Updated at 6:37 p.m.
MIAMI — Rob Dibble will no longer be broadcasting Nationals games on MASN, a club spokesman said this afternoon.
The former Reds reliever, who signed a three-year contract with MASN in 2009, has not called any games since last Tuesday, when comments he made on his Sirius XM radio show about Stephen Strasburg generated controversy. According to a MASN spokesman at the time, Dibble requested time off. He hasn't returned to the booth since, with Ray Knight filling as as analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter.
According to sources familiar with the situation, the Dibble decision was made by the Nationals, not MASN.
The Nats spokesman said the club wouldn't have any other comment on Dibble's permanent departure. MASN spokesman Todd Webster declined to comment. Dibble didn't immediately respond to a message left for him.
Knight, who along with the rest of MASN's broadcast team was informed of Dibble's departure late this afternoon, will be covering the rest of the club's road trip through the weekend in Pittsburgh. He said he hasn't been told whether he'll continue game broadcasts after that or whether he'll return to his previous duties on MASN's pre- and post-game shows.
During an Aug. 23 discussion of Strasburg on his radio show, Dibble was critical of the rookie coming out of a game two nights earlier in Philadelphia after wincing in pain upon throwing a fifth-inning changeup.
"For me, a little bit has to be put back on Strasburg here," Dibble said. "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."
At the time, the results of multiple MRIs on Strasburg's arm (revealing a torn ulnal collateral ligament in his elbow) had not been revealed. Strasburg has since learned he will need Tommy John surgery and will miss 12-to-18 months.
The controversy over Dibble's Strasburg comments came less than two weeks after he came under criticism for comments he made during a MASN broadcast in which he chided two women sitting behind the plate for talking to each other and not paying attention to the game. Dibble later apologized for those remarks.