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.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.
Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.
While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.