200 Miles From the Citi

September 5, 2010 12:08 AM

Dibble Trouble


Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XXXVI)

I feel like I have to write something about Rob Dibble.

For those of you who don't know, the Washington Nationals fired Dibble, their color man, for comments he made on his satellite radio show about Stephen Strasburg and his injury.

I feel a moral obligation to write something, because I have an advantage over a lot of people who have already weighed in on the subject - I was one of the (I'm guessing) few people who actually heard Dibble's comments live.

Rob Dibble fancies himself a loose cannon.  I'm not sure how much of it is real and how much of it is an act.

Quick story: In 1993 (I think), the Mets played the Reds, and it was a throwback game.  So the Mets wore old uniforms, and the Reds wore their old vest-type uniforms, with red sleeves under a gray vest, or something like that.  I was at the game at Shea Stadium, and Bobby Bonilla got a game-winning hit off Dibble.  I remember Dibble walking off the field and right before he got to the dugout he ripped apart the throwback jersey.  Again - not sure if it was an act or legitimate anger.

Anyway, I give that background information to set up that I don't know if he says things because he really believes them or just to get a rise out of people.

Here's the deal with the morning show - these Strasburg comments (in a nutshell, he said all pitchers worth their salt have at one time or another pitched through pain, and Strasburg has been coddled to the point that he didn't know tolerable pain from intolerable pain) came at a time when I was going to the gym in consistent fashion at the same time.  So the first day, I heard Dibble's comments - parenthetically stated above.  You know what?  They didn't really resonate with me.  Just words.  I thought, possibly, he'd get into a little hot water, and I wasn't completely surprised when rumors started spreading that Dibble was suspended, but I didn't think the comments were that big a deal.  Just one former pitcher's opinion.  (I also say I was one of the few people listening because every morning I'm convinced that if I just dialed the phone, they'd put me right on air.  I'm not sure MLB Network satellite radio is bursting in popularity.  Just saying.  And, also, my free preview is over at the end of the there's one less listener.)

The problem was a couple of days later.  I didn't hear anything Ray Knight said, but I did catch the former Met filling in for Dibble.  (Knight is far from a scintillating broadcaster, but he's been with the Nationals for a number of years.  Dibble is pedestrian too.  Occasionally he'll tell a worthwhile story, but otherwise he's nothing special.  Come to think of it, the team doesn't exactly make broadcasters good - I remember being unimpressed with Ron Darling, who has been great with the Mets, when he was with Washington.  But I digress.)  So Knight must have reprimanded Dibble's Strasburg comments at some point in the broadcast, because the next morning I heard Dibble say that "Ray Knight needs to go away" (or shut up, or something to that effect).  That made me stop and think Dibble was digging a deep hole.  He was getting really defensive, and I thought something more may be up.  It's one thing to state your opinion about a player - it's another to go after a colleague.  (Again, I didn't hear what Knight said, but I can't imagine he would have gone on a Nationals broadcast and told off Dibble.)  So Dibble was then fired...and I have a feeling it was more for his comments about Knight than about Strasburg, to be honest with you.

*This is the time of year I need to be careful not to totally fade out the Mets.  The September call-ups this year could be a pretty important test-run for the team's future, with the likes of outfielder Lucas Duda and pitcher Jenrry Mejia playing for the month.

*So Omar Minaya was heckled on a JetBlue flight to Chicago?  We all realize the bigger story here, right?  The Mets had better come clean about their finances, because they keep denying they are in rough financial shape, but then they do things like send their GM on discount airlines? I fly JetBlue.  I don't think major league GMs should.

*Where's the outrage?  Wally Backman in the New York Post talking about a Mets managerial job (cautious with his words though he was).  I know another former Met for whom that was pretty much career suicide.

*Justin has his own interpretation of this situation at Sports Crackle Pop!, but I have an opinion about the huge poster ad for DirecTV's Sunday Ticket.  It's just about everything I ever wanted when I had DirecTV.  (Either the poster, or the bar-length banners of NFL teams that are posted in the bars that have the Sunday Ticket.)  But if you're going through the trouble of printing out every game you're showing over the course of the year (actually, and then some, because even the Monday nighters are on there), put the channels they're going to be on.  Great idea that falls just short of perfection.

*Just four more NFL Previews, including the Jets, still to come.  Click the link to see the rest of the teams.

*I have no idea how to drum up more followers on Twitter, but this can't hurt - Follow me @200miles_citi.  And while you're at it, follow the site on Facebook as well.

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