Washington Nationals Officially Fire Rob Dibble

The Washington Nationals announced today that Rob Dibble was no longer part of the club’s announcing team. The Nationals offered no further comment and did not name a permanent replacement.

Rob Dibble and Bob Carpenter

(Dibble’s (l) Nationals career survived by former partner Bob Carpenter)

Dibble originally departed Nationals broadcasts on August 25 after questioning Nationals Pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s willingness to pitch through pain. The timing couldn’t be worse for Dibble, as Strasburg was ruled out for the season by team doctors with a pitching arm injury shortly after the analyst’s comments.

At the time of Dibble’s apparent leave of absence, club president Stan Kasten said, “Rob asked for some time off. Perhaps he’s not feeling well. But I’m not a doctor, nor have I seen his records. So I shouldn’t say anything more about it.

Kasten’s comment was reportedly a veiled shot at Dibble for his criticism of Strasburg.

Former MLB player Ray Knight has been filling in as analyst on Nationals TV broadcasts on MASN since Dibble’s initial departure but the club has not made clear if Knight’s position is permanent.

Dibble’s original criticism of Strasburg came on the former Reds pitcher’s radio show on August 23. During the show, Dibble questioned Strasburg for coming out of a game against Philadelphia two nights earlier: Read more…

Beauty Queen Offers To Toe Rubber After Slight

Last night after he was called on to start for the Washington Nationals only because Stephen Strasburg was unable to get loose in pregame warmups, pitcher Miguel Batista said of the jeering reaction of Nats fans: “Imagine, if you go there to see Miss Universe — and you end up having Miss Iowa.

Katherine Connors Miss Iowa and Miguel Batista

When informed of Batista’s comment, Miss Iowa Katherine Connors said today in an official statement, “I know I can throw a pitch or two! The question is, can Miguel Batista walk the runway in a swimsuit?

Adam Kilgore of the WASHINGTON POST also followed up on the story with Batista today: Read more…

Video: Bryce Harper Ejected; Last College Game?

Bryce Harper, generally regarded as the top prospect for Monday’s MLB Draft, was ejected Wednesday at the Junior College World Series in Colorado after being called out on strikes.

Bryce Harper Ejection Video

Following a third strike signal on an 0-2 pitch by plate umpire Don Gilmore, Harper, who plays for the College of Southern Nevada, drew a line in the dirt of the opposite batter’s box to indicate he thought the pitch was outside. Gilmore then ejected Harper.

Harper didn’t argue the expulsion and was “escorted from the stadium and driven away by his father, Ron.

Bryce Harper Ejection Photo

The ejection, Harper’s second of the season, is likely to cost his team dearly. Read more…

‘Southside Kid’ Obama Can’t Name a Chisox Player

After throwing out the first pitch at the Nationals-Phillies game today in D.C., Barack Obama visited with the Nats TV broadcast team, which included former White Sox pitcher Rob Dibble.

Obama Can't Name Single Player On White Sox Roster

(Obama’s  first pitch also served as pregame flyover. Handy.)

Obama to Dibble on why he wore a White Sox fan to throw out the first pitch in Washington: “I’m a Southside kid, I gotta make sure (White Sox owner) Jerry Reinsdorf doesn’t get to angry with me.

Dibble: “Having played with the White Sox for a short time, I know how the Cubs fans and White Sox fans go back and forth. Who was one of your favorite White Sox players growing up?

Read more…

Next Up, Eddie Guardado Joins Cast Of Jackass

Jamie Mottram at MisterIrrelevant.com breaks the news today that Eddie Guardado’s baseball career will soon be officially classified as a joke.

Gabe Kaplan

(Now opening for Eddie Guardado’s career!)

If you’ve seen Guardado’s stuff lately, perhaps this isn’t news to you. But apparently it soon will be to the Washington Nationals. Read more…

Yankees, Blue Jays Trade Punches In Basebrawl

• The Bronx Bombers blow up in a Tuesday night fight with the Blue Jays.

Yankees Blue Jays brawl

• And if Derek Jeter’s gonna brawl, he’s gonna need a mighty moustache.

• Seems that Wisconsin civic leaders have a problem with 12-year-old albino boys playing football with a tinted helmet visor.

