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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Canepa: C’mon Nats, let Strasburg pitch, don’t sit him

And bring back the texting-free Aetna Drivotrainer while we’re at it!

lo

This is what you might call a new-fashioned debate, because it’s about the baseball of now, the nouveau game that has stretched numbers up into the forests and around a million trees in the Klondike. It’s surprising they don’t keep stats on the number of times a player spits. They probably would, if it meant a bonus incentive, but it would get pretty messy.

Anyway, the 100-mph baseball question of the day is: Should the Washington Nationals shut down ace Stephen Strasburg once he has reached a certain number of innings pitched?

It wasn’t that long ago when such a notion couldn’t have come up in an LSD cloud. That was before pitch counts, when throwers just threw without having to wait for the alarm to go off. Can anyone imagine Juan Marichal heaving 225 pitches in a 16-inning start today? Those days are toast. Managers chain-smoke when starters reach 100.

...“What does Stephen have to say?” Randy Jones asks. “If he’s been laboring, I could see it; I might listen. I just think there are going to be a lot of regrets. I’m not going to buy it.

“Look, one year I had more innings at the All-Star break than Strasburg’s pitched this year. I was 16-3 and had 14 or 15 complete games. Let me put it to you that way, pal.”

Yeah. Let him put it to you that way, Mike Rizzo.

Pitch the kid.

Repoz Posted: August 26, 2012 at 01:06 AM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lawn, nats

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: August 26, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4218405)
“Look, one year I had more innings at the All-Star break than Strasburg’s pitched this year. I was 16-3 and had 14 or 15 complete games.
Should I even have to point out that in the rest of Jones' career after that season, he rang up a 91 ERA+ (he had a 113 previously), and pitched his last game at age 32?

The Nats' plan for Strasburg is ridiculous, but, yecch.
   2. bobm Posted: August 26, 2012 at 07:58 AM (#4218429)
And bring back the texting-free Aetna Drivotrainer while we’re at it!

25 students, 25 Aetnacars - take it to a Red Sox thread! :)

   3. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 26, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4218441)
1 - That and his last two months of 76 were not impressive either.
   4. BDC Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4218449)
Count me as skeptical that Strasburg would really hit 170 innings mid-September and then simply go home. But in any case, the time to start saving his arm is right now, with a 5½-game lead. Give him a weekly start, pull him after five innings, and tune him up for NLDS Game One.

If a team were really to shut down its best pitcher for its first playoff series ever (barring actual injury, of course), you would have to conclude that the whole concept of professional sports was being turned on its head. It's kind of like saving your ice-cream cone to eat on your next birthday.
   5. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4218455)
I'm sure Rizzo will be persuaded by the "C'mon!" argument.
   6. AndrewJ Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4218460)
I'm sure Rizzo will be persuaded by the "C'mon!" argument.

Hey, it worked with Peter Griffin.
   7. Tricky Dick Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4218462)
If I were the GM, I probably would figure out a different way to reduce the work load in order extend the date that the innings limit is reached. But, so what? I'm not a Nationals fan, so why should I care if the Nationals front office sees it a different way?

I can understand if there are Nationals' fans who don't like the plan. But I don't get why all of these other people around baseball want to express such indignation. It's really none of their business. The Nationals have made the financial investment in Strasburg, and they will be the team that has to live with the consequences.

And I didn't see anywhere in this article where they acknowledge that the Nationals are basing the decision on a player returning from Tommy John surgery. Randy Jones can talk about how many innings he pitched in 1975 or 76, but he wasn't returning from TJ surgery (it had barely been invented at that time).
   8. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4218466)
Should I even have to point out that in the rest of Jones' career after that season, he rang up a 91 ERA+ (he had a 113 previously), and pitched his last game at age 32?
Or that he appears to have missed at least 6 weeks the very next season, throwing only 147 innings?
   9. bunyon Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4218481)
I'm also on the pitch him side of the argument and think that Jones' argument is terrible.

I'm not indignant, by the way. I just think the Nats are making the wrong decision based on too little data.
   10. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4218493)
...tune him up for NLDS Game One...

If a team were really to shut down its best pitcher...


Why does everyone hate Jordan Zimmermann so much?

If I were the GM, I probably would figure out a different way to reduce the work load in order extend the date that the innings limit is reached.


