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Dibble off the air at least 2 days

Aug 25, 2010, 10:13 PM EDT

MASN analyst Rob Dibble will not appear on Nationals broadcasts for at least the next two nights in the wake of controversial comments he made on the radio earlier this week about Stephen Strasburg.

According to MASN spokesman Todd Webster, Dibble requested the days off himself. Ray Knight will be filling in as the game analyst tonight and tomorrow alongside play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter.

"As a baseball fan, you know that the baseball season is a marathon, which starts in March and continues through October, as players, managers, and — yes, broadcasters — are on the job nearly every day for more than six months," Webster wrote in an email. "MASN's broadcasters may work anywhere from 35-150 games per season, while the alternate personality may be in the booth for the remaining games. From time to time, other commentators from MASN's deep bench of talent are brought into the broadcast, to offer their perspective and inform the game. At his request, Rob Dibble is taking a few days off, to which he — or any MASN employee — is entitled. Ray Knight will provide expert color analysis with Bob Carpenter for the next few days."

MASN announcers generally plan their days off months in advance, often knowing they will be attending family events such as weddings and graduations. Dibble, however, didn't request the time off untilRead more »

  1. LoveDaNats - Aug 25, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Dibs means well. He just talks before he thinks.

  2. meixler - Aug 25, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    I agree with LDN. For all the grief he gets I actually like listening to Dibble and I think he and Carpenter make a good team. If he actually did ask for the days off then I hope his time off proves useful, I just hope that MASN didn't make him take a leave and are trying to spin it. I don't need to agree with everything he says but he should still be allowed to say it… even if it is stupid.

  3. Bote Man - Aug 25, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Dibble is a meat head.Look, anybody can make a mistake in saying something regrettable, and with these guys it happens on the air so everybody hears it and it can be recorded and regurgitated ad nauseum.But I have listened to Dibble on and off since I got XM in 2005 to follow baseball and recognized years ago that he is a guy who speaks first and thinks never. I'm quite confident that he "asked" for the time off after his superiors strongly suggested to him that he do so. I don't have a problem with what he said, even if I don't agree. At least he was speaking his mind (or whatever he stores between his ears). Unfortunately, in D.C. *EVERYTHING* is measured by how somebody might take it, so they simply can not allow anything that falls too far astray of the party line.

  4. natscan reduxit - Aug 25, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    … Dibble was and is clearly wrong in his assessment of what Stras should have done, and should do in future similar circumstances. … but the more interesting point to make here is that only with a team careening headlong toward its third lousy season in a row could the misadventures of a TV play-by-play man become a news story.Go Nats!

  5. Doc - Aug 25, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Dibs was also talking as a former pitcher, and he has something to say worth listening to. He is also a guy who had to give up his career because of arm problems. But things have changed since he was on the mound. I don't think that any pitcher, nor a club, has much choice but to err on the side of caution, whether it's Strasburg or pitcher X. That's just the way the game is played now.

  6. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Aug 25, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    Yeah, he's just taking a couple days off. SURE…Probably just wanted to catch that big sale going on at Nordstrom's.Can you spell c-e-n-s-o-r-s-h-i-p?

  7. CapPeterson - Aug 25, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    Don't agree with what Dibs said, but why can't he express his opinion? Especially if he's on Sirius. Haven't you got more important issues to deal with, Stan?

  8. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    Dibble may say something dumb from time to time, but his replacement, Mr. Knight, seems to have a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth.

  9. JaneB - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Sunshine Bobby C: That very word was in my head. Surely this team and Strasburg himself CAN'T be thin-skinned to the point where someone can't say what Rob said. He is a ex-pitcher, and he spoke from the lens of that era. Big deal. At least he knows that a picther is behind in the count when it's 3-2. I'm just sayin'…

  10. SBrent - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    This is nuts! he should be able to say whatever he thinks about Strasburg. Come on! MASN (and even more Sirius XM) pay him to be an analyst and offer his thoughts about the baseball team he's seeing on the field. How can you punish him for expressing that opinion about Strasburg, whether it's right, wrong, or stupid? I find it very offensive that they're punishing him this way.

