last season, has not broadcast a Nationals since Aug. 25. At the time, Nationals President Stan Kasten told the Post that Dibble volunteered to take a leave.

"Rob asked for some time off," Kasten said at the time. "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."

Kasten's comment referenced the comments Dibble made about Strasburg on his Sirius XM radio show when, in the days between Strasburg's elbow injury and the revelation he would need Tommy John surgery, Dibble questioned Strasburg leaving the game.

On his radio show, Dibble claimed his words were distorted, but he clearly criticized Strasburg for leaving the game because of injury. A sampling:

"I also look at this from the player's standpoint, that this is your job. This is what you do. You're never going to be 100 percent healthy, feel perfect. So you have to take accountability that you're gonna throw sometimes, your arm's gonna hurt. You're gonna be out there on the mound sometimes, the mound is gonna be terrible and the dirt is gonna be a little loose and it might not be so great. You can't constantly be complaining over every little thing.

"So for me, a little bit has to be put back on Strasbug here. Ok, you throw a pitch, it bothers your arm, and you immediately call out the manager and the trainer? Suck it up, kid. This is your profession. You chose to be a baseball player. You can't have the cavalry come in and save your butt every time you feel a little stiff shoulder, sore elbow.

"I mean, excuse me. There's guys I played with that had screws holding their elbows together. Chris Sabo played two weeks on a broken ankle. I put a steel plate in my wrist so I could be back in five weeks instead of three months. So, this is your choice. You can either suck it up and be a man at 22 making $2 million a year [with] a $15 million contract, or every time you get an ache and pain you can go out of the game and say I'm gonna let down the other 24 guys right here and possibly end up forfeiting the game."

The take greatly angered both the Nationals' front office and their clubhouse. Eventually, they led to his split from MASN and the organization.

Dibble became a polarizing figure in the broadcast booth. Some fans believed he made games entertaining with enthusiasm for the Nationals -- he had a penchant for called the team "we" -- and his willingness to criticize a team that has lost 179 games since he began. Others believed his grunting, cheering, back-when-I-played style made games intolerable without a mute button.

The Nationals will have a new analyst for their games. The one guarantee is he will not stir as much passion and opinion as Dibble.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 1, 2010; 5:22 PM ET
 
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Next: With Nyjer Morgan at leadoff, early fireworks possible

Comments

This is the second best firing in Nats history (after Bowden)! What can we call this day? No Dibble-Mas?

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | September 1, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

More Ray Knight trying to steal pitch signs? I like

Posted by: CharlieF | September 1, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. Dibble gets canned by the TEAM, as opposed to his actual employer, because they don't like what he said about their "Messiah," when it appeared he signaled to the clubhouse that he needed help.

This whole thing is ridiculous. First of all, how can anyone look at the replay of Strasburg and think that he was calling for anyone? Watch the close-up carefully: he throws, winces, shakes his arm, looks toward the bench, sees that they're heading out and signals with his hand that he's okay and they should just stay there. When he sees that they're coming out anyway, he looks away in disgust.

Yet ALL the broadcasters and reporters claimed (until Stras gave his own account) that he signaled to the bench to come get him; it was everyone's take, not just Dibble's. And let's not forget the Phillies' team doctor, who said Stras would be fine and wouldn't miss his next start. That's the sum total of information Dibble had when he said what he did. Love Dibble or hate him (and for me it's a bit of both), this is not a firing offense.

I cannot tolerate Ray Knight... it's like listening to a village idiot. Even though there are synchronization issues, I'll be watching the rest of the games with Charlie and Dave doing the chatter.

P.S. If anyone should be fired (or at the least apologize to Strasburg), it's the Phillies' doctor: "Sorry I almost derailed your career, Stephen."

Posted by: MikeH0714 | September 1, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Ray Knight "stealing pitch signs"??? You weren't listening too closely. After checking the first sign against the pitch thrown, he was GUESSING what the following pitch would be based on the signals... and got EVERY ONE OF THEM WRONG!!!! Then finally gave up after four or five misguided attempts. Knight's a chowderhead. BRING BACK DIBBLE!!!

Posted by: MikeH0714 | September 1, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Being incompetent is a fireable offense.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 1, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

This is absurd. I didn't know that Kasten was chief censor on top of everything else. There goes the one interesting breath of fresh air to have breezed through the MASN booth in 5 years.

Posted by: weetabixjihad | September 1, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I liked Dibble, and I like Ray Knight. Im happy, but I think Dibble got screwed by the Nats, who put way too many eggs in one basket.

Posted by: CarterHutch | September 1, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Just guessing, but I think something else happened behind the scenes in addition to the comments on Strasburg. Maybe the team or MASN asked Dibble to apologize and he refused, or caused some further conflict. This seems like too harsh a punishment based on the comments themselves, which were unfortunate, and dumb, but not malicious (at least as I read them).

I vote for Steve Stone as new color man. Thought he was great on WGN when I was a kid. I think he does White Sox games now, but he pitched his best years for the Os, so maybe he'd be interested in a return to the area.

