Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dibble done broadcasting Nats

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.


Anonymous said...

Lol. What a joke. Screw Stan Kasten. No doubt he made the call.

Nate said...

Oh noes! The communists and freedom-haters have won!! It's the end of America, sunshine and apple pie!!!

swang said...

Does Kasten have any control over MASN?

Anonymous said...

Very glad to see Dibble go. Not so much for what he said about Strasburg, but because I couldn't stand him as a color guy. Much prefer Ray Knight over Dibble.

Andrew said...

Sorry to see Dibble go. I personally liked his style of telling it like it is and not sugar-coating his comments. He was the definition of a "color" analyst.

Steven said...

Couldn't have happened to a bigger jackass.

N. Cognito said...

Seems a bit extreme for the circumstances but this is good news. No, GREAT news!

I never had any problem with him [attempting to] telling it like it is or being a homer. The problem was, in addition to never shutting up his constant non-sensical babbling, he'd go off on stuff with wrong or incomplete information (e.g. Strasburg comments), or by employing his perfect 20-20 hindsight - wouldn't matter what happened, if the results were bad, it was a bad decision; if the results were good, it was a good decision. His homerism would have been fine if it was objective, which it was far from. The only worse color guy for being objective is Hawk Harrelson.

All that said, nobody else on MASN doing the Nats TV is much better.

Our radio guys are top of the line.

Golfersal said...

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.

Sam said...

Now they just need to get rid of Carpenter, and the broadcast booth will be respectable. It pretty much does not matter who replaces him.

dale said...

He was the definition of an analyst with so little insight that it was laughable. You could basically rerun the same tape of his comments night after night-only the volume and timing changed. So if you can not make it on actually making intelligent comments you have to get by on attitude, which is what we have been subjected to for so long. So in the end we get a broadcast centered around the narrow bandwidth of Dibble--his "tats", his "tude", his personna, his meager major league span. Good move by MASN.

Anonymous said...

Here is a sample of Carpenter/Dibble:

Dibble after a Nats pitcher gave up a hit:

'It just doesn't make sense; he never came close to hitting the fastball; why would throw your secondary pitch?'

Dibble 3 pitches later after a couple of swings and misses:

'That's what I'm talking about; pitching is not complicated'.

Carpenter 3 pitches later after the Nats pitches has given up a home run:

'That was 6 fast balls in a row'

Dibble knowingly : 'Yeah'.

In depth reporting at it's best.

Anonymous said...

Thank god, Dibble was awful to listen too. I couldnt tell you how many times Dibble would contradict himself within a matter of minutes. Classic Dibble, when a pitcher gets behind after missing with a few off speed pitches "you just need to come up here and say this is my best stuff, come try and hit it. No more nibbling around the plate with this offspeed stuff". Next inning someone would tee off on a first pitch fastball and Dibble would chime in with "you cant expect to come up to the big leagues and expect to just lay fastballs over the plate and get batters out"

Like a poster said above, he was the master of 20/20 hindsight. If something worked it was genius, if it didnt work it was a terrible idea.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like Dibble. He was usually wrong in his analysis and often treated the audience as a bunch of dummies by telling us things were happening when there was no evidence on the TV for it. But that said, MASN should be ashamed of itself (and the team too as they own a piece and their insight is listened to by the TV station). Dibble did not do much of a firing offense, and honestly, if Strasburg didn't need TJ sugery, then he would be a little more spot on. Also, in all honestly, while the Natinals stink I always enjoyed his crazy tirades, both the good ones and the bad ones. Made me laugh and usually hit on the one extremely frustrating or joyous event that is glaring from the game. In fact, I found myself wondering what Dibble thought after a terrible gaffe by Nyjer Morgan because I know he'd at least talk about it, unlike Crapenter. Didn't like his guttural shouts in-game though.

Anonymous said...


What is your analysis? Fire-able offense? Was he lousy as an announcer? Could you give us your opinion, maybe grade his tenure here...


