Rob Dibble’s firing was the subject on Mike & Mike this morning, and both Greenberg and Golic were scratching their heads at it. Greenberg’s quote evinced his confusion at the move: “you just fired Rob Dibble for being Rob Dibble.”
That’s one way to think of it. Another way is to acknowledge that when you shouldn’t have hired Rob Dibble for an analyst’s job in the first place, “being Rob Dibble” is more than enough grounds for termination. Better that MASN finally come to terms with that than to continue thinking that Dibble is suited to explain baseball’s nuances to television viewers.
And that’s really what this is about, I think. It’s not that he said something insensitive about the Nats’ big phenom. I’d like announcers to get more critical of players than they are, actually. It’s that his comments about Strasburg’s injury were just wrong and dumb. They showed Dibble’s utter failure or to understand and communicate (or refusal to acknowledge) information about pitcher injuries to fans. That’s Dibble’s job there. If he was simply unaware of how serious it is when a pitcher has to immediately leave a game due to an arm injury, he’s unqualified to be an analyst. If he knows better but is just trying to stir the pot, he’s being a talk radio host, not doing his job to inform and enlighten viewers.
I don’t think MASN would have fired Dibble for being Dibble if he had done it with respect to some big issue of the day or whatever. But when you’re personality prevents you from simply and accurately addressing the game in front of you, you’re not doing your job as an analyst.
The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.
As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.
The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.
Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.
It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.
While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.