Posted by: jcj5y | September 1, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Now if they can just fire Bob Carpenter and that waste of time Debby Taylor we will be fine.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | September 1, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Being incompetent is a fireable offense.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 1, 2010 5:41 PM

Then how the h*** does Knight keep HIS job?

=============

There goes the one interesting breath of fresh air to have breezed through the MASN booth in 5 years.

Posted by: weetabixjihad | September 1, 2010 5:42 PM

Amen, brother. I hope Dibble sues for this unjust dismissal, not to mention discrimination for making him wear long sleeves in the heat and humidity.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | September 1, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

(1) It's not No Dibble-Mas, it's No Mas Dibble.

(2) The team IS (or was) Dibble's actual employer. Who do you think (along with Angelos) owns MASN? Whether you think it was the right decision or not, don't suggest that there's some conspiracy afoot. I tend to agree with you that the Strasburg comments were not themselves a firing offense, but Dibble was pretty weak in the booth anyway. Let's not make this into Angelos firing Jon Miller.

Posted by: 0073 | September 1, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

(1) It's not No Dibble-Mas, it's No Mas Dibble.

(2) The team IS (or was) Dibble's actual employer. Who do you think (along with Angelos) owns MASN? Whether you think it was the right decision or not, don't suggest that there's some conspiracy afoot. I tend to agree with you that the Strasburg comments were not themselves a firing offense, but Dibble was pretty weak in the booth anyway. Let's not make this into Angelos firing Jon Miller.

Posted by: 0073 | September 1, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Being incompetent is a fireable offense.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 1, 2010 5:41 PM

Then how the h*** does Knight keep HIS job?

--------------------------
There goes the one interesting breath of fresh air to have breezed through the MASN booth in 5 years.

Posted by: weetabixjihad | September 1, 2010 5:42 PM

Amen, brother. I hope Dibble sues for this unjust dismissal, not to mention discrimination for making him wear long sleeves in the heat and humidity.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | September 1, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Now if they can just fire Bob Carpenter and that waste of time Debby Taylor we will be fine.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | September 1, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

In telling Strasburg to "suck it up", Dibble was basically advising him to ignore or circumvent the team's plan for bringing him along slowly and conservatively.

That's not just criticizing the team, which in itself is not necessarily a fireable offense -- it's interfering with team operations (or attempting to), which is absolutely a fireable offense.

I'm not a Dibble-hater; he kind of grew on me in spite of his faults. But he's got no one to blame but himself for this one.

Posted by: joebleux | September 1, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Time to start watching DC baseball again.

Posted by: duachawana | September 1, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

WHAT A JOKE!

If you don't like Dibble as an analyst, fine. Thats one thing. But to fire him for telling the golden boy Strasburg (who by all accounts is a real jerk) to "suck it up" is completely unjust.

First, Mike Wise now this. People are really getting out of control with their judgmental, narrow-minded, hypocrisy. The word police are running rampant again and ruining the world we live in as we know it.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | September 1, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

..oh, and you can't have tattoos....

Posted by: CajunD | September 1, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Too bad. I enjoyed RD - honest commentary, some insight that was very useful. He was wrong about Strasburg's injury - but SO WHAT? This is a firing offense? Guess I'll watch the games while I listen to the radio.

Posted by: humbleandfree | September 1, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but mark my words this will be a very sad day for Nats television. Ray Knight is OK, but a step below Dibble.
Also this creates a ripple effect, we are now stuck with a crappy Phil Wood doing pre/post game shows instead of Knight.

For all of you folks that are happy over this, have you ever gone up on MLB and listened to other clubs do games?? We are one of about a dozen clubs that have great talent, the rest are not only boring and very Vanilla but make the game hard to watch.

Go up and listen to Dodger television when Vin Scully isn't doing the game, it's god awful.

Yes Dibble was screwed up in some of his comments but he should of been slapped on the hand, given time off and come back next week ready to go again.

I fear that not only did we loss Dibble, but Bob Carpenter will be next. Management hasn't been very keen (Nats management) on him and tried to get rid of him the same year when Sutton left. See in the inner circles it's best to replace a team than one person, so look for the Nats/MASN to redo there TV broadcasts for 2011. Again, go up and see how many great people are doing baseball for other teams and you will be surprise at how poor it is.

That is our faith for the rest of the year and future, very Vanilla, boring play by play in which nobody will have the balls to say something critical. Guys we should just let the bubbling Debbie Taylor do play by play, that is what it's going to be like.


A sad day that ends a bad week of Nats news.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 1, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Rob Dibble fired while Mike Rizzo and Jim Rigglmean march on and Nyjer is rewarded by batting leadoff. What a freakin dysfunctional team led by a bunch of misguided imcompetents. Oops can they fire me from the blog?
The Nats stink and may end up as bad as last year but all that matters is Rob Dibble right? How bout Kasten? He should be fired. How bout Rizzo? He should be fired. How bout Riggleman? He should be fired. But no, fire the announcer.
What did Elton say, Don't shoot me I'm only the piano player?
Good 1 Nats.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Adam meant to say Aug. 25 was the last game Dibble broadcast and not Sep. 25.