  11. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    Lame. Dibs is tied with Paciorek as our best color guy ever.

  12. Anonymous8 - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    Isn't part of Dibble's schtick to be a shock jock or is he just really a big a$$? I like listening to him as he is a "homer" for the Nats but certainly full of sh-t as he goes on his XM show away from his Nats microphone and disses Strasburg. That, I have a problem with.

  13. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Sadly this kind of censorship doesn't even rate as one of the Natinals five worst days.

  14. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    If you watch much of the MLB Network they do live look ins and pick up broadcasts from all 30 teams. Watching that channel on a regular basis you can really see how bad the Nationals broadcast team really is.

  15. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    He's awful. All he does is refer to "when I pitched for the Reds," as if that point of reference included all possible baseball experiences.Also: completely annoying that he keeps nicknaming the players. He's like the Copy Guy on SNL. I hope he does not come back. Much more enjoyable to hear Carpenter and Knight tonight.

  16. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    Don't tease me Masn. Fire him now. And not because of his latest fubar. He's just a bad baseball announcer. Maybe he's better suited for a radio show but 150 or so games of him is torture.Anyone who needs to constantly remind his audience how smart he is clearly is dumber than dumb.

  17. SonnyG10 - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:34 AM

    I like Rob Dibble. I like the fact that he is a Nats homer. I want my announcers to strongly root for the Nats. I think Rob is just frustrated with how the Nats are going as we all are.

  18. Mark - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    His comment was fine on his XM show except it shows his true colors. Big and bad Dibble talking trash about Strasburg behind his back and then on MASN he kissesd butt.Talking about trash, that was Dibble's career. He had 3 1/2 good years which a career doesn't make.

  19. mike - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:42 AM

    I live in Philadelphia, and when the Nats are in town, I actually prefer listening to the local announcers. Dibble is a buffoon. His nicknames are obnoxious, his analysis is bland, and clapping into the microphone while shouting "yeah baby, woo!" does not exactly rise to the level of useful color commentary. It's amazing the Nats can't field a quality television broadcast team, especially when compared with the excellent radio broadcast. Dibble… here's how it's done:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b6HxTIwey8Pure gold.

  20. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:51 AM

    OK — I've read: Dibble is a meat head. and Dibble is a buffoonDon't insult meat heads and buffoons that way.Seriously.Yeah, great, so he can call out some Nats when needed, but 80% of the time he's wrong. When a fastball pitcher gives up a hit with a fastball, Dibble's the first one to say, "any hitter can hit a fastball when they know it's coming, you have to mix it up." And then on the next batter, when a guy hits a curve, Dibble's the first one to say "you have to pitch to your strength, not play with him with curves." No, Dibble (in his own mind) is never wrong.If you watch much of the MLB Network they do live look ins and pick up broadcasts from all 30 teams. Watching that channel on a regular basis you can really see how bad the Nationals broadcast team really is.Amen to that. (And, while it's not fair to compare to radio, it is fair to say that as good as Charlie Slowes and Dave Jagler are, is as bad as Carpenter and Dribble is).And, darn it, Dibble is just so wrong so much of the time. Anyone remember when he threw that hissy fit at Ray Knight because others were suggesting that Straburg was throwing too many strikes? (FWIW, McCatty and Strasburg also agreed — you don't continually throw strikes on 0-2 counts).(And how does a guy who's career was cut short by arm surgery come off telling a guy to tough it out?)What a complete and total hot-head-pig-idiot.

  21. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:58 AM

    I guess I should add — I don't think Dibble should be fired for his stupid comments the other night. I like announcers who can be critical of the team when it's deserved.But I do think his comments are indicative of what an idiot he is. In other words, he should be judged on the full body of his work — which ought to get him fired.