So would I, but it's a bit late for that now. All the amateur GM/doctors/trainers around here go apesh!t over the idea that you can't just shut a guy down and then start him back up again, but the fact is that you really can't and teams really don't. Pitchers coming back from the DL don't just take two weeks off and then start pitching in MLB again. They go through a throwing program and some controlled, low-stress rehab outings. If you were going to give Strasburg a simulated DL stint to have him able pitch in the post-season while staying under ~180 IP, you'd have had to do that in mid-season rather than in mid-September.
   11. Eric P. Posted: August 26, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4218578)
Hey, c'mon baby, just the tip?
   12. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4218608)
All the amateur GM/doctors/trainers around here go apesh!t over the idea that you can't just shut a guy down and then start him back up again, but the fact is that you really can't and teams really don't. Pitchers coming back from the DL don't just take two weeks off and then start pitching in MLB again. They go through a throwing program and some controlled, low-stress rehab outings.

It is not impossible for the Nationals to start Stephen back up again. We're not even in September yet. Nationals are 5.5 up with 36 games to go and Strasburg is only scheduled for a small handful of starts the rest of the way. They can shut him down now for three to four weeks and gear him back up for the playoffs. There is something like 45 days between Stephens last start and the start of the playoffs if they shut him down now before his start. That is plenty of time to give him rest and to bring him back up something the doctors think would be a pretty good move.
   13. DA Baracus Posted: August 26, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4218618)
It is not impossible for the Nationals to start Stephen back up again. We're not even in September yet. Nationals are 5.5 up with 36 games to go and Strasburg is only scheduled for a small handful of starts the rest of the way. They can shut him down now for three to four weeks and gear him back up for the playoffs. There is something like 45 days between Stephens last start and the start of the playoffs if they shut him down now before his start. That is plenty of time to give him rest and to bring him back up something the doctors think would be a pretty good move.


The Nationals have already said that is not going to happen:

As for those thinking Strasburg could be given a few weeks or a month off, then return, Rizzo says don't count on that happening.

"When it happens, Stephen will not pitch again until spring training (in 2013)," he said. "We tried something similar with Zimmermann last year and he just could not get going again. We won't make the same mistake."
   14. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 26, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4218621)
Yeah, I guess I kinda forgot that the playoffs start a little late-ish this year. But the window is rapidly closing. I'd assume that Strasburg probably threw a side session yesterday to get ready for his scheduled start on Tuesday (ironically, an easily skip-able start given the off day tomorrow). There are 39 or 40 days between Tuesday and game 1 of the LDS, so you could shut down for three weeks and gear back up to throw game 2 or 3 pretty easily. That would be far from ideal from a baseball POV IMO -- I think you'd rather have done it sooner so that he'd pitch a start or two in late September to get his feet back under him. OTOH, it has the advantage of getting to September 1 without having to make a roster move or play short-handed. All moot in any case, since the Nats have made it abundantly clear that nothing like this is happening.
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 26, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4218628)
i thought the explanation is that the guy is on a carefully constructed regimen that involved regular scheduled work to be tapered down after 'x' amount of innings. if so i cannot see shutting him down and then re-starting him as being part of that program.

not my player and no dog in this fight.
   16. BDC Posted: August 26, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4218634)
not my player and no dog in this fight

True; I suppose I should wait to see if a similar situation develops re: Neftali Feliz next year, and then see how I feel about it. I'm just of the opinion that these guys are paid to play baseball, and should therefore play baseball if physically able. It might be just a matter of rhetoric, I'll acknowledge. If some doctor said tomorrow that Strasburg's intracostal clavicle was hanging by a thread and he had to sit down immediately, I'd probably be well-mollified :) But sitting him down because they decided last March that there was a magic number of innings in him this year sounds to me like bunk.

EDIT: And I agree 100% that however many innings Randy Jones pitched back in the Early Cretaceous Period is 0% relevant :)
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4218637)
it's also not like the nats have not done this before as they shut down zimmerman last year, correct?

i get all the 'flags fly forever' and that stuff but one thing i do appreciate is an organization with a plan and sticking with the plan in the face of criticism. nats fans should appreciate leadership with that type of gumption
   18. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4218656)

The Nationals have already said that is not going to happen:


Yes I know what they said that isn't the issue. There are two issues. One, a lot of people think their plan is stupid and two, I was disputing the notion that Strasburg could not be shut down and then started up again for the playoffs.