I agree with the above comment about Steve Stone. I believe Stone was in the mix when they were looking for an analyst last year. I didn't understand why MASN did not go with him. I'm guessing Dibble cost less. I remember it was mentioned that Stone's wife was from the area. But I don't believe he'd leave the White Sox now. That job is much more high profile than the Nats job.

Posted by: bubbad | September 1, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a huge fan of Dibble as an announcer (or of Carpy, for that matter), but this does make the Nats look awfully thin-skinned. What he said may have been stupid, but only in retrospect. They were paying him to be brash and blunt and opinionated and he was. No way he deserved to be fired for those comments.

Posted by: BobLHead | September 1, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Claiming that Dibble was fired solely because he dared to criticize Strasburg is pretty dishonest.

He has repeatedly embarrassed the Nats and MASN this season alone by running his mouth.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 1, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Five years in a row in last place and they fire the ANNOUNCER

Posted by: Brue | September 1, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Bad call by the Nats and MASN, well thank good football season is hear cuz I am gonna boycot Nats broadcasts for the rest of the season.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 1, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

>>Five years in a row in last place and they fire the ANNOUNCER Posted by: Brue

THANK YOU!

How on earth does Stan Kasten still have a job. What is wrong with the Lerners>

What an amazing braintrust we have running this ship---right into the ground.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, youse is so fond of telling it like it is: fine.
I'm calling bullpizzles on this.
*******************
... Strasburg (who by all accounts is a real jerk) ...
Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | September 1, 2010 5:52 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow the Nats look so petty and sad today.

Thank goodness we have a real manager and a team finally turning around up in
B-More. At least I'll get to watch real baseball that makes sense. The Os will leave the Nats in their dust next season. Bank it.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, they should have dumped Dibble for being an annoying windbag. But if this is what it takes, OK, even if it was an overreaction.

Posted by: louie5 | September 1, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

not that I'm disagreeing with the basic sentiment, but to be fair, they've fired a couple of managers and a GM, along with several players, a couple of ushers I think, and kicked at least one perfectly good fan out of the park for stepping on their da**ed grass.
***************
Five years in a row in last place and they fire the ANNOUNCER
Posted by: Brue | September 1, 2010 6:05 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

but I'm not bitter.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Dibble was the only reason to watch Nats games with the sound on. He was great as the color guy, who is supposed to be in there to add a little change of pace and occassional humor/personal insight.

The only replacement that would be more interesting than Dibble would be if they could get Pete Rose (as long as we're sticking wiht former Reds)...too bad that will never happen.

Posted by: bowie2000 | September 1, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed Dibble's notoriety and enthusiasm, and I believe that the team can stand a little controversy without falling apart. I also believe, though, that Dibble has a continuing career in broadcasting that won't be derailed any more than his dismissal by ESPN, and that the Nats, as a rising team, could and should do better than Bob Carpenter and an early-career Dibble.

Slowes and Jagler are keepers. The Nats need to assemble the top-notch TV team that can take them through an ascendant decade.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3mysofa: Didn't they also make some guys put their shirts back on or escort them out of the park? We got standards, you know. Losing a hundred games is one thing, speaking your mind or letting your hair down a bit, forget about it.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | September 1, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"Strasburg (who by all accounts is a real jerk)"

Actually, I've never heard any account of him being a jerk. I keep hearing things like "humble," "shy" and "just wants to be one of the guys."

Posted by: jcj5y | September 1, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm really going to miss Dibble. I love the Nats and will keep watching every game (unlike some of you, I like Bob Carpenter), but Dibble was always entertaining to listen to even when the Nats were playing their worst (sometimes especially then).

Posted by: wocoliz | September 1, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

>but I'm not bitter.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa

I am

Posted by: Brue | September 1, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will of Dibble (and everyone is anyway), but this smacks of the team firing the color man for having an opinion. I don't like that.

The Redskins pull crap like that. The Nats shouldn't.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Section406 | September 1, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, this is a backward step for the franchise. Dibble was a tempered homer for the Nats...rooting for the home team but never failing to express his opinions, both good and bad. He blew the Strasburg assessment but that should hardly disqualify him from illuminating and entertaining us from the booth. Here's where we need Warner Wolf back in town for his Boo of the Week!

Posted by: McKinley2 | September 1, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Can you point to a single account (let alone all accounts) of Strasburg being a jerk? I'm not necessarily saying he's Mother Theresa or anything, but everything I've read about him suggests he's a decent guy, good teammate, and well-liked. So, I, too, call bullpizzles.

Also, I'm really interested in Adam's post - particularly the point that Dibble's comments angered not only the front office, but the clubhouse. Love more details on that.

