Last year Rob Dibble got canned from MASN after he said that Stephen Strasburg should have “sucked it up” and pitched despite having an elbow injury that went on to require Tommy John surgery. After he said it — but before he got fired — he apologized and said that his comments were “inappropriate and disrespectful.” Based on an interview he gave yesterday, however, he didn’t actually believe that:
“And it had nothing to do with the game he got hurt in Philly. He had a sold-out game against the Braves, and the people I worked with at MASN were excellent, we followed his workout regimen — which was fantastic. His warm-up was fantastic. He didn’t do any of that the day that he basically walked away from that Braves start, which was sold-out. And all the money that the Nationals were making per start on Strasburg was well over seven figures. So to me, you know what kid, you’ve got to suck it up.”
Bonus: he says he didn’t get fired because he’s still getting paid by MASN (note to Dibble: just because your contract got bought out doesn’t mean you weren’t fired) and he says that the real reason he got, um, not-fired was because Stephen Strasburg’s dad sent an email to the Lerners after Dibble’s comments.
One wonders if Dibble should just be quiet about all of this. Because if he persists, someone with the Nationals is going to feel obligated to go on record with the truth: that the Strasburg stuff was merely the final straw and that Dibble’s comical incompetence as a color man would have gotten him not-fired eventually.
1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.
Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:
“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’
Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.
I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.
The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.
Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.
Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:
It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”
At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.
I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .