Former Nationals color analyst and major league reliever Rob Dibble this week re-opened the controversy surrounding his dismissal from MASN, claiming an email from Stephen Strasburg’s father to members of the Lerner family caused the Nationals to fire him. A day after Strasburg himself denied the claim on Twitter, former Nationals Team President Stan Kasten blasted and discredited Dibble’s account.
“Neither Stephen nor his father had anything to do with this decision,” Kasten said. “Rob’s account is both fictional and, really, quite sad. I wish Rob the best and I hope he gets whatever help he needs.”
Last year, Dibble found controversy twice, first by mocking two female fans who happened to talking during a game and then by telling Strasburg, on his radio show, he should “suck it up” while he missed starts with the injury that would eventually lead to ligament-replacement surgery. Shortly after those comments, the Nationals relieved Dibble of his job with a year remaining on his contract.
The Nationals let the matter rest until this week, when Dibble told FoxSports.com that the reason the Nationals dismissed was an email by Strasburg’s father, and he reasserted his claim that Strasburg should have pitched through tightness in his shoulder on the day that he was scratched from a start. Several in the organization were irate that Dibble would continue to attach himself to Strasburg, viewing it as unfair to the 22-year-old pitcher.
In his seven-year career, Dibble never pitched more than 99 innings in one season. Last year, including his time in the minor leagues, Strasburg threw 123 1/3 innings.