Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Newhan: Can Strassberg Really Be This Nonchalant About His Benching?

And like I told Washington’s Cheney after he blew his arm out in ‘63…“Stop hiding that weapon…use it or lose it!”

The befuddling aspect to me is the absense of vigorous argument from Strassberg, whose basic posture has been that he gets his information from the internet and that the decision is out of his hands.

  Give me a break.

  At 24 and obviously healthy, with his team hopeful that Strassberg represents repeated victories in the playoffs and no guarantee that the Nationals will advance that far next year or for several years, shouldn’t Strassberg be hammering on Rizzo’s desk and demanding to pitch out the season—no matter how far it goes?

  Instead, he is apparently satisfied pitching every fifth day into September and watching the golf channel in between starts.

  Rosters expand in September, so Strassberg will ultimately slip into an abyss and not be included on the 25 player post-season roster.

  The Nationals lead the NL in team earned-run average at 3.23, but Gio Gonzalez, 16-6, is the only Nationals pitcher other than Strassberg in double figures in wins.

  Will Strassberg be missed? What do his teammates really think, and what happens if another Nationals starters gets hurt in October when Strassberg won’t be available? Shouldn’t he be showing some annoyance at this decision, even though it is designed to extend his career in the view of Rizzo and Boras?

  It is possible that no prospective division winner has ever arbitrarily sat its ace, as the Nationals are about to do on the eve of the post-season.

  It is possible that no ace has ever simply shrugged and slipped away with a similar whimper instead of a bang.

Repoz Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:58 PM | 126 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, nats

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. JE (Jason) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4215074)
Strassberg ... Strassberg ... Strassberg

Later this year, Newhan will defend his Hall of Fame votes on Jack Morrissey, Jeff Bagwheel, Les Smith, and Tim Rain Man.

By the way, here's the correct URL: http://newhanonbaseball.blogspot.com/2012/08/can-strassberg-really-be-this.html
   2. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4215078)
Strassberg


Is this serious?
   3. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4215080)
Where is this perception coming from?

Are modern sports writers/bloggers memory's so short they can't remember Stras saying they'll have to pry the ball out of his fingers? At what point do these guys realize that they're just making a mockery of themselves?
   4. SG Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4215083)
Maybe if Strasburg would stop Googling Strassberg he'd get better information from the internets?
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4215086)
For some reason, his name inspires so many bad spellings. The worst I have seen is 'Straussbourg.'
   6. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4215089)
Ross Newhan going for the West Coast Murray Chass, Mr. President?

can't remember what I thought of him when I lived out there.
   7. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4215090)
What do Mark McGuire and Cal Ripkin think?
   8. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4215091)
Paging Ryan Sandberg
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4215092)
Where is this perception coming from?

Are modern sports writers/bloggers memory's so short they can't remember Stras saying they'll have to pry the ball out of his fingers?


Isn't the perception coming from the fact that they're not really going to have to pry the ball out of his fingers? All indications are he's going to be shut down.

Embarrassing spelling aside, I can't help but wonder some of the same things Newhan is. Are his teammates, many of whom may never have a better chance to win a World Series, really OK with this? And if they're not, and they're expressing that dissatisfaction, won't it start to wear on Strasburg?

I just can't imagine this won't become a much bigger issue. I also can't picture a big league ballplayer not going up to the GM's office and saying, "Screw my agent and my arm. I'm pitching."
   10. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4215096)
I just can't imagine this won't become a much bigger issue. I also can't picture a big league ballplayer not going up to the GM's office and saying, "Screw my agent and my arm. I'm pitching."


But that's the thing, even if he did this the big shots upstairs just have to say no. He spoke his piece, management said 'no', and there just isn't any point to him pushing things any more. He's supposed to keep whining to the media about management ignoring him for the 3 months sense this whole thing started?
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4215097)
I tried to post the following comment on the site....

First, it's "Strasburg", not "Strassberg". You might consider spellchecking before you print what you write.

Second, Strasburg has complained more than once about being sidelined, and unless he's supposed to be playing some variation on Garry "If I ain't startin', I ain't departin'" Templeton, I'm not sure what else you want him to do about it.