Posted by: Section220 | September 1, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The Nats need to assemble the top-notch TV team that can take them through an ascendant decade.

+1/2St.
___________________________________________
Could not agree more. The TV team is the verbal communication for the brand, and the link between the brand and its constituency, so the more familiar/comfortable constituency is with the duo, the better the connection with the club.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 1, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Great news! Dibs is a terrible analyst. Dare I dream the same fate befalls Larry Michael?

Posted by: thebone | September 1, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

First Amendment rights here. Dibble wasn't say anything that I wasn't thinking about that team when they muffed grounders, misplayed fly balls, and made stupid throws to allow runners to advance.

Posted by: mjsciann1 | September 1, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

So in the end, Dibble got fired for not being enough of a homer. Hard to have predicted that....

Posted by: stantonpark | September 1, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

This is crazy. Rob Dibble was half the reason I watched the games. I cannot believe today's news.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 1, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing to say the least!! Nats games aren't near as entertaining without Rob Dibble and his quirky, enthusiastic commentary. Ray Knight is fine in the pregame and post game but he can't seem to come up with a coherent sentence when he has to do it on the fly. It is a sad day in Natstown!!

Posted by: jadecat | September 1, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

What a disgraceful performance by MASN and the Nats. Like high school girls they had their little secret and refused to share it in the hallways just like MASN letting him twist in the wind.

Dibble was the best color man in the league. Listen to other telecasts and you will see what I mean.

A very dark day for this franchise.

Posted by: MKadyman | September 1, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Old man Lerner and Kasten are idiots. Dibble's comments were not smart, particularly in 20/20 hindsight. But DIbble didn't make his comments on a Nats broadcast. He made them on a radio show which the Nats and MASN knew about when he was hired and was part of the deal. The entire thing reflects very poorly on the Nationals.

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 1, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think firing Dibble was unjust. He made too many mistakes. I thought Dibble was going to be horrible, but he was not. He was good, he fancied himself a truth teller, he had enthusiasm. He brought more coverage of the Nats to XM. But Dibble was too much of a truth teller - he became boorish. He did not research his game and he offended the team he covered. Criticizing Strasburg is not a fireable offense, but embarassing your employer and its other employees is not a virtue either. It's stupid. And he has a track record of repeatable performance.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 1, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I can only wish we had this sort action->consequence mindset in politics. Thanks Nats for giving me at least one example of an organization not afraid to say, "We don't need that sort of thing around here. You're fired!"

I applaud you.

p.s., I don't have cable and had no idea who Dibble was until he bloviated on Strasburg and made headlines. So there's no ax grinding here :)

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | September 1, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I think that what you see here is pretty clear. Dibble was not the team doctor, pitching coach or GM. He was an announcer. He forgot that, all while, on air, acting as if he was one of the other three, if not all three. Simple as that.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 1, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The Nats hereto known as the Stalin Comrades. And don't ever speak ill of the Kremlin.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

What problems did the "clubhouse" have with Dibble? All seems very petty. So he had an opinion about a player. Big deal. Nats management is looking dumb.

Posted by: interactingdc | September 1, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The wrong guy in the booth got the ax.

Posted by: bvlogan | September 1, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

No, clearly not, AH.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | September 1, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm fine with "telling like it is" ala Cosell but that's not what Dibble did -- he made a snap judgement that was completely wrong and instead of "sucking it up" and admitting he was hasty he claimed his words were twisted by"sick individuals". Besides, SS didn't want to go on the DL for the shoulder and he wanted to stay in the game after the elbow pain as well as make his next start. That doesn't sound like a baby to me, it wasn't his choice to be handled with kid gloves. Why on earth are people juumping on him? He didn't create the hype and the nicknames.

Posted by: Natmeister | September 1, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between censorship and editing. This was editing. Wouldn't have been my call, but they're paying him to talk, and can fire him if they don't like what he says. Censorship is when the government does it, not when your boss does.
********************
First Amendment rights here.
Posted by: mjsciann1 | September 1, 2010 6:31 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps being the worst team in MLB for several years running made games unwatchable? Just a thought. I prefer to have a homer calling games...after all, it's baseball, which is terribly boring anyway on TV. At least Dibble was entertaining.

Why don't they get Larry Michael to call the games and let Frank Herzog return to the Redskins?!

Posted by: Section104 | September 1, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I am ambivalent about Dibble being around or not. But can someone explain how the first amendment applies? He was and is free to say whatever he wants. He also has to accept whatever consequences come from that.