Cwj said...

They really should hire Phill Wood as the color man. Few are as knowledgeable about DC baseball history.

Michael J. Hayde said...

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 assumed (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. At least Dibble had a personality. 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."

Jim Webster said...

Not sorry to see Dibble go, although his "suck up" comment in context was not all that bad. Just wish he'd take Debbie with him.

phil dunn said...

Dibs is gone and now we have to suffer with diarrhea mouth Ray Knight. Knight never shuts up so I will switch back to Jaeger and Slowes.

Anonymous said...


You are more uninformed than Dibble. The Nats team doctor AND the doctor doing the TJ surgery said "We had the same exact results as the Phillies team doctor." Why do you think they did a second enhanced MRI? Have you not read any of Mark's posts?

Even though I am a Pirates fan the comments on this site make me feel better on a daily basis.

Michael J. Hayde said...

A bigger "firing offense": selling out the prime seats on Opening Day to approximately 207 train-loads of Phillies Phans, at the expense of DC residents. I'm still waiting for the Lerners to hold Kasten accountable for THAT fiasco, but I suspect Dibble will be back in the Nationals booth before it ever happens.

TheRealFrankL said...

I'm not at all happy about this. The Nationals and fans that didn't care for his comments need to "suck it up" to borrow a phrase.

He was the one colorful guy who provided any sort of entertainment during some of the more depressing and bad streaks in this National's season.

I really appreciated how he was both critical of players (and others) who deserved it, and was also clearly throwing his heart into rooting for the team.

I can get my objective analysis of a team in a million different places-I'm going to miss a guy who "wills" a ball to leave the park to beat the hated Phils and is okay with calling them "our guys." The idea that there needs to be this cookie cutter uniformity in broadcasting is ridiculous, and the fact that his comment about "sucking it up" cost him his job (when no one had any idea what was going on with Stras' elbow) is even more ridiculous. He had an opinion based on information made available, and I'm sure as more info was made available he would have adjusted his opinion.

He was a perfect foil and I'll miss him.

Sec3MySofa said...

The Nationals, with Angelos, own MASN. So they *are* his employers. Well, they were.
I was watching at the time, and it seemed very clear to me that he was waving to Pudge to come out to the mound. So there's that.
He didn't know at the time that Strasburg was in fact injured. But that *is* what he was talking about. So he didn't know wtf he was talking about.

I still wouldn't have fired him until the season was over, personally.

Michael J. Hayde said...

Anon @ 7:11 - nice try. Please consider reading more carefully before you post, lest you make an idiot out of yourself again. What I said was, Dibble made his comment based on the information he had at his disposal which was:

a) an erroneous perception by himself, Carp, Tom Boswell and every other journalist/columnist that Strasburg had signaled to the dugout that he was hurt.

b) the Phillies' team doctor that told the Nats that Strasburg was fine and "would be able to pitch in five days."

What the Nats' team doctor and the surgeon said was, based on the tests that were administered to Strasburg, both before and after the first MRI, they could understand why the Phillies' doctor said what he did.

May I suggest you take Reading Comprehension 101 next semester?

bdrube said...

@Frank - "The Nationals and fans that didn't care for his comments need to "suck it up" to borrow a phrase."

Ummm...actually, the fans who wanted to Dibble to stick around are the ones who need to suck it up, because, to borrow another phrase, "He GONE!" :)

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

I thought the guy was an idiot, but the Nats certainly knew that when they hired Dibbs. It's like hiring an arsonist as your chef, and then you fire him for overcooking the pot roast.

Overall, addition by subtraction: Bourbon and Maalox all around, barkeep!

LoveDaNats said...

Wow. Didn't realize we now live in red China. Yeah, Dibble talked too much but he should be able to have an opinion. Without losing his job. I will miss the way he roots for the team.

Anonymous said...