  22. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    I hate Dibble's never-ending attempts to show how tough and macho he is. His incredibly stupid comments about Strasburg are just the latest example.Dibble isn't a closer anymore. He doesn't have to pitch high and inside — or insult someone like Strasburg — to prove himself. Sure, it's more fun to be an aggressive jerk. But Dibs, you need to suck it up. This is your profession. You chose to be a color commentator for a baseball team. Add some value. Tell us something we don't know. Something that's not obvious. If you can't, study some more, talk to more players, team officials, and sabermetric experts, and come up with something. Or get out of the box and let someone with some actual insights take over. All this superficial tough macho crap is getting old.

  23. N. Cognito - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    The problem with Dribble and Crappy is, they NEVER shut up! It's a constant barrage of idiotic blabberings with these two. They do not need to fill every second of air time with their voices.I've never hit the Mute button as much as I have with these two.

  24. Dave - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Two good years the guy had in the majors. On the basis of that, he bloviates nightly about what pitchers should be doing.What a blowhard.As I said a couple days ago–here or elsewhere, I can't remember–I've learned how to sync my DVR with my iPhone to get Charlie and Dave's audio with the MASN picture. Just like at the ballpark.

  25. natsfan1a - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    I happen to like Dibble. I was not offended by either (blown up, imho) "incident." I hope that MASN didn't ask him to take time off as a result of an uproar among some bloggers in the Natmosphere. What sort of precedent does that set?I also don't understand why, if people find him so annoying, they listen to his tv and radio broadcasts. I'm assuming that they do, because they quote excerpts from both in their screeds against him. Mostly, I'm just not a fan of ad hominem attacks or smear campaigns, which all of this is starting to feel like to me. I just don't get the all the vitriol. If you don't like it, then don't listen. Kind of like I do with some blogs (never this one, of course). Maybe we need a "save Dibble" campaign to counteract the "fire Dibble" campaign?

  26. Tcostant - Aug 26, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    I don't like what Dibble said, but I think he has the right to say it. The greater question is, as more and more teams own the network (I know the O's own more of MASN, but that Nats have a major stake too); will this mute the announcers unless cheering on the team? If that is the case, it is sad.It happens on YES all the time, the day Clements got indicted by congress, a major baseball story, the team he last played for doesn't even mention during the whole game.We should all be very leery of this. If more replays come to baseball, the home team usually has all the TV shots. Well, the day could come when a home team has a shot that could have over turned a home run, but held it back because the network is owned by the team.Food for thought – let them talk.End of rant.

  27. Anonymous8 - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    People have a right to say a lot of things and then face the consequences. What he did is a TWO FACED move. He got caught and it showed his true colors. Now he exposed himself for what he really is in my opinion."Two faced" is another way of saying someone is "fake," as if he or she has two faces: They act one way around certain people and then another way around others. In Dibbles case, he talks differently to his national audience instead of his Nationals audience and many like myself used to listen to his XM show too.I am glad this made it out in the open because I heard him say it on his XM show and I cringed. I know he would never say that on MASN.So, do we want on our MASN broadcast a guy that speaks from both sides of his mouth? Isn't that what we had with Jim Bowden?

  28. N. Cognito - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    I really don't want to hear about Dibble exposing himself.

  29. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Typical, Lerners censor the one guy who speaks the truth about the game, the players and its fans…this is Steve Stone and the Cubs all over again…BOO!

  30. Andrew - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Anon at 9:28am, he didn't speak the truth. He spoke as a tough guy to charge up his audience on XM. He spoke recklessly before he knew the extent of Strasburg's injury.Read the story in the Wash Post about Jordan Zimmermann pitching through his extreme elbow pain.

  31. N. Cognito - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    Anonymous said… "Typical, Lerners censor the one guy who speaks the truth about the game, the players and its fans…this is Steve Stone and the Cubs all over again…BOO! "What part of the below statement did you not understand?"According to MASN spokesman Todd Webster, Dibble requested the days off himself."

