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Nationals Commentator Rob Dibble Fired for Strasburg Comments

By Jason Beahm on September 07, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"Suck it up."

A sports announcer harshly called out a young Major League Baseball pitcher for not being tough enough after complaining of arm pain. It turned out that the pitcher had torn major ligaments in his arm and the announcer wound up getting fired in the fallout.

Rob Dibble was highly critical of Washington Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who was the first overall choice in the 2009 draft. On his XM radio show, the announcer made the infamous above quote along with other gems including:

  • "OK, you throw a pitch, it bothers your arm, and you immediately call out the manager and the trainer? Suck it up, kid."
  • "You can't have the cavalry come in and save your butt every time you feel a little stiff shoulder, sore elbow."
  • "Stop crying, go out there and pitch. Period."

The Nationals did not take too kindly to Rob Dibble's comments. Especially after it turned out that Stephen Strasburg was diagnosed with a serious ligament tear which requires a surgery known as "Tommy John" ligament replacement. Strasburg is expected to be out 12-18 months, reports.

The entire affair is a good reminder of a principle that is true in life and law: It's great to be enthusiastic, but don't over reach about issues of which you have no direct knowledge of the facts. Had Dibble merely complained about the lack of Strasburg availability, or carefully speculated as to whether he was well enough to pitch, he would likely still have his job. However, Dibble went out too far on a limb and gave the Nationals reason to let him go.

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