WASHINGTON (AP) — Former major leaguer Rob Dibble was hired Tuesday as the new color commentator for the Washington Nationals' local TV broadcasts, replacing Don Sutton in the MASN booth.
Sutton asked to be released from his four-year contract after two years so he could return to the Atlanta Braves' radio team.
Dibble, a reliever who helped the Cincinnati Reds win the 1990 World Series, will work alongside play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter on Nationals telecasts.
"I will never hold back on a player, because my job is first to the Nationals and MASN, but second to the fans," Dibble said in a conference call. "The players aren't paying me."
He will continue to do a show about baseball on Sirius XM Radio five days a week.
In describing his on-air style, Dibble made clear he considers himself quite different from the "Nasty Boy" persona he enjoyed as a player with the Reds.
Dibble also said: "I'm never going to be a homer. I didn't like guys that were homers when I played. If we're not playing well, I'm going to tell you why we're not playing well."
A couple of minutes later, asked for his impressions of the Nationals -- who were a majors-worst 59-102 in 2008 -- Dibble said: "I feel they're a handful of players away from being a division winner. It can happen that quick."
The Nationals' local TV ratings were so low last season that Major League Baseball said it was "surprised and disappointed" at the reported numbers.
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