When did they try this with Jordan? They shut him down at the very end of August so when did they try to bring him back up again? On the last day of the season?
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 26, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4218665)
i do appreciate is an organization with a plan and sticking with the plan in the face of criticism. nats fans should appreciate leadership with that type of gumption

The only reason Strasburg's situation is even an issue is that Rizzo and the Nats have done so many things right that they are [likely] in the playoffs a year ahead of anyone's most optimistic schedule. Perhaps that indicates they know something about baseball.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: August 26, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4218668)
i do appreciate is an organization with a plan and sticking with the plan in the face of criticism. nats fans should appreciate leadership with that type of gumption


There's also something to be said for being flexible enough to adapt the plan due to changing circumstances. Slavish devotion to the plan isn't always an attribute.

But I've said all along that I'd defer to Strasburg's wishes at this point, and it seems that he's inclined to shut it down.

What surprises me is how little intense opposition there seems to be among the fanbase, based on what our Nats followers are saying.

   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4218674)

Hey, it worked with Peter Griffin.

It also worked with the Bloods and Crips.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 26, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4218675)
sosh

nah. it's easy to be 'flexible'. it takes real faith to stay committed

i will refrain from any social commentary but the idea of 'being agile and adapting' has in many ways undermined u.s. competitiveness in the global marketplace as well as communities.

one needs to pick one's time to change carefully versus when it's convenient.

//end of harvey subdued rant
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: August 26, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4218679)
nah. it's easy to be 'flexible'. it takes real faith to stay committed

i will refrain from any social commentary but the idea of 'being agile and adapting' has in many ways undermined u.s. competitiveness in the global marketplace as well as communities.

one needs to pick one's time to change carefully versus when it's convenient.


No doubt, but it can be just as convenient to keep to the plan as to make changes.

There are obviously times when you don't want to abandon course just because the short-term results aren't what you'd expect. Commitment to a well-thought out strategy in the face of calls for the quick fix are difficult, but often the right thing to do.

At the same time, there are times when rigid devotion to the plan in the face of an unexpected change in circumstances can be a hindrance to progress.

Like most everything else, it's complicated.
   24. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4218685)
No plan survives contact with the enemy.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 26, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4218698)
oh great, another civil war battle argument ensues
   26. KT's Pot Arb Posted: August 26, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4218769)
No plan survives contact with the enemy.


Pattons did.

But "holdem by the nose, and kick em in the pants" pretty much works the same in a wide variety of circumstances.
   27. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4218787)
His Lorraine campaign went wonderfully.
   28. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 26, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4218802)
Certainly better than Ed Lynch's Lorraine plan.
   29. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4218819)
Certainly better than Ed Lynch's Lorraine plan.

6,657 Americans lost their lives for 47 miles of dirt. I think having a pitcher with a career 6.53 ERA was the better option.
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 26, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4218826)
What surprises me is how little intense opposition there seems to be among the fanbase, based on what our Nats followers are saying.


I know about half a dozen of the most intense Nats fans imaginable, and not one of them is complaining about the shutdown. The Joey B mentality is heard a lot more outside the DC area than within it.

The only reason Strasburg's situation is even an issue is that Rizzo and the Nats have done so many things right that they are [likely] in the playoffs a year ahead of anyone's most optimistic schedule. Perhaps that indicates they know something about baseball.

Gee, ya think? How can anyone think that an owner and GM who are willing to invest in the farm system and pay top dollar for top draft choices and selective free agents could ever possibly win any trust from the fans when it comes to being cautious with a pitcher who's recovering from Tommy John surgery?
   31. jyjjy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4218829)
It also worked with the Bloods and Crips.

Yeah, come on guys.
   32. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4218834)
oh great, another civil war battle argument ensues


In some ways, this is a very strange baseball message board.
   33. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4218839)
IIRC, if Patton's tanks and trucks had not been starved of fuel -- it was diverted to Montgomery for his disastrous scheme known as Operation Market Garden -- the Lorraine campaign would have unfolded way differently.
   34. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4218849)
IIRC, if Patton's tanks and trucks had not been starved of fuel -- it was diverted to Montgomery for his disastrous scheme known as Operation Market Garden -- the Lorraine campaign would have unfolded way differently.

That sounds to me like he should have changed his plans.

The whole area where that campaign was fought was practically designed for defending armies. It was foolish to send tanks their and even more foolish to do it while knowing you weren't going to be able to keep them properly supplied.
   35. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4218855)
FWIW, McCoy:
With so little going for it, why did Patton bother with Lorraine at all? The reason was that Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, made up his mind to destroy as many German forces as possible west of the Rhine.

I am in no position to defend or repudiate Patton's tactics, but it appears the decision to attack came from above.
   36. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4218861)
It was foolish to send tanks their and even more foolish to do it while knowing you weren't going to be able to keep them properly supplied.