  32. The Great Unwashed - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Personally, I like Dibble.Having said that, what he said about Strasburg on his XM show is admittedly baffling. How many times have you stubbed your toe and your first reaction is to cry out in pain, but after a minute, you realize it’s not that bad. I’m guessing that’s what happened with Strasburg. He threw the change up, heard/felt something, and reacted by wincing and shaking his arm. The training staff came out to look at it (as they should) and Strasburg reportedly argued with them to keep pitching, but they took him out anyway. That much was known the night of the game, so I don’t know why Dibble ranted the following morning that he thought Strasburg wasn’t toughing it out. Remember the comments Dibble made on the air that were critical of Strasburg right before he signed? Maybe Dibble has a chip on his shoulder about him and his comments on XM were an extension of that. Who knows?Anyway, if the enhanced MRI shows structural damage, then taking him out was the right thing to do. Coddled or not, he’s the team’s $15 million+ investment and they can’t afford to take risks with him. If there’s no injury, then he joins the rotation and finishes out the season (I hope). Can you imagine all the wailing if they had let him stay in and he blew out his elbow? Everyone is acting as if the Nats are in a pennant race. They’re 20 games below .500 and their season is over. It really doesn’t make a difference whether Strasburg is pitching or not at this point.Despite that, I still like Dibble because he tells it like it is. Most announcers are vanilla in their commentary. Dibble calls out players when they don’t hustle or are pitching poorly — and he’s usually right in my opinion. I heard Carpenter (or maybe it was Dibble) say the other night that the Nats rotation had the highest era in the NL last season, as well as the fewest innings pitched. They’re pretty much in the same boat this year. And to say the defense has been horrid is an insult to the word horrid. Somebody’s got to call them out on it.Judging by the comments I’ve read here, if everyone on this thread had a mic on them for 162 games, I’m sure somebody would say something that would have people up in arms. You can’t please everyone.And by the way, kudos to Anon 8:31 for the Tom Paciorek reference. I wished he hadn’t been fired because I liked him too.

  33. Steve M. - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    I used to like Dibble more than Paciorek but Ron Darling was bad. I do like my guys to be homers "if" it is genuine. I know Dibble is a love him or hate him type of guy. I don't trust him now as genuine.Dibble showed me he is a phony. I knew he was a brown nose to the owners and he learned his way from how Jim Bowden ingratiated himself with Lerner. Brown nosing is an art and those guys are good, real good.

  34. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    N. CognitoIf you believe Dibble requested the days off himself I have a bridge to sell you in New York!

  35. markfd - Aug 26, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Dibble is a bit too unpolished for me to be an everyday, every inning commentator…maybe if MASN went to a rotation and used him for 3 innings or in the pre or post game it would give him less opportunities to insert his foot into his mouth.

  36. raymitten - Aug 26, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    I'm with the people who find Dibble two faced. I was a Reds fan for a long time, so I was ready to like Dibble, and, when you don't listen to him every day, his commentary sounds intellegent. The problem is that Dibble talks out of both sides of his mouth. Where were all these comments of bravado about Strasburg when the injury occurred? He was sitting right there watching it. Dibble has also been on both sides of the fence on the Adam Dunn resigning, at times saying definitively that they should resign him, and other times stating that they should trade him. I'd respect Dibble for his opinion if it really were his opinion, but no one knows what he really thinks because he just says whatever he thinks will shock people at the time he's talking. We don't need Howard Stern on the Nats telecasts. Dibble wants to BE the show, not report on it.

  37. natsfan1a - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Well, since I'm not a mind reader, I don't claim to know what Dibble's opinion is. I take it at face value that he is giving his honest opinion. But your mileage may vary (and I'm speaking generally here).As previously noted, I happen to like Dibble. I also happen to watch just about every game. imho, enjoying his work is a matter of personal taste. What tends to stick in my craw is those who make broad generalizations and presume to speak for an entire fan base (all women are upset with him; only casual fans like him). They certainly should feel free to share their opinions. I would prefer that they not presume to speak for me, and I would caution the team and/or the media not to assume that those bloggers who speak out against Dibble represent an entire fanbase.

  38. Anonymous - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    I actually prefer a broadcaster who doesn't always toe the company line and isn't afraid to speak his mind. I also don't mind if he roots a little for the team he covers. Robs OK by me. JTinSC

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