Best way to describe Dibble as "two faced" and a shock jock. He can now do his XM show and cut down the Nationals and tell everyone how great he was as a pitcher and talk trash.

Dibble had the equivalent of 3 1/2 good years in baseball and by his 6th season he was toast. In his 6th year, he walked over 1 batter per inning and gave up 1 homer per every 5 innings of relief. When you listen to Dibble, you'd swear he never gave up a HR.

Take good care Rob, you certainly were colorful here and if the Nats made the decision for you, I guess they finally learned how to smell out the brown-nosers.

JamesFan said...

Good move by the Nats. Glad to see Dibble go. His lecturing, overbearing tough guy style often made no sense and certainly wasn't consistent. Let's find a thoughtful and enthusiastic former player to add color from the booth.

FOTB said...

Love Ray Knight. I think he provides much more real insight into the nuances of the game than Dibble did. He's certainly not colorful, but my impression is that he knows a lot of more about the game. I'd be happy to see Ray stay in the booth with Carpy next year.
But here's a thought. It hardly matters who's in the booth if the team is winning.
Go Nats!

JaneB said...

What a terrible shame. No matter what your opinion of him -- I liked him, learned from him, but I know lots thought otherwise -- regardless, THIS was nit a reason to fire the guy. He didn't have all the facts and couldn't have had the facts. That the Nats management reacted in this over the top way makes me think so much less of them. Why couldn't he have at least been allowed to finish the season? Jeez Louise, guys. Seriously.

Mike said...

I liked Rob Dibble, and I enjoyed when he would openly cheer for the Nationals. Dibble is an egomaniac who still did not take himself too seriously and who had great rapport with Bob Carpenter and even Johnny Holiday. I didn't look for Rob Dibble for in depth analysis each game. It's a 162 game season. How much information is required? He injected fun into the 3 hour broadcasts, most of which the Nationals lost since May. Ray Knight is a studio analyyst, not a very interesting color guy.

People love Sonny and Sam on Redskins games. Huff has no idea who is on the filed and who has the ball at times. But we still listen because they are fun and biased, just like Dibble was. Good luck to him.

yankish2 said...

What are the chances that Jim Bowden replaces Dibble. Just kidding...!

Anonymous8 said...

Yankish, would that be a back-to-back brownoser?

The way I see it he would never say what he did on the MASN broadcast but goes to his XM show and talks trash about Strasburg behind his Nats audience back.

I liked Dibble because he always made it interesting. He was always 100% accurate in hindsight on his calls, but I knew what he was.

I think the phoney baloney routine caught up with him.

Ed Stroud said...

Maybe they could bring John "Brother Lo" Lowenstein to the booth.

As for Dibbs....don't let that "backdoor" breakin ball smack you in the ass on your way out of town.
Too many change ups to left handed hitters I guess. Good riddance you big blow hard donkey!

Anonymous said...

Ray Knight is hard to listen to. His constant talking and stammering makes the mute button your friend!

Caryn said...

My choice for replacing Dibble....Mark Zuckerman! I think that NatsInsider fans need to start a campaign...Mark Zuckerman for MASN!

Anonymous said...

I was very doubtful in the beginning (and I don't think he got off to a great start) but I grew to like Dibble. Did he contradict himself regularly, absolutely. But he was generally entertaining and while I thought his comments on SS stupid, I wouldn't have fired him.

He was the best of the Nats color announcers. But then that is damning with faint praise. Ron Darling was the worst I've ever heard. I know he improved for the Mets but even he says he was awful with the Nats.

I started off liking Tom Paciorek, as I had watched him as a Brave, but by the later part of the year he was sleep walking through the games. He had nothing.

I have always loved Don Sutton as I was working in Pensacola (he was from a nearby town) when he broke in with the Dodgers and he was fine on Braves broadcasts. But his heart wasn't in it and that was obvious before long.