...but every time I selected "name/URL" and filled out the form, it just returned me back to where I started from. It was like trying to login to BTF on Firefox after I came back from my sit-down.
   12. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4215099)
So what if that happened, SoSH? What if he marched into the manager's office (or GM's office) and did exactly that? Would we necessarily be privy to that? Would Newhan?

It sounds like a made-up controversy to me.
   13. Kurt Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4215100)
I just can't imagine this won't become a much bigger issue. I also can't picture a big league ballplayer not going up to the GM's office and saying, "Screw my agent and my arm. I'm pitching."

Neither you nor Newhan is in the GM's office and has any idea what sorts of discussions have taken place.

Edit: coke to chris h
   14. Swedish Chef Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4215101)
As long as the Nationals have Bruce Harker they should be fine.
   15. Steve Treder Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4215104)
What would Casey Stengal do?
   16. Dave Spiwak Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4215109)
Maybe this has been discussed ad nauseam already here and elsewhere, but aren't there other options that should be in play besides "when he gets to X innings he's done for the year"?

1. Shut him down now and save his "reserve innings" for the playoffs.
2. Shut him down on schedule, let him rest, bring him back on a pitch count for the playoffs.

Maybe the Nats are already doing one of these two things. Who knows? But this saga has gotten weird. Mike Rizzo hovering over Strasburg on the steps after yesterday's rain delay like an overbearing little league dad was a bit much.
   17. TerpNats Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4215110)
There's a town in Virginia's northern Shenandoah Valley, near the intersection of interstates 81 and 66, named "Strasburg." Many D.C. people are aware of it, and thus have a way to remember the spelling of his name. Why a winner of a Hall of Fame award for baseball writing can't get his name right astounds me. (If this is indicative of his newspaper career, I hope he made miniature copies of the award and gave them to his copy editors.)
   18. Randy Jones Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4215113)
What would Casey Stengal do?


Juggled the rotation so that Strasberg only pitched against good teams to get largest advantage out of the innings he did pitch.
   19. TerpNats Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4215119)
One other thing on the likely shutdown: This was planned well before the season began, at a time when it appeared the Nationals would improve incrementally to peripheral contenders at best. So Strasburg knew this would be coming when he arrived in Viera; this is no bolt from the blue. Want proof? Check this out from the Post's D.C. Sports Bog.
   20. Swedish Chef Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4215120)
Maybe the Nats are already doing one of these two things. Who knows?

They have said that shutting him down and restarting him is more dangerous than just keeping pitching. If they believe that it seems unlikely they would budge. Maybe in time for the playoffs they unveil new pitcher Mysterio Mysterious, pitching in a luchador mask, to avoid losing face.
   21. God Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4215128)
Neither you nor Newhan is in the GM's office and has any idea what sorts of discussions have taken place.


No, but they DO know what Strasburg's hired representative has been saying to the press -- namely, that Strasburg is going to sue the Nationals unless he's benched. Those words might as well be coming straight from the player's mouth. The words *actually* coming from the player's mouth are nothing but PR nonsense. Make no mistake, Strasburg is fully on board with this plan. If he wasn't, it wouldn't be happening.

The fact that so many otherwise perceptive people fail to see this is bewildering to me.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4215131)

But that's the thing, even if he did this the big shots upstairs just have to say no. He spoke his piece, management said 'no', and there just isn't any point to him pushing things any more. He's supposed to keep whining to the media about management ignoring him for the 3 months sense this whole thing started?.


If pitching in the postseason was really his primary objective, couldn't he tell Rizzo that he'd never sign a long-term deal with Washington unless he got to keep throwing this season? Wouldn't that be significant enough leverage?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating Strasburg do that. Only that he does have some options, and I would have thought that pressure from both his teammates and his own competitive instinct would have led him to use the leverage he has. And as long as this shutdown seems to be proceeding as planned, it doesn't appear that he has.


Edit: Also, what God said.
   23. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4215133)
Look, everyone trusts Manager Davey Crockett. If he says Salzburg has to be shut down, he gets shut down.
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4215137)
Somehow I think I'd trust Rizzo and Johnson to time Strasburg's gradual return to a normal innings count a lot more than I'd