Posted by: marathoner | September 1, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

so guess Stan needs a new PR line - the "he asked for a few days off" BS clearly a lie

not about Dibble, but a front office that insults our intelligence by expecting us to swallow their not very credible PR

Posted by: TGT11 | September 1, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, announcers are an acquired taste, and no two tastes are the same -- hence the wide range of opinions about the Nationals crew from those who sample other teams' crews. So there's no point in arguing about whether or not losing Dibble is addition by subtraction; personally, I don't care for his style at all, and always felt like his homer-ism was somewhat junior varsity. Every time MASN Nats highlights made it onto MLB Network, I was a little embarrassed for the rest of the country to see how amateurish Dibble made the franchise out to be. Knight isn't much of an upgrade for me, so we'll have to wait and see what happens in the offseason as far as permanent moves.
Regarding the firing though, it's hard to believe anyone could be fired for this alone, no matter who he angered with the comments -- if I had to guess, I would say someone upstairs (cough, Stan, cough) was getting tired of Dibble's act and used this incident as the impetus to go ahead and sever ties.
As far as replacements, you know who's excellent is Chris Singleton at ESPN. He's only working one day a week there, maybe he'd be interested.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | September 1, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

One interesting (to me, anyway) trend I'm seeing: this is breaking out into people who think Dibble is entertaining, and people who don't, but more than a few people who apparently won't miss him still think he shouldn't have been fired for this, at least not in-season. No one who liked him seems to think this was justified.
Not sure what that means, but there it is. (I was always more suited to play-by-play than color, myself, anyway.)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Whatever you do don't speak ill of Comrad Kasten. Or you won't be heard from again.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Whatever you do don't speak ill of Comrad Kasten. Or you won't be heard from again.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 1, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

ummm, yeah, skinsfan, we get it. thanks.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Dibble's Irreverent...that's why they got him. You don't host a show called "The Best %$#% Talk Show.Period." and then be asked to toe the company line. The fact that he says and does stupid things is part of the fun of watching the Nats. If you're going to watch a team lose 100 games, you might as well do it with a smile on your face.

In contrast, Ray Knight is awful. Sure he knows baseball but it's just plain uncomfortable listening to him.

Posted by: d-35 | September 1, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Dibble was running out of gas. When he started last year he was an interesting diversion but his act got old over time. If you listen to his broadcasts over the past month you can see that he was distracted at times, extending his comments away from the game. Take another look at the Nats/O's broadcasts where MASN decided to mix the announcers of the 2 teams. Compare Dibble's demeanor and remarks to Jim Palmer's. No contest. The Hall of Famer's presence and words were so much better than Dibble's. Perhaps Dibble will learn from this and improve his performance at another venue.

Posted by: plptba | September 1, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

So I'm watching the Riggins commercial on the pregame show ("I used to run with my legs. Now, I run with my mouth."), and I wonder, what if Dibble had been a DC guy? Wouldn't have been possible in Dibble's case, obviously, but do you think that would have mattered? Just curious. We'll never know, I guess.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Good. Dibble plain sucked.

Posted by: futbolclif | September 1, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Terrible decision to fire Dibble. I'm not looking forward to listening to bland Ray Knight. Rob Dibble's passion, insight, and funny comments will be sorely missed. Dibble's entertaining commentary was the only thing that made many a Nats game watchable. Now I'll be watching a lot less of the late innings in a Nats blowout loss. BORING. The only thing that make this situation tolerable is the Nats can bring over Steve Stone from Chicagoland.

Posted by: OldTownNatsfan11 | September 1, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Yep, replacing the broadcaster will win the pennant for the Nats next year!

And why did the Nats risk Strasburg's arm when they were already out of the playoffs? Just to sell a few more tickets. Stupid is as stupid does.

Posted by: Delongl | September 1, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

First of all, let's get one thing strait. Every team in the 4 major sports -- 100% of them -- decide who broadcasts their games, not the stations. In many cases the team outright-owns the broadcasts. But even in those situations where a company purchases the broadcast rights, part of the deal is that the team gets final say on broadcasters.

So let's stop all this talk about the Nats censoring MASN broadcasts. Dibble was a Nats employee. Period. And he was fired by his employer.

Next, Dibble was not only wrong in his comments, he was reckless. Criticizing a player for not hustling or for committing an error is one thing. But questioning a player's loyalty, toughness, and manhood -- without knowing the facts -- is unacceptable. Then, Dibble goes back on his radio show and continues to make snide remarks about Strasburg and the Nationals front office -- clearly showing zero remorse and no admission of error. Actions like that are not going to be tolerated by the Nationals or any other organization.

Rob Dibble did this to himself. He is not the victim. His actions made it impossible for him to go back into that clubhouse and work with the teammates of the player he verbally attacked. Then, Dibble's refusal to offer apology or explanation made it clear he was not going to attempt to reconciliation either.

So if it comes down to siding with the players or the color commentator. Which one do you think the Nats should have picked?


Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | September 1, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The main thing I like from an analyst is if I learn anything new about baseball. The insights count more than just trying to joke around or spout opinions. Dibble was average.

Mainly I learned about how a pitcher thinks about each pitch count for any given hitter. Dibble was better than average about that, even excellent. Dibble didn't repeat the obvious too much, which is the worst trait of an analyst. But Dibble was maybe average or less than average on other overall baseball strategy as well as where a player is in his career--the big picture. You also like to hear inside baseball stories, and Dibble was OK there, not great.

