After Rob Dibble made these comments (on his XM Radio show) about Washington Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg—”Okay, you throw a pitch, it bothers your arm, and you immediately call out the manager and the trainer? Suck it up, kid”—it was conveniently announced that he was on vacation.

Most in the D.C. media, most notably Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post (who seemed to have a weekly article about Dibble), speculated that was the beginning of the end of his color commentary days with the Nats.

Well, yesterday it became official. With one year and one month left on his three-year contract, Dibble was relieved of his commentary duties for MASN.

The former Cincinnati Reds pitcher had a mixed bag of fans and critics while with the Nationals.

Me personally, I was a huge fan. He made watching games fun, especially last year.

When the Nats were getting drummed for 10 runs before the fifth, the only reason to tune in (if you were rooting for the Nats) was to hear what Dibble was going to say.

He simply spoke his mind. Where most of us have a little inner voice that warns us that what we’re going to say might not be bright, Dibble does not or has simply learned to ignore it.

That is the kind of color commentator the Nationals need—well, at least until next September, when Strasburg returns from Tommy John surgery.

Much like the second half of this season, the Nats probably aren’t going to be watchable. They are going to have some good games here and there, but I’m predicting a lot of blowouts.

As a fan I’ll still catch a couple of games at the stadium, but with the firing of Dibble I might just protest MASN’s coverage of the team.

All kidding aside, the guy was fired for expressing an opinion, which given the severity of Strasburg’s injury was wrong, but an opinion nonetheless that wasn’t even on a Nats broadcast.

He’s a former pitcher who many times pitched through pain. Now granted, what happened to Strasburg was more than just a pull or a cramp, but at the time of Dibble’s comments he didn’t know that.

I’ve heard former players (of all sports) say things on nationally broadcasted television that were worse than what Dibble said, and they didn’t even get a public warning.

The way the Nats are coddling Strasburg is getting kind of ridiculous. Yes, he’s the face of the franchise, and yes, (if healthy) he has the talent to help lead this ball club to the postseason, but as the face of the franchise he’s going to be criticized, and most of it will come from the local media.

My warning to Nats management is don’t become like Dan Snyder. He’s a pariah among many members of the D.C. media because of his sensitiveness to comments about him or the team.

If you keep firing people or reprimanding them for criticizing Strasburg (or in the future Bryce Harper), you’ll replace Snyder as the most despised person in D.C. sports.

Loyal reader, I’ll close with this: Dibble is right; Strasburg needs to man up. While recovering from surgery, learn to pitch with your left arm…pansy!

Just kidding—get well soon kid, and we’ll miss you Dibble (at least I will). 

Wait! One last thing: How awesome would it have been to have Dibble calling that brawl last night between the Nats and the Marlins? I’m just saying is all.

For more of this, follow me on Twitter @jomac006.

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