From the article I linked to above, here is Gabel's conclusion regarding the use of armor:
The American armored elements were not at their best in Lorraine either. Much of this can be attributed to the weather, but some of the blame must be given to the army commander for binding his armored divisions into infantry-heavy corps. Patton's reluctance to mass his armor came as a pleasant surprise to the Germans, who believed that their panzer divisions were just as useful in creating breakthroughs as they were in exploiting them. At a lower level, the combat command concept provided great tactical flexibility through decentralized control, but it also tempted Patton's corps commanders to break up the armored division and parcel it out by combat commands, a policy that further diluted Third Army's armored punch. Organizationally, the Armored Division of 1944 proved to be weak in infantry, a shortcoming often made good by detaching battalions from infantry divisions and assigning them to armored combat commands.

In addition, American tank crews repeatedly paid a heavy price for a doctrinal decision made before the war that declared tanks to be offensive weapons not intended for defensive combat against other tanks. As a result of this official policy, the M-4 Sherman tanks in Lorraine were badly outgunned by German panzers that mounted superb antitank pieces. The tank-stopping task was officially assigned to the tank destroyers, which were supposed to be thinly armored, highly mobile, heavily armed antitank specialists. Doctrine called for the majority of tank destroyers to be pooled in special corps and army antitank reserves, which could rush to the scene of an armored attack anywhere along the front. But Third Army didn't need an antitank reserve in Lorraine because German tanks usually appeared a few at a time. Consequently, the tank destroyer concept was discarded after the war, when the U.S. Army decided that the best weapon to stop a tank was another adequately armed tank.

Finally, the Lorraine campaign demonstrated that logistics often drive operations, no matter how forceful and aggressive the commanding general may be. In the August pursuit that brought Third Army to Lorraine, General Patton daringly violated tactical principles and conducted improvised operations with great success. He discovered, however, that the violation of logistical principles is an unforgiving and cumulative matter. Sooner or later, every improvisation and shortcut taken must be repaid. Third Army's logtstical shortcuts included burning up gasoline reserves to keep an advance going and then neglecting ammunition supply to bring up gasoline. The slowdown that affected all of the Allied forces in September and October was the inevitable price to be paid for gambling logistically that the war could be ended in August. Moreover, in spite of the logistical mobility afforded by motorization, remember that the trucks running the Red Ball Express consumed a greater and greater proportion of their cargoes as the advance progressed, forcing Third Army to turn to two time-honored methods of supply--railroad transport and local requisition.

Gabel does not appear to criticize the use of armor in Lorraine, but how they were utilized.
   37. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4218865)
Gabel does not appear to criticize the use of armor in Lorraine, but how they were utilized.

So sticking to the plan, no tank on tank, was a bad choice, correct?
   38. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4218868)

I am in no position to defend or repudiate Patton's tactics, but it appears the decision to attack came from above.


Quoting from your same source:

Omar Bradley, Patton's immediate superior as commander of 12th Army Group, concurred. All Allied armies were ordered to press ahead on a broad front. In late August 1944, with the Lorraine gateway so invitingly open, it was unthinkable to Patton that Third Army should be halted in midstride.


Eisenhower did not order Patton to attack through Lorraine.
   39. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4218870)
So sticking to the plan, no tank on tank, was a bad choice, correct?

Sure, McCoy, but it reamins unclear whether another general would have handled matters much differently. As Gabel points out, Patton's use of his tanks in Lorraine appear to have been consistent with US Army principles.
   40. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4218872)
Eisenhower did not order Patton to attack through Lorraine.

I don't follow. Bradley was now Patton's superior. Ike was Bradley's superior.

More:
Thus, at the outset of the Lorraine campaign, Third Army was logistically starved, depleted in strength, and denied the full use of its air assets. In spite of this, Patton and his superiors remained convinced that the war could be ended in 1944. ....

The initial campaign was rough going but considerable progress was made. (Gabel points out that Hitler was so upset at losing Nancy that he sacked his commanding general.) However, it was halted less than three weeks later due to serious logistical problems.
Third Army was relatively dormant from 25 September to 8 November....

On 21 October, Third Army received orders to resume full-scale offensive operations on or about 10 November. Patton's objective was still the Rhine River. By this time Third Army outnumbered the Germans in Lorraine by 250,000 to 86,000. However, the Germans were about to obtain a valuable ally in the form of the weather. Seven inches of rain fell in November, about twice the normal amount. Twenty days that month had rain. Lorraine suffered from its worst floods in 35 years. On two different occasions, floodwaters washed out the Moselle bridges behind the Third Army in the midst of heavy fighting. Almost all operations were limited to the hard roads, a circumstance that the Germans exploited through the maximum use of demolitions. Third Army engineers built over 130 bridges during November.