Bottom line, Dibble was OK and at times more than OK, but the Nats can do better next season.

Posted by: EdDC | September 1, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Bring Back Paciorek. And bring back Mel Proctor while you're at it.

Posted by: R_Milot | September 1, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Bad call. Dibble made the broadcasts of a still sometimes wretched team worth watching.

Posted by: CapsNut | September 1, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I wish civics was still taught in schools. The First Amendment means that the GOVERNMENT can't restrict speech. I can criticize Obama or Bush or my private employer, and I can't be put in jail, or sanctioned in any way by the GOVERNMENT, for any of that. But my private employer sure CAN fire me if I criticize them. Dibble's firing has NOTHING to do with the First Amendment.

Posted by: skidge | September 1, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I like Dribble, he made the some games more tolerable but he dug his own grave.

Posted by: luvdc808 | September 1, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Funny - between innings you see commercials featuring John Riggins touting his ESPN show and bragging about what a loose cannon he is.

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 1, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Keep Bob Carpenter, but PLEASE get rid of Debbi Taylor.

Posted by: randy28146 | September 1, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I liked Rob in the booth and didn't want to see him fired, but his comments were over the top. In more of an attacking style than just an upfront opinion, he made belittling accusations against Strasburg and arrogantly portrayed himself as not only a better judge of Strasburg's injury situation than team management, but also the attending physicians. None of it was based on fact, and was emotionally unintelligent in not waiting for the medical report. Not long before that, Rob was convinced that he knew what a couple of fans were talking about during a game and spent a lot of air time making judgmental and sexist remarks about the situation. He didn't really apologize for that, and so it's not surprising that he went on to make an even bigger blunder of a similar nature so shortly thereafter. He has all along spent a good deal of air time on self promotion which could get tiresome.
I'll miss his sense of humor, his knowledge and experience and I'm sorry this happened, but frankly, I find I learn a lot more from Ray Knight's analysis than I ever did from Rob's. Not only does Ray have a much wider range of experience than Rob which allows him to give insight on plays and situations from different perspectives, I think he's every bit as invested in this team as Rob has been, and he doesn't spend a lot of air time on thinly veiled self promotion. I wish Rob well in whatever he does next, and I hope he matures through this experience.

Posted by: jdVA | September 1, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"The only replacement that would be more interesting than Dibble would be if they could get Pete Rose (as long as we're sticking wiht former Reds)...too bad that will never happen."

-----

How about ex-Red Jim Bowden, he said tongue firmly in cheek.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | September 1, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Dibble no longer Top Cat?

Posted by: tttt1 | September 1, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Who is Debbie Taylor blowing to keep her job? She is so far beyond awful, the world's most powerful telescope can't find her. An Bob Carpenter sucks too.

Posted by: wewintheylose | September 1, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Dibble must be glad he doesn't have to watch this crap anymore.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | September 1, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals will have a new analyst for their games. The one guarantee is he will not stir as much passion and opinion as Dibble."

Not necessarily. They could hire Mike Wise.

Posted by: nunof1 | September 1, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Dibble gets fired but Debi Taylor keeps her job? That makes no sense.

Posted by: AlexVa1 | September 1, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

This is the second best firing in Nats history (after Bowden)! What can we call this day? No Dibble-Mas?

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | September 1, 2010 5:29 PM

It's somehow appropriate that a comment this dumb comes from Wheaton.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 1, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I disliked Dibble immensely in the booth, but I don't want to be a "the end justifies the means" kind of guy here. If the Nationals fired him solely because of his Strasburg comments, then they should have waited until the end of the season.

However, there's a decent chance this is about more than just his comments on the radio.

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 1, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I think this totally sucks. I liked Dibble and he livened up a WHOLE LOT of terrible baseball. Good luck finding someone else who is going to get so invested in this team. Terrible decision.

Posted by: HenryStin | September 1, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I think this is fine. You don't stick your neck out to protect a color commentator, they grow on trees. I bet the Nats took pleasure in telling MASN what to do as well.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 1, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Dibs was one of the main reasons I tuned in to Nats games. Are the Nats taking a page from the Dan Snyder playbook??? That was not a fireable offense. I'm sure Dibs would have appoligized for his comments next time he was on the air. Jeeeeez, give the guy a break, you pay him to be opinionated. Hello football.

Posted by: magilla | September 1, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

How about getting Tommy John as color commentator. He could describe Strasburg's surgery in vivid detail.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | September 1, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I hated Dibble's "homerism" ("we...") but really thought his commentary and analysis was on point in general...

in context, his comments on Strasburg were stupid but pre-confirmation of injury, hardly cause for firing.

This does NOT reflect well on the Nats, IMO...

if you want to play in the Bigs, you better be able to take the heat, and this tells me that they just want lap dogs in the booth....

I'm sure glad I didn't pull the trigger on that season ticket package I was considering this year!

This is NOT a good long-term move.

