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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Murray Chass: STRASBURG FOR PRESIDENT? HE HAS NOTHING ELSE TO DO

The Nationals’ comments raised a question in the mind of one man who knows more about reconstructed elbows than anyone. Dr. Frank Jobe did the first such operation on a baseball player, Tommy John in 1974, and hundreds more after that. Commenting on the Nationals’ announced plan to shut down Strasburg after his Sept. 12 start, the 87-year-old Jobe, now retired, said, “They may just be saying that if he has symptoms. If he has no symptoms, they may say ‘let’s try a couple more.’ They can change their minds if they want to.” ··· 

A reader offered a different plan the Nationals could have used.

“I went through the Nats schedule,” he wrote, “and worked out that they could have made Stras a Saturday-night-special pitcher (once a week), and not affect the rest of their rotation (no one pitches on short-rest).” Using any other day, he added, would not work.

That schedule would have given Strasburg 26 starts for a total of approximately 156 innings, leaving enough innings for the post-season.

However, the member of the organization who told of the Rizzo report on post-surgical pitchers said the Nationals had problems with the various ideas that have been proposed. “They don’t want to mess with him,” the person said.

“He feels great, but they want him to feel great next year. If he’s not pitching, he can’t get hurt and they don’t want him to get hurt. They want him to be healthy next year.”

But looking at the issue from another angle, he added, “The World Series doesn’t come around every year.”

bobm Posted: September 09, 2012 at 11:05 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, stephen strasburg

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 09, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4231086)
The World Series doesn’t come around every year

Hold on ...
   2. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 09, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4231087)
STRASBURG FOR PRESIDENT, MR. PRESIDENT!
   3. valuearbitrageur Posted: September 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4231090)
John Dever, the senior director of media relations, said Friday that Rizzo was not talking to bloggers about Strasburg


Chass is brilliant. He knows if he writes something that isn't absolutely ridiculous, he won't ever get read anymore, so each column is dumber than the last.

A member of the Nationals’ organization, speaking anonymously because the Nationals haven’t disclosed the information, said that Rizzo had collected loads of information on pitchers who had experienced the surgery.


Then there’s this view from a Washington area orthopedist who is not connected to the Nationals.

“It’s all theoretical; no one knows,” he said. “They’ve never done any good study to show the effects. The Nationals are basing it on one pitcher. There’s no good science behind it.


That's the Strasburg argument in a nutshell, people who don't knw what the Nats did to come to this decision, pontificating about it, and misrepresenting his value to make their points.
   4. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: September 09, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4231098)
That's the Strasburg argument in a nutshell, people who don't knw what the Nats did to come to this decision, pontificating about it, and misrepresenting his value to make their points.

Agreed. I think, in the absence of hard knowledge, the Nats are just covering their asses. Their "bad luck" the games matter this year.
   5. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 09, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4231099)
Asked what he thought of the Strasburg matter, [Jobe] said, “I think it’s admirable that they’re thinking about the player and not winning the World Series. They’re looking at him as a person, which is admirable. I’m pretty sure he could go that many innings without coming apart,” meaning pitching the rest of the season. But he added, “Their plan is good.”


Murray and Ray; they ain't doctors, but they play them on the internets.
   6. Swedish Chef Posted: September 09, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4231104)
Chass should get an award for being the first opinionated commentator to spell Strasburg correctly.
   7. AJMcCringleberry Posted: September 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4231192)
That schedule would have given Strasburg 26 starts for a total of approximately 156 innings, leaving enough innings for the post-season.

4 is enough?
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: September 09, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4231258)
I hope the title of this bloggers article was a joke, as Strasburg isn't old enough to run for Congress even, forget President.
   9. RollingWave Posted: September 09, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4231297)
well if Strasburgh could run I think he has a better shot than Mitt Romney no ? ;)
   10. Zach Posted: September 10, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4231940)
people who don't knw what the Nats did to come to this decision, (pontificating about it, and misrepresenting his value to make their points.)

Fixed.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4231951)
Asked what he thought of the Strasburg matter, [Jobe] said, “I think it’s admirable that they’re thinking about the player and not winning the World Series.


In all seriousness, it would be tough to root for a team that wasn't thinking about winning the World Series.
   12. Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his Handle Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4231959)
Their "bad luck" the games matter this year.

They matter every year.
   13. The Kinder, Gentler Ray (RDP) Posted: September 10, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4231999)
That's the Strasburg argument in a nutshell, people who don't knw what the Nats did to come to this decision, pontificating about it, and misrepresenting his value to make their points.


No doctor can say on the basis of medical reports "He is healthy to pitch 160 innings, but you run a significant injury risk now or later if he pitches 200." No MRI or physical or medical examination can possibly conclude that to that degree of specificity, certainly not with implications of liability to the team if they don't follow the 160-inning plan, as KT has claimed.

So we are left to conclude it from this much ballyhooed 50-page study that apparently says "X pitchers had TJ surgery and Y of them pitched 200 innings and Z of them got hurt."

I wonder how big their sample was of pitchers coming off of TJ who pitched only 160 innings.

And frankly, we know so little about pitcher injuries at this point that we don't even know that the time off in the off season matters to a pitcher's health. The entire issue is viewed in IP "per season," but how useful is that cutoff, actually?

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