So I will be sorry to see Dibble go. As for Ray Knight, I doubt he wants the full time job but I like him fine. He actually provides more insight than any of the others and his speech mannerisms don't bother me. But then we are both from Georgia and so it just sounds like home to me.

Dibble Left to Spend More Time with Family said...

Zuckerman for color commentator--they usually give those jobs to ex-ballplayers and, you know, people IN broadcasting.

Anonymous said...


I personally like Dibble, where many didn't. I recognize that.

However what he said on his radio show was hardly reason to get fired.

I prefer someone with an opinion, than a yes man, so who ever ends up taking his place better not be a hes man. Don Sutton was here before and he was awful. never criticized anything.

Chico Harlan said...

What a joke. I thought Don Sutton was one of the most boring color men that I have ever been subjected to, but Ray Knight gives him a run for his money. In my opinion, Knight's demeanor is much better suited for the post-game show.

I loved that Dibble actually cheered for the team. I'll never forget his ecstasy when Zimmerman hit the walk-off homer against the Phillies. In my opinion, it captured the moment perfectly. I understand how Dibble's behavior would be unpalatable on a national broadcast, but I have no problem with it on a regional one. It's a shame that Dibble was never the color man for a good Nats team; I think it would have only added to the excitement.

Going, going, gone! said...

Here's the deal. Not everything is what it appears on the surface. Dibble had other off-air issues so the recent devisive comments sealed his deal especially when MASN and the Nats received many complaints.

NatsNut said...

LOL. Nice Seinfeld reference:

"Zuckerman for color commentator--they usually give those jobs to ex-ballplayers and, you know, people IN broadcasting."

Anonymous said...


Well I have been complaining the last week with Knight in there, and will continue too.

Not sure what there is to complain about with Dibble he isn't boring and cheers for the team. Knight is boring.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. They'll get a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" guy who will drive most normal fans to the radio.

Anonymous said...

He didn't do anything to get fired in mid-season over. They obviously fired him for the Strasburg incident. Which is BS. Now we'll get a milquetoast who will be afraid to say anything controversial. If they wanted to fire him because they thought they could get better color guy, then that would be understandable, and something that could have been reasonably done in the offseason. But as this stands, Dibble comes out the victim, and the Nats organization is wrong. Good bye Rob.

Anonymous said...

This decision to sack Dibs is just stupid. I hope he latches on with another broadcast crew and I'm sure he will, unless this leaves a sour taste, at any rate I'm glad I can hear him on his XM show every morning. JTinSC

Anonymous said...

@Hayde: Even if he had signaled for the trainers (and while you now say that everyone says he did, I watched that game live and easily and clearly saw that he hadn't--Dibble should have too), so what? If a pitcher is in pain, he's not allowed to tell anyone? Basically, Dibble had two pieces of information: (1) Strasburg was in pain and pulled from the game; (2) an initial test had not revealed any major damage. I'm not exactly sure why the inevitable conclusion is that SS is a p*ssy. (Also, I see that this version of your comment left out the "by all accounts, Strasburg is a jerk" line; probably a good call by you, since every account anyone else has heard is that he's the exact opposite.)

Anonymous said...

Also, this is certainly not the only thing Dibble has said in the last two weeks, much less two years, that might have played into this decision (see his women-only-talk-about-shopping soliloquy).

Anonymous said...

So long Dribble. You and all your "street cred" can pretty much.... nah.... you're not worth the effort... Good riddance.

Green Armadillo said...

Our household will almost certainly watch fewer Nats games going forward because of this move. This is a club that remains likely to lose 300 games over three years. Dibble's commentary was flat out entertaining at times when the on-field product frankly wasn't.

Anonymous said...

No a huge Dibble fan, but:

a) have you listened to Ray Knight?
b) they got rid of Dibble but kept Debbi Taylor? Seriously.

I'm just sayin'...

bdrube said...

@LoveDaNats - "Wow. Didn't realize we now live in red China. Yeah, Dibble talked too much but he should be able to have an opinion. Without losing his job."