• A Walter Payton statue in front of Soldier Field: A tribute to a Chicago Bears legend, or an insult to America’s veterans?

• ESPN will truly offer a college basketball marathon, as Monmouth & St. Peter’s agree to tip off at 6 a.m. Eastern.

Read more…

A Terrorist Nationals Cap? We Totally Believe That

When we heard that the WASHINGTON POST had a story of a congressional aide being suspected of terrorism - just for wearing a Washington Nationals baseball cap - we were, to say the least, intrigued. Had an organization coopted the Walgreens’ Nats’ “W” as a symbol of their own? Like it was some code to bring down Washington, since the team’s in Washington and all? Sounded cool.

Green Nationals Hat
(THIS WAS TOTALLY A TERROR THREAT.)

Ah, but this is the WASHINGTON POST - not exactly a bastion of journalistic integrity - and the story quickly devolved into fantasy. Except it wasn’t reported as fantasy at all, but as something that actually happened. By all means, read on and judge for yourself.

Read more…

Jay Glazer Will Not Suffer ESPN’s Mockery Gladly

Jay Glazer will not be bullied by the Boys from Bristol. In fact, the Fox Sports reporter declares, I wouldn’t mind punching one of these guys!”

Jay Glazer

• Wonder if Don Ohlmeyer will mention this in his next ESPN ombudsman column.

• The Knicks’ Nate Robinson Tweets about his recent arrest as it happens!

• For finally signing Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals show their gratitude toward interim GM Mike Rizzo by giving him his walking papers.

• Who would you rather name your new high school after - Alonzo Mourning or Janet Reno?

Read more…

Thanks For Landing Strasburg; Now Go Get Bent

Pity the work of an interim. They usually step into their jobs in moments of extreme duress - like when an executive leaves amid poor performance and/or misbehavior, try their best to right the organization’s ship, and are then usually unceremoniously pushed aside when the organization figures out who they really wanted to replace the disgraced exec.

Mike Rizzo
(Then again, perhaps he lost points for looking like the unholy lovechild of Jim Cramer and Billy Joel and Barney Frank.)

Every now and then, though, the interim performs so admirably in his job, accomplishing things above and beyond the usual triage, that it’s only right and fair to just hand him or her the job and skip the rigamarole of the search. A good example? How about Mike Rizzo, acting GM of the Washington Nationals after Jim Bowden left in shame this February. No, the Nats haven’t been good, but they fleeced the Pirates on a trade or two. More importantly, Rizzo stared down Scott Boras and brought Stephen Strasburg into the fold before the signing deadline, something that seemed so unlikely that the MASN announcers were wailing in dismay at the prospect of Strasburg sitting out.

Read more…

Speed Read: Cable Doesn’t KO Punch-Up Rumors

The Oakland Raiders: they put the “Holy crap, Coach just slugged an assistant!” in “dysfunction.” At least, we’ll have to assume that’s what happened, as Raiders head coach Tom Cable (who is not, by the way, in way over his head) didn’t do much to clarify reports that he broke the jaw of defensive assistant coach Randy Hanson with a sucker punch, with his only response being that “it’s an internal issue and we’re dealing with it, and that’s all I’m going to say.”

Tom Cable, Randy Hanson

That sure didn’t sound like a denial, and “dealing with it” sure seems like code for “I’m going to use a tire iron to cave in the head of the next pipsqueak who asks me about this.” The Raiders are becoming more like a sitcom every day. Sort of like “Coach“, but with less physical comedy and more physical assault.

Cast of Coach

 (Remember when Hayden Fox crushed Luther’s jaw with a punch? Me either.)

(Although I do love the episode where Coach smashed in Dauber’s face with a beer bottle after he lost the playbook right before the big game in a wacky mix-up.)

If Cable (who is totally qualified to be an NFL head coach and has the winning demeanor of a John Madden or Curly Lambeau) wasn’t admitting to anything on Monday, then at least his players were rolling over on him, starting a “Cable, Bumaye” chant during practice to mimic the cheers Muhammad Ali got from the African people before the “Rumble in the Jungle.”

And about Hanson: Raiders fans might remember, he’s the same coach that irritated Lane Kiffin so much that he “suspended him for one game, said he had medical issues and then tried to fire him” before Al Davis stepped in and backed Hanson, who apparently is one of his favorites. So Cable (who is not treading so much water that the band from “Titanic” is standing by) probably picked the worst person in the organization to slug except for Davis himself.

