Right Field

Dibble Goes Diabolical on Nats GM Rizzo, Star Pitcher Strasburg

Via Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog over at the Washington Post: The former relief pitcher and Nationals TV analyst, who in 2010 got canned from the booth gig after questioning Stephen Strasburg’s toughness, goes nuclear when discussing the star pitcher’s looming shutdown on a national sports radio show:

On Strasburg saying the decision is out of his hands

“That’s all you need to know. It’s out of my hands. I don’t want it in my hands, even though I’m a professional pitcher trying to — from spring training to the end of the season — win championships. . . . He’s in a totally different world. Remember the Stepford Wives? He’s a Stepford Pitcher.”

On Mike Rizzo’s credentials

“The manager of the Nationals has a world championship ring, called the ’86 Mets, when he was managing Doc Gooden, who was like 20 years old. I think he knows how to handle young pitchers. He’s not gonna burn them out. And then you have a general manager who’s never won a championship. And he’s telling everybody, he knows more than orthopedic surgeons, pitching coaches, everybody. He knows the answer to how you can keep a guy from getting hurt. It’s a wonderful concept. I hope it works. And if you’re hurt, go on the disabled list. If you’re not, then pitch for your team and try to win a world championship. It’s that simple. It shouldn’t be a story. It really shouldn’t be a story. That’s the sad part, that it’s a story. It shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t know the GM’s name or this guy in Washington. Just go out and play.”

On Strasburg’s father talking to Mike Rizzo

“Do you need your dad to talk to the general manager? You know, that’s sad to me. Is Scott Boras gonna come out? If he talks about Stephen Strasburg, so help me God, I’m gonna go bananas tomorrow night, because this kid is a man. He’s 23 years old, he’s married, he’s making $4 million a year. Speak up for yourself. . . . Nobody’s dad gets involved in their Major League kid’s career. It just doesn’t happen. But it shows you, Tony Gwynn pitched him once a week, every Friday at San Diego State. He goes to Washington, the PR people walk him to the bullpen, almost hold his hand to walk him out there. I mean, it’s just been one thing after another.”

On the J-Zimm comparisons

“What the Nationals are doing, they’re doing it on their own, and they don’t have any kind of data to back it up. And to keep on bringing up Jordan Zimmermann, I’ll bring up [this]: Jordan Zimmermann was rushed to the Major Leagues. Strasburg, rushed to the Major Leagues. Even Drew Storen, rushed to the Major Leagues. All three of them got hurt. So don’t tell me you were protecting them before they got hurt and needed Tommy John surgery. Now after the fact, oh, now we’re gonna hold them back and we’re gonna bring them along cautiously. It doesn’t hold water, the whole argument.”

More fireworks here.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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