Huh? I have an experiment for you. Go to your job and start mouthing off about how the female customers are ditzes who only care about shopping and how your coworkers are wimps who should suck it up and see how long it is before YOU are gone.

Dibble has an absolute right to free speech. And the team has the absolute right not to pay him for excersing his right.


Stew Magnuson said...

The next time a game broadcaster complains that they don't get a Hall of Fame vote, and print journalists do, you can point to this episode as an example why. Teams expect their play by play guys and analysts to not step over too many invisible lines. See how Chip Carey and Steve Stone were shown the door a few years back for saying on air one too many times that the Cubs stunk. They are defacto employees of the team.
I come down on the pro-Dibble side, although his "when I pitched..." comments were annoying. He was never boring like the last three analysts.
(Ron Darling was by far the worst analyst I have ever heard in my life)

alm100 said...


I will miss Dibs - he was a homer but be was fun to listen to.

Anonymous said...

there was a dibble bit on the radio in 2003, when he was on with dan patrick, that involved a hunting trip, a hefty waitress, and a dead moose.
or, a waitress trip, a hefty moose, and something dead.
or a moose in the bed, and a waitress hunting dibble.
all entertaining.
listening to the nationals' radio broadcasts, you're lucky.
cogent, intelligent, (seemingly) precise, announcers.
and if the pirates move to nl east, ( given that someone has to finish last) the 'quin-caps tickets will be all the harder to get.

Unknown said...

I think it's time for someone in the booth who:

1. Has local ties
2. Has a local history in baseball (played here)
3. Has a long history within the game as player, coach, and currently minor league coordinator for a winning franchise.
4. Is a truly engaging speaker and personality
5. Has a sharp sense of humor
6. Can be honest and candid without tripping over himself.

Enter Dick Bosman.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Tom Paciorek was a lot of fun, if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Don Sutton and Ron Darling were awful. Dibs I liked, Ray knight mediocre at best.

Phil Wood would be good, but his voice is so boring.

I know lets just dump Bob Carpenter, and do a simulcast with Chaltie Schlows (spelling?) and Dave Jagler on TV and radio. That would be good.

Mr Baseball said...

How do you get to hear the Nats on the radio? I have been trying all season. I only live 72 miles from D.C. and can't find them anywhere on the radio. I can pick up Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, The Mets, Red Sox, Orioles, White Sox St. Louis, Yankees, but not our Nationals. With Masn in charge of the Nationals broadcasts the team reaches few outside the Washington area.

I've always wanted to listen to the radio broadcast because I can not take Bob Carpenter. He should have gone into the building business with his back door, front door, swing back and upstairs comments. Just use simply baseball talk, inside and outside curves, high and low fast balls and tail back pitches. He's always talking about the umpires wanting to be seen and being part of the game. Well, he should look into a mirror.

SonnyG10 said...

In spite of the fact that Dibble put his foot in his mouth a lot, I really liked him. I am saddened that he is gone and angry with Stan Kasten because I think he is behind this. Dibble's and Carpenter's interaction was entertaining to me and I loved the passion Dibble showed for the Nats. That is an important criteria for my enjoyment of the broadcast. I love Ray Knight, but only in the pre-game and post-game shows. I may be one of those that switches to listening to the radio, although the synchronization is a problem.

Anonymous said...

Not sure who is worse carpenter or dibbs...he was an ass as a player and it continued on as an announcer. How did he get hired by the Nats in the first place? They really picked from the bottom of the barrel. I wonder if he tore the buttons of his shirt when he learned of his firing the way he stormed off the mound when Strawberry took him deep into the upper deck at Shea...a funnier moment I have not seen. Since I'm stuck watching MASN my only hope is that they find a replacement for Carpenter too.

Anonymous said...

My g-d. Knight is the worst sportscaster I have ever listened to. He is so bad, he even repeats the static he hears in his ear piece. Please replace him with Anybody!!!

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