(Also, you have to wonder if one of those “medical conditions” that Kiffin tried to use to fire Hanson was a “permanent glass jaw”…)

Meanwhile, Beano Cook thinks that Syracuse should get a spot ready for another Heisman Trophy to go along with those representing Jim Brown and Ernie Davis. After all, if they found a way to get Ron Powlus back at QB, anything is possible. Of course, Beano Cook is a rambling old man, the kind who holds up the line at the supermarket so he can check every item on the receipt for errors.

greg paulus qb

So no, Syracuse didn’t get “Heisman” Powlus into their football program, but it’s close: they announced yesterday that former Duke point guard Greg Paulus will be the starting QB for their opening game against Minnesota. It’s either a testament to the athletic ability of Paulus - who hasn’t played football since high school but was once the Gatorade National Player of the Year - or the sorry state of Syracuse football that someone who has been out of the game for years is their best bet. I won’t say which one, but merely point out that Syracuse was 3-25 in the Big East the last four years.

Finally, let’s see…former WWE champion decides to become an MMA fighter. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. But this time we aren’t talking about a UFC heavyweight champion/Coors aficionado, but a new possible women’s MMA star. The DAYTON DAILY NEWS says that Lisa Marie Varon, who wrestled until recently in the WWE as Victoria, has been training for nearly a year and is ready to make her MMA debut soon.

Victoria

On the positive side, Varon is a former bodybuilding and fitness model who was one of the most physical women’s wrestlers, and she is working with former UFC champ Rich Franklin’s trainer. The downsides are that she is 38, and has almost no fighting experience.

Victoria

Still, she apparently is quite serious about this, and wants to become a part of the Strikeforce women’s division. While she might not talented enough to rival Christiane “Cyborg” Santos, I think we can agree that seeing Varon take on Gina Carano would be a much more attractive match-up.

In other sports news that you might have missed while celebrating the fact that The Kids In The Hall are getting back together for a TV project:

  • No matter what, Scott Boras always wins. This time it was getting a last-minute deal done between the Washington Nationals and his client, No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg. The price tag? Just a cool four years and $15 million - almost double what the Cubs signed Mark Prior for in 2001 in what had been the previous largest contract for a draft pick.
  • The NEW YORK TIMES wonders if Y.E. Yang’s shocking victory over Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship will start a golfing boom in Asia that could help the PGA Tour. Because that’s worked so well for the LPGA…
  • Speaking of which, CNBC’s Darren Rovell says that other than Yang, the biggest winner on Sunday might have been Le Coq Sportif, the clothing line whose red rooster logo got almost $2 million of free air time during final round coverage.
  • The Lingerie Football League has released its preseason “All Fantasy Team“, but BUSTED COVERAGE wants to know if you should be more insulted to be a third-team offensive lineman or first-team offensive lineman.
  • Stephen Good might be the starting right guard for the Oklahoma Sooners, but EVERY DAY SHOULD BE SATURDAY says there’s one thing that terrifies him more than losing to Texas: Clowns, especially Pennywise from “It”. No word on if he wet the bed when Bozo the Clown came on as a kid.
  • Sad news from the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: former North Carolina State LB Edrick Smith was killed early Sunday morning when a hit-and-run drunk driver smashed into the Honda Accord he was in, splitting it in two.
  • NEWSOK.COM says that Oklahoma All-American TE Jermaine Gresham broke his vow of media silence last Friday … to give a “shout out” to Michael Vick for being signed by the Eagles. Also, he gave “mad props” to attempted Presidential assassin/Manson Family member Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme for being released from prison.
  • Great, another “Polish canoeist goes nuts on the way to World Championships and forces plane into emergency landing” story.
  • Two men from Honolulu were arrested in Las Vegas for having pot in their car after leading police on a short chase. Not much of a story, until you realize that the men were Honolulu cops in Nevada to play on a softball team in the Nevada Police & Fire Games. Needless to say, Dano has already booked them, and then beat them for being so stupid.
  • This might be a bit more than gamesmanship: a top British rugby team was having players use fake blood so they could substitute in better kickers during key stages of games.

What’s your favorite moment of coaching violence (real or threatened)?

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