The weather virtually negated American air superiority. The XIX Tactical Air Command, which had flown 12,000 sorties in the golden days of August, flew only 3,500 in November. There was no air activity at all for 12 days out of the month.

EDIT: I just realized that the weekend began with the two of us debating how to get home from a Nats game at midnight and draws to a close with a back-and-forth over the Lorraine campaign. Hmmm.
   41. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4218873)
Sure, McCoy, but it reamins unclear whether another general would have handled matters much differently. As Gabel points out, Patton's use of his tanks in Lorraine appear to have been consistent with US Army principles.

I'm not sure what we're debating here. The plan to attack through Lorraine when they did was a bad plan, to stick with the plan once the nature of the war changed was a bad plan, ignoring what their army groups were good at and what they were not and not planning accordingly was a bad move.


By the way, Patton helped create US Army tank principles.
   42. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4218876)
I don't follow. Bradley was now Patton's superior. Ike was Bradley's superior.

Your link does not say Bradley ordered Patton to go through Lorraine. Eisenhower wanted a broad front and Bradley concurred. That is what your link states.

Patton started his push through Lorraine in late August and had to stop for about a week because the Allied gamble that they could end the war in August did not come to fruition. If Allied commanders, including Patton but not limited to just Patton, had taken a step back in August and accurately assessed the situation they would have saw that they were in for some rough going. They did not which is why the allies got their nose bloodied a lot in the second half of 1944. The Allies were very slow to realize that they were no longer chasing a fleeing opponent and that the German army was not beaten yet.

Taking Lorraine would achieve little and would open up very little in terms of future objectives. It was a bad plan to go into Lorraine when they did and it was a bad plan to stay in Lorraine once resource depletion kicked them in the teeth.

   43. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4218877)
I'm not sure what we're debating here.

I guess we are at odds over how much blame Patton deserves. OTOH, we seem to agree about Strasbourg Strasburg.
   44. LooseCannon Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4218883)
I can understand if there are Nationals' fans who don't like the plan. But I don't get why all of these other people around baseball want to express such indignation. It's really none of their business. The Nationals have made the financial investment in Strasburg, and they will be the team that has to live with the consequences.


If you are a fan of another team, it is possible you would hate for this to become a precedent that becomes the conventional wisdom for how to treat a young pitcher.

Those who think this is a horrible idea that they don't want to see gain roots should perhaps root for Strasburg to be injured next season so that people who are easily swayed by anecdotal evidence believe that shutting him down early was useless as a form of injury prevention.
   45. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4218884)
Eisenhower wanted a broad front and Bradley concurred.

How else was Patton going to advance into Germany, if not through Lorraine? To the north was the First Army. To the south were the Vosges Mountains.

Patton started his push through Lorraine in late August and had to stop for about a week because the Allied gamble that they could end the war in August did not come to fruition. If Allied commanders, including Patton but not limited to just Patton, had taken a step back in August and accurately assessed the situation they would have saw that they were in for some rough going.

The article does not appear to support this interpretation. There was a halt that lasted six weeks. Had the logistical situation been handled better, the operation might have come to a more expeditious conclusion, far more German prisoners, and considerably fewer US casualties.

EDITED for clarity.
   46. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4218892)
How else was Patton going to advance into Germany, if not through Lorraine? To the north was the First Army. To the south were the Vosges Mountains.

On 29 August Gen. Eisenhower dispatched a letter to all his major commanders, outlining his intentions for the conduct of future operations. He finished saying that it was his intention "to complete the destruction of the enemy forces in the West, and then - to strike directly into the heart of the enemy homeland" (10). On 2 September Patton met with Eisenhower, Bradley, Hodges and others at the 12th Army Group headquarters. Patton somewhat exaggerated when he said that he had patrols on the Moselle River near Metz and Nancy, and based at least partially on this, Eisenhower gave him permission to secure crossings over the Moselle and prepare to attack the Siegfried Line.


Patton asked to go through Lorraine. Patton wasn’t going to play a supporting role in the final battles of the war.



The article does not appear to support this interpretation. There was a halt that lasted six weeks.


