Rob Dibble: Jose Urena's Job Is To Make Ronald Acuna Jr. Uncomfortable

Jose Urena's job is to make hitters uncomfortable. If you don't like it, then don't play, Rob Dibble says

Reiter Than You
May 21, 2019 - 12:00 am

Marlins pitcher Jose Urena has been suspended for six games for intentionally plunking Ronald Acuna Jr. in Atlanta on Wednesday. That could have been avoided, perhaps, had Urena gone about the plunking differently. 

In other words, not done it on the first pitch.

“How would I have handled it? Totally different,” former MLB pitcher Rob Dibble said on Reiter Than You. “I was a reliever and I came in on the back end of games, and when I did things, I had to police the game and protect my teammates. Through protecting your teammates, you get a reputation, and I have one as a headhunter – even though I never threw one above the numbers to police the game when I was playing. If I was retaliating because you were trying to injure one of my teammates, I was going to protect my teammates first – and guys on my team respected it.

“Now, I’m not about trying to make friends, either, and I don’t think Jose Urena is about bring to make friends,” Dibble continued. “He’s trying to make a paycheck, he’s trying to keep his job, he’s done a poor job this season. Would I drill a guy to lead off the game? No. But to have Joe Maddon call you neanderthals because you’re doing your job – and your job is to stop Acuna from hitting home runs – I just think people have overreacted to this.”

Acuna played Wednesday and went 1-for-4 in a 5-3 loss to the Rockies.

“The kid came up (Thursday), he had all this protection on his elbow – which I think should be allowed because it takes a lot of fear away from hitters standing in the box,” Dibble said. “But what do I know? I was just an All-Star and a world champion. The game has changed, but it hasn’t. Guys are still standing up there, and pitchers are still being paid to make you uncomfortable – and if you don’t like it, then don't play. You make millions to play a kids’ game, but it’s a rough game and sometimes it’s an ugly game. (Wednesday) was ugly. I don't condone that kind of thing, but I’m not going to say that it shouldn’t be in the game just because you have some people that try to soften the game over the last 10 to 20 years.”