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Rob Dibble and the female baseball fan.

Those ladies right behind there, they haven't stopped talking the whole game. They have some conversation going on. There must be a sale tomorrow going on here or something....Their husbands are going "man, don't bring your wife next time."

I was just thinking, those women, there's a new series Real Housewives of D.C. that just came out. Maybe they're filming an episode?

Both of those quotes are by Nationals announcer Rob Dibble and transcribed by Dan Steinberg at D.C Sports Bog. I went back and forth on if I really wanted to write this. For one thing, it has nothing to do with the Orioles. For another, Steinberg already covered the issue accurately and with the appropriate amount of snark. And as Mike Prada wrote on SB Nation D.C., talking about Rob Dibble is exactly what Rob Dibble wants. Ultimately, though, I couldn't ignore it. The fact is that this is my life. I am a woman who is a baseball fan. No, wait. I'm more than that. I am a woman who is a baseball writer. I'm a woman who is a baseball writer who runs the best and most successful Orioles blog on the internet. I am recognized by both local and out-of-town sports media as a knowledgeable source on the Baltimore Orioles.

I am a woman who, if seated behind home plate at a Nationals game, would get circled by Rob Dibble and called out for gossiping about an upcoming sale while the men were trying to watch baseball.

This is certainly not the first time that I've wondered why Rob Dibble has a job. From what I can gather it is because he used to be good at throwing a baseball. That seems to be an irresponsible reason to allow someone to represent a team or television network, but it happens in broadcast booths everywhere, so I have learned to live with it. But this is the first time I've heard Rob Dibble say something that is not only stupid, but also offensive and potentially alienating to an entire demographic, one that I'd imagine the Washington Nationals might be interested in wooing to their young, attendance-challenged team. The Nats have actually done a very good job reaching out to a number of groups that might normally not feel welcome in the sports world, which makes it even more of a shame that Rob Dibble would say something that might indicate to female viewers that the baseball world is just another place they don't belong.

I am obviously a woman who is confident in my knowledge of baseball. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be writing this right now. But I wasn't always that way. I read Camden Chat for a year before I posted one comment. I learned a lot and often thought about participating, but held back because I didn't want to say anything that would make me look like a stupid girl. It's silly, really, especially because you can talk to anyone who has known me for a long time and discover there was never a time when I wasn't crazy about baseball and the Orioles. But I saw the confident way the guys voiced their opinions, how they were quick to disagree with each other, and I worried I wouldn't be able to keep up. In retrospect, of course I could have kept up. But I'd never really talked baseball with anyone other than my family and few friends who cared enough to listen to me. Everything I'd ever seen or heard about baseball in any type of media was presented by men. I never saw anything from SC or the community members here that would lead me to believe it would be any kind of issue, but there is always that fear of that one person, the Rob Dibble of the group, casting judgement and making assumptions based on my gender. And that fear kept me quiet.

Eventually I got over it, and my life is better for it. Writing about the Orioles and participating in the discussions both here and at other sports sites is one of the joys in my life. I was able to work through the idea that I couldn't hang in this culture and found that I was actually welcome. But imagine if, one of the first times I visited Camden Chat, SC had said the same thing in a game thread that Rob Dibble said on television last night. I would have felt unwanted, and I would have left for good. And if any female baseball fan heard Dibble's insensitive and thoughtless remarks last night and felt the same way, then shame on him.