As Patton was rumbling up at the end of August Third Army had to stop for 5 to 7 days because they ran out of gasoline. During which time the Germans reorganized and regrouped and prepared defenses in Lorraine. Patton and Third Army once they started rolling again ignored the new reality of the situation. Germans weren’t fleeing and they, Third Army, did not have the proper resources to wage the kind of battle they were fighting now.


Had the logistical situation been handled better, the operation might have come to a more expeditious conclusion, far more German prisoners, and considerably fewer US casualties.



And if I had just rolled seven 30 times in a row I'd be a millionaire. Saying if the logistical situation had been better is oversimplifying a very key problem to the whole situation. About the only way to handle the logistics better was for the Allies to do almost nothing they actually did after securing and breaking out of the Normandy beachhead.
   47. KT's Pot Arb Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4218894)
It is not impossible for the Nationals to start Stephen back up again. We're not even in September yet. Nationals are 5.5 up with 36 games to go and Strasburg is only scheduled for a small handful of starts the rest of the way. They can shut him down now for three to four weeks and gear him back up for the playoffs. There is something like 45 days between Stephens last start and the start of the playoffs if they shut him down now before his start. That is plenty of time to give him rest and to bring him back up something the doctors think would be a pretty good move.


Assuming the playoffs are a total lock for the Nationals so that they can shutdown Strasburg while he is pitching extremely well to gamble he can come back as strong for playoff games they might not qualify for is is a plan more genius than Patton pushing forward assuming both gas and ammo would catch up someday soon.
   48. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4218899)
Do you have a link for what you're referencing, McCoy? I am really tired, but would like to look over the article tomorrow.

To buttress your case, you point out a hiccup of several days in early September, but again ignore the the long delay that Gabel says lasted from the 25th of September to the 8th of November, which deprived the Third Army of air support and satisfactory topographical conditions when offensive operations resumed. That's not insignificant either.

Saying if the logistical situation had been better is oversimplifying a very key problem to the whole situation.

Hence, "might have come."

   49. smileyy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4218907)

IIRC, if Patton's tanks and trucks had not been starved of fuel -- it was diverted to Montgomery for his disastrous scheme known as Operation Market Garden -- the Lorraine campaign would have unfolded way differently.


So the better aphorism is "No plan survives contact with your allies"?
   50. Knock on any Iorg Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4218923)
Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 08/23/2012
Mitch Williams calls Strasburg Shutdown ‘absolutely absurd’
By Dan Steinberg

(Jonathan Newton - WASHINGTON POST) Many of you have no interest in reading yet another former Major League player turned analyst opine loudly and passionately about Stephen Strasburg’s future.

For the rest of you, I present MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams. The 11-year Major League veteran was asked on 106.7 The Fan Thursday morning what he thought of the Nationals’ shutdown plan. You’ll never guess his response.

“I think it’s absolutely absurd,” he said on the Junkies. “And I would not want to be Mike Rizzo in September when the Nationals are fighting to win that division and get to postseason and then go to postseason, and have to tell the 24 other guys on that roster, oh by the way, we’re gonna take a perfectly healthy Stephen Strasburg and shut him down.

“If you’re not smart enough or good enough as a pitching coach to be able to look out to the mound and know whether or not your guy is laboring or throwing free and easy, you shouldn’t be a pitching coach,” Williams continued. “It’s that simple.”

Not sure what any of this has to do with Steve McCatty. Total cheap shot. And I’m not writing that ironically; this was an undeserved and totally unnecessary shot.

Anyhow, Jason Bishop then asked if Strasburg was destined to get injured again, regardless of the Nats’ handling of him.

“I wouldn’t wish injury on any player, but he has not made any mechanical changes,” Williams said. “And when you’re young, you can get away with things. You have more flexibility, you have more strength. When you get to that age 25, 26, bad mechanics are gonna get exposed. And until that Inverted W that he throws with [on] his front side, until he corrects that and gets his front side pulling his back side through, he’s gonna have problems.

“And I do believe that at some point he’ll break down again,” Williams concluded. “If you break down and you don’t change anything, you’re not very smart, because you broke down for a reason. And I’ve always said, it ain’t how many you throw, it’s how you throw ‘em. And it only takes one delivered the wrong way for something to blow up.”

Well, this is a cheerful interview so far. The Nats are absurd, Steve McCatty shouldn’t be a pitching coach, and Stephen Strasburg is not very smart. Anyone else?