Posted by: fendertweed | September 1, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

p.s.

I agree that Ray Knight is awful as a commentator/analyst... has none of the insight that I thought Dibble had, even if he was a dick.

Posted by: fendertweed | September 1, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Can we fire Debbie Taylor too? I actually get agitated when she bubbles through EVERY SINGLE interview. You'd think that after all these years, Ms. Taylor would have gotten the hang of the whole "sideline reporter" thing, but she is consistently terrible...

Also, I just want to echo some of the comments RE the First Amendment, note that its express terms only apply to the Federal Government. Subsequent Supreme Court jurisprudence has held that the First Amendment also applies to state and local governments as well. In simple terms the First Amendment merely prevents governments from enacting laws that penalize certain types of speech. Your employer, whether private (MASN) or public (Federal, state govt) can sure as help penalize you for derogatory for what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to... Dibble brought this on himself.

Posted by: MEssex | September 1, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I would like a tryout. I don't know much about pro baseball, i never played beyond when I was 17, but I love my Nats since the day it was announce the expos were coming, and had been waiting patiently since the days when the Collins group was trying to get teams to move to No. VA.

I'm passionate, willing to learn, and I'll do it on the cheap! And I'm pretty sure I'd be able to make as many nutty comments as Dibble, but mine would be completely baseless i'm sure since i can't say "in my day we did it like this" :) so someone let the Lerners know would ya!

Posted by: Rogueone | September 1, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

It's somehow appropriate that a comment this dumb comes from Wheaton.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 1, 2010 8:33 PM

And by 'dumb' I meant to type 'smart'. Sorry buck. I need to turn the computer off

Posted by: Kev29 | September 1, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

If Dibble had made the same comments about Craig Stammen nothing at all would have been said about it. But don't you dare talk ill about the golden boy.

By the way Kasten again is proven as a liar.

Posted by: MKadyman | September 1, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Dibble's comments were inappropriate and unwarrented, however not deserving to be fired from MASN, which I think Dibble doesn't give a hoot in hell anyway. It's almost a lock that he is making more $$$ with XM than he was with the Notinals. And as far as the ownership goes, they are becoming the WORST owners in Washington sports, including the dislikes of Danny Boy and the Ambulance Chaser in Baltimore.

Anyway I will ask my fellow bloggers this: Who should be our Color Commentator for next season. Better yet, who should be in the booth next year, pre-game, in-game and post-game.

Posted by: EKamenski | September 1, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I must say, Dibble was far better than either of the radio broadcasters for the Nats. Those two are the worst announcers I have ever heard. One of them, and I don't know which one it is, has such a nasally voice, it's like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard.

Posted by: hlef | September 1, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I haven't watched with the sound on in six years. I would like to ask why folks do?

Posted by: paulkp | September 1, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Bring Back Paciorek. And bring back Mel Proctor while you're at it.

Posted by: R_Milot | September 1, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

AMEN!

Posted by: buster_c | September 1, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

If Debbi Taylor doesn't get Dibble's job, I will scream gender discrimination!
She know's more about "how does it feel" journalism than anybody in the Nat's media group.

Seriously, I liked Dibble a lot and think his "anti-" comments will be sorely missed. I hate the idea of listening to a broadcast team of homer announcers.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | September 1, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Listening to Dibble was like listening to the Copy Guy on SNL. "Zimminator!" "Zim-a-licious". Ridiculous.

His occasionally good insights were far outweighed by his "Back when I pitched for the Reds...." nonsense. As if pitching for the Reds gave him a correct perspective on all things baseball forever.

Posted by: RJD1 | September 1, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

haven't watched with the sound on in six years. I would like to ask why folks do?

Posted by: paulkp | September 1, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

That's what us 'Skins fans ask ourselves sometimes when we hear Larry Michael on the radio.

Posted by: EKamenski | September 1, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

A pity to see Dibble fired. At times like watching a train wreck, he was ultimately entertaining and insightful. I hope the Nats had some other grievance they're not telling because the Strasburg comments, while inapprorpriate, did not warrant firing.

Ray Knight -- he's fine but not as fun.

Debbi Taylor -- my expectations are not so high for that role, and she meets them.

Bob Carpenter -- he's excellent.

Posted by: lo-knight | September 1, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

All Dibble had to do was sincerely apologize and show some remorse. When are people in sports going to realize this?

Instead he blamed bloggers who didn't know anything and claimed they twisted his words.

Posted by: Alisterio | September 1, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Turn off the television and turn on the radio. The radio guys are excellent.

Posted by: chrisduckworth | September 1, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

If a team can dismiss one of the finest announcers in all of baseball (Jon Miller)because he wasn't a homer, then the dismissal of Dibble is quite appropriate as Strasburg is the future and Dibble is inconsequential.

Posted by: bstrauss0913 | September 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Okay, this now frees up Dibble to be on the Redskins broadcast team.

First topic up for commentary: what do you think about Albert Haynesworth?

