That leash you see dragging on the ground behind Rob Dibble? That’s the leash his wife has on him. And that collar? She put it there too. Listen, we don’t know anything about Rob Dibble (not a damn thing, honest), but the droogs who write for this blog (and just for the record, here we — all males — are) have a sense about these things. And our sense is that we’ve heard just enough from Rob Dibble himself during his MASN broadcasts to conclude that his wife (a teacher, he says), knows him well enough to understand his irritating little foibles. And (we’re also sure — based on our own experience) to endlessly and grindingly try to correct them. So when “Taliban Rob” lowered the boom on some female Nats fans the other night during a MASN game broadcast (“Those ladies right behind there, they haven’t stopped talking the whole game”), our hunch (and believe us, we oughta know), was that Mrs. Dibble probably lowered the boom on him. She wasn’t alone.
Dan Steinberg leaped on Dibble about his comments, which included one of those in-game graphics — where Dibble circled the women and noted that “they have some conversation going on. Right here. There must be a sale tomorrow going on here or something . . . Their husbands are going man, don’t bring your wife next time.” Ugh. Steinberg seemed to relish Dibble’s gaffe (all of four days ago now), and touched on it again this morning, when he noted that Dibble had issued an apology. Of course, as Mrs. Dibble will surely tell her chagrined husband, that is certainly not the end of it. She’d be right: Nationals Fangirls are all revved up about Dib’s comments (or “fired up,” as the case may be), issuing a broadside about Dibble’s “sexist, misogynistic” ideas. We’re fans of Nationals Fangirls (we actually read them, and regularly) and can’t take issue with them, except for their added, unnecessary and interesting (as in “it’s interesting they would commit the same gaffe”) comment that maybe Dib’s wife “helped feed the stereotype.” And then, one of the fangirls added this: ” . . . but perhaps I shouldnâ€™t say that. Iâ€™m sure sheâ€™s very pretty.” Ah yeah, now we get it: pretty women can’t think. Groooowwwwww, phtttt.
Listen, we’re not exactly drum beating fans of Rob Dibble (we find his endless talk of how “these guys have to learn they’re competing for jobs” pretty tiresome), but maybe (just maybe) it’s time for a little perspective. Dibble issued an apology and it sounds to us like he was sincere. Then too, Rob Dibble’s repetition of a common stereotype hardly makes him a scimitar wielding Taliban leader; frankly, it’s a stretch to say he’s “misogynistic” — a crime that ought to denote something aÂ bit more loutish than the rather banal opinion that women go shopping. Rob Dibble as Mullah Omar? C’mon. But really (really) what we’re most afraid of is that the Dib’s gaffe will send the Nats’ front office into a search for a more appropriate but far more nauseating voice. Like Don “I Love America The Beautiful” Sutton or Ron “where the hell am I” Darling.
And there’s this. For all of his faults, Dibble beats the daylights out of the ever popular Steve Czaban and sidekick Andy Pollin, who make book on saying that men who don’t weigh 350 pounds and play left tackle “wear skirts” — a phrase that’s more offensive than anything Dibble has ever, ever said. No one has ever complained about them, perhaps because they do it so often if confirms their lack of even a minimal middlebrow intelligence (“this quote is from George Bernard Shaw, ever heard of him?” Pollin once asked “the Czabe” — and guess what . . . ). Then too, unlike Czabe and the crew (who sound like they actually hate baseball — and want the Nats to fail), Dibble not only knows about the game he’s covering, he actually once played it.