“If Scott Boras wants to get involved as heavily as he gets involved with all his clients — and this article that him and Mike Rizzo built this team, and bet that arrogant about it — then go to Mike Rizzo and say my client is not throwing out of a slidestep any more,” Williams later said. “Because what that does is, your lower half gets down the mound too quick, your arm gets stuck behind you and you have to blow your top side wide open to get your arm through. So if I’m gonna be Scott Boras and be arrogant about something, that’s what I’m gonna be arrogant about. My guy is not throwing out of a slidestep any more.”

Concluding thoughts?

“The thing is, if he’s healthy right now, and they shut him down, that’s gonna be a really hard sell to 24 other guys on that team,” Williams concluded. “And it’s gonna put Stephen in a bad position, because everything we’ve heard is he doesn’t want to be shut down.”

--

Nationals' Strasburg shutdown is DC's big debate
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Chipper Jones knows that a World Series title is something that comes along, at least in his case, just once in a very long career. He got his with the Atlanta Braves at age 23.

A year younger than Washington's Stephen Strasburg is now.

"If I was sitting over in that clubhouse,'' Jones said this week, "I would hate to squander this opportunity.''

Jones was weighing in on the great inside-the-beltway debate - the Nationals' impending shutdown of Strasburg - that has consumed baseball and beyond as summer heads toward fall. Forget Obama vs. Romney. Or RGIII vs. Luck. If nothing else, the Washington's plans to shut down its ace pitcher in the middle of the city's first serious pennant race in more than a half-century has caused the baseball team to do the once-unthinkable: steal attention from politics and the Redskins.

"I think it's very wise,'' said the city's mayor, Vincent Gray, who recently gave his two cents' worth to reporters following an announcement about flooding in the nation's capital.

"The young man has his entire career ahead of him,'' the mayor added.

It's a dilemma that pits old-timers who fondly remember the days when pitchers pitched complete games and never missed starts vs. the new-agers who talk of pitch-counts and consider six decent innings to be a quality start. It eats at Washingtonians who finally have a chance to witness baseball glory - the city's last World Series championship came in 1924 - but don't want to see the franchise risk the health of its prime jewel. It gnaws at the win-now mindset players are taught to embrace, asking them to instead think of a future that may or may not come pass.

"Everybody knows he wants to pitch. He's a competitor,'' said Jones, now 40 and in his final major league season. "He's not in it in a 162-game regular season for nothing. He wants that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow just like everybody else. I see both sides. I get it, but as baseball players we want to hunt it down and kill it - right now. And they have a chance to slay the dragon, and I'm sure 24 other guys over there feel much the same way.''

Strasburg is 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA and leads the National League with 183 strikeouts. He has won four straight starts and looked unhittable at times in his last outing, a 10-strikeout, rain-interrupted performance against the Braves on Tuesday.

But this is his first full season since undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery - the famous Tommy John procedure - and the Nationals have made it clear since the start of spring training that they will limit his load, just as they did last year when TJ-comeback teammate Jordan Zimmermann was shut down after passing 160 innings on Aug. 28.

Zimmermann's innings limit was noncontroversial because the Nationals weren't a playoff team a year ago, unlike this year's team that awoke Thursday with a six-game NL East lead after taking two of three from the Braves. It's safe to say Zimmermann, for example, was never fodder for an appearance by the former mayor of New York on "Meet the Press.''

"Let him pitch,'' Rudy Giuliani told the Sunday morning news show this week when asked about Strasburg, in a video posted online. "I wouldn't give up maybe home-field advantage in the playoffs. The guy's a big strong guy, the operation seems to have worked. A lot of guys for 100 years have been pitching until the end of the season.''

Yep. Everybody has an opinion. And manager Davey Johnson has heard them all.

"It's really easy for the bloggers and the tweeters and all those people to say `Why don't you do this?' or `We can do that. Get him out of the bullpen' and blah, blah, blah, blah,'' Johnson said. "I've heard it all, and I said, it's a good thing you guys aren't managing, and I'm the one that's managing. You do what's best for the player. Always. No. 1.''

There's only one person whose opinion truly matters, and that's general manager Mike Rizzo, and he's managed to be both definitive and ambiguous. Rizzo said the Nationals, using the best medical advice available, will shut down Strasburg at some point, but the GM won't divulge a timetable or a targeted number of innings, essentially saying he'll know Strasburg's done when he sees it.

"We've got a plan in place,'' Rizzo said. "And we're adhering to it.''

Johnson offered the biggest clue yet about the plan on Wednesday, saying that he'll need to replace Strasburg in the rotation for the final two or three starts of the regular season. That would give the right-hander perhaps five more starts, ending his season around Sept. 19 in the neighborhood of 170-180 innings.