Could be entertaining, don't you think?

Posted by: plainspeaking | September 1, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Another loss for the losing Nats.

Bad, bad sign for the future.

I guess no Billy Martin is on the horizon to get a little action out of these give-ups.

Dibs spoke as someone who has been there. Not knowing what had eventually been diagnosed, I found his statements completely within the lines.

But, leave it to the poli-correct, white milk Nat's admin to steer another white-flag course.

What's next, refusing to pay rent to DC again?

Losers now, losers tomorrow.

Posted by: tslats | September 2, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Wait, what? People liked Dibble? Since when? I've never heard anything but complaints about him on this board. Apparently, people just really like complaining about Kasten.

This is every game Dibble has ever called: [Opposing batter hits a curveball:] "You have a great fastball [in reality, it's 91 and straight], why are you speeding the guy's bat up and letting him off the hook?!!!" [Next batter hits a fastball]: "You can't be so predictable out there and only throwing fastballs, you gotta change it up and keep the hitter off balance!!! [Random terrible joke in a stupid face voice]"

Two other things: First off,anyone who watched the game saw that McCatty came out the second Strasburg winced, without having to be called out; second, this is not the first thing Dibble has said that would have gotten him into trouble with any employer. Good riddance.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | September 2, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Dibble was always lively and the team wasn't. You need someone with personality when the team's at the bottom of the division. I don't like this move, and I don't think it was fair to Dibble.

Posted by: 202character | September 2, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

I'll never forget the time Dibble told me, on air, that "to be good at baseball, what you have to do is eat balls." Then he was quiet--surely one of the few times he actually realized what he said. Now instead of two reasons to yell at the TV during Nats games, I have only one.

Posted by: meglulofs | September 2, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Just more proof, if more proof is needed that, in the land of free speech, you have to be excruciatingly careful WHICH goose you say "boo" to!

God help you if you pick the wrong one. Nobody else will.

You look at things people like Glen Beck(or is it Bunk?) say every few hours, and this was ZERO by comparison!!!!

Also, keep in mind, it's ONLY BASEBALL!
There is only so much damage you can do talking about baseball!

Posted by: gkiltz | September 2, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

This is too easy ---

Suck it up Dibble, you idiot. Adios.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | September 2, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"Some fans believed he made games entertaining with .... his willingness to criticize a team that has lost 179 games since he began."

This. Our household will watch fewer Nats games on TV because of this decision. This franchise is almost certain to lose 300 games over a three year period. Don't insult our intelligence by trotting out someone on COLOR who's going to pretend that there's nothing wrong with the team.

Posted by: adbiosec | September 2, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

SUPPORT FREE SPEECH & BRING DIBBLE BACK

RAY KNIGHT DOESN'T CUT IT

Posted by: billherz1 | September 2, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'll miss when Dibble called the fat, old umps on the field who were asleep standing up, "relics" and "dinosaurs." Just don't bring in boring and bland Jim Palmer - I can't listen when MASN swaps up the announcers for the Nats/O's series.

Posted by: Hugo15 | September 2, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between being outspoken and being a horse's ass. There's a difference between being opinionated and being a horse's ass. There's a difference between being straightforward and being a horse's ass.

My taste for Dibble nosedived ss his horse's-assness became more and more obvious.

There was the "suck it up," macho-man Strasburg riff (as somebody pointed out, there's a difference between questioning how the team is handling the kid and telling him to 'be a man'). There was the "guys, don't take your dames to the ballpark" riff (while Carpenter desperately tried to throw him a lifeline. But nobody has so far mentioned the Jason Marquis riff, the one where Marquis finally has a decent five-inning run, and Dibble's reaction is to jump all over him and say, c'mon, you're making $15 million and you're only going to go five innings? Because that's what big swinging tatoo guy would do, injuries be damned, etc. etc.

It's not the team defending Strasburg. It's the team responding to a pattern of behavior that, through the course of August, was getting continually worse.

And no, it's not a first amendment thing.

Good riddance.

Posted by: Alan_A | September 2, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser and Wilbon just said on PTI that the Nats were foolish to let go of Dibble, that he is a passionate and talented color commentator.

Rob is a man's man. In this era of PC, and with metrosexuals dominating television, the greatest Nasty Boy is a breadth of fresh air.

For now we're stuck with the infinitely less interesting Cincinnati alumnus.

Posted by: Joe_of_Leonardtown | September 2, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember the other nasty comments he made about Steven Strasburg and the sexist comments he made about the women behind home plate watching the game and talking. What exactly did the women have to do with the game he was supposed to be the color analyst for? I AM GLAD HE WAS FIRED AND IT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED SOONER!

Posted by: rldl | September 2, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Good thing we will have a "color commentator" who doesn't stir any passion. You don't want a passionate fan base. I LOVED listening to Dibble because he was so fired up, and could really explain what was going on, unlike a lot of these guys.

Posted by: alecrogers1 | September 3, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

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