Rizzo has dismissed many popular alternatives that would keep Strasburg pitching into the playoffs, including a six-man rotation, skipped starts, a bullpen stint or an early shutdown followed by a restart in October. Those alternatives, for various reasons, wouldn't significantly cut down on the wear-and-tear on Strasburg's arm because of the extra throwing he'd have to do when he's not pitching.

The person who pleads ignorance the most is Strasburg himself, who obviously would like to find a way to keep pitching and says he is in the dark like everyone else when it comes to the team's plans.

"It's funny. Nobody talks to me personally about it,'' he said after Tuesday's start. "Obviously, I can either scour the Internet or watch all the stuff being said on TV, or I can just keep pitching and watch the Golf Channel, I guess.''

One fact in that works in favor of the shutdown is that the Nationals are still a very good team on the days Strasburg doesn't play. The pitching staff leads the majors in ERA, and the offense has outscored opponents by more than 100 runs despite injuries that kept key players such as Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Jayson Werth out for large chunks of the season.

"Obviously, you can't really compare anyone with someone like Stephen,'' third baseman Zimmerman said. "But this is a team that has kind of persevered (through) injuries and things like that. This will be no different.''

---

AP freelance writers Rich Dubroff and Ben Standig contributed to this report.

---

   51. KT's Pot Arb Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4218924)
I think it’s absolutely absurd,” he said on the Junkies. “And I would not want to be Mike Rizzo in September when the Nationals are fighting to win that division and get to postseason and then go to postseason, and have to tell the 24 other guys on that roster, oh by the way, we’re gonna take a perfectly healthy Stephen Strasburg and shut him down.


And until that Inverted W that he throws with [on] his front side, until he corrects that and gets his front side pulling his back side through, he’s gonna have problems.


Mitch thinks its absurd they aren't going to keep pitching Strasburg because his arm is a ticking time bomb?
   52. Guapo Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:28 AM (#4218925)
Well, nobody's mechanics were quite as exquisite as Mitch Williams's.
   53. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:27 AM (#4218933)
So...Davey Johnson is Patton, and Stephen Strasburg is the 3rd Army and Chipper Jones is Rommel and Rob Dibble is Hitler? Do I have it right?
   54. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:12 AM (#4218974)
To buttress your case, you point out a hiccup of several days in early September, but again ignore the the long delay that Gabel says lasted from the 25th of September to the 8th of November, which deprived the Third Army of air support and satisfactory topographical conditions when offensive operations resumed. That's not insignificant either.

It wasn't a hiccup but an event that drastically shifted the nature of Allied offensives from there on out.

I'm not trying to claim any other delays were not insignificant. The general point was that no plan survives contact with the enemy and the Lorraine campaign should have been altered at the beginning when the nature of the battle had changed. Patton and the Allied commanders refused to do that.
   55. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4218982)
Hence, "might have come."

And I am saying that in order to handle it better the Allies would have had to drastically alter everything they did after D-Day and they probably wouldn't have even come through Lorraine.
   56. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4218990)
I'd just like to point out that the cynicism expressed in 25 was completely unwarranted as the thread did not devolve into a civil war discussion. :)
   57. Ron J2 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4219053)
#56 That's because Grant never allowed his tanks to run out of gas.
   58. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4219068)
#56, 57: Alas, the US Army named a really sh*tty tank after him and Lee.
   59. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4219069)
Mitch Williams...‘absolutely absurd’


And nothing of value was lost.
   60. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4219071)
McCoy, I tried asking you a question via e-mail last night but it bounced. Can you shoot me a quick note when you have a sec? Thanks.
   61. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4219079)
I don't think I have access to the email that I setup with this account.
   62. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4219081)
#56 That's because Grant never allowed his tanks to run out of gas.

Though he did run out of resources at Cold Harbor.
   63. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4219086)
Try me at j.ep *at* comcast *dot* net.
   64. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4219098)
The failure of the Confederate Air Force remains the single largest factor behind the Union victory.
   65. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4219101)
The failure of the Confederate Air Force remains the single largest factor behind the Union victory.

If only their balloons would have adopted the Death From Above doctrine they might have pulled it out.
   66. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4219106)
sent you a note
   67. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4219109)
So the better aphorism is "No plan survives contact with your allies"?


Or as Napoleon once said, "I'd rather fight allies than have allies."
   68. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4219125)
sent you a note

I responded. Thx.
   69. OsunaSakata Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4219132)
Is this the same Mitch Williams who said a month ago that the Phillies were still a contender for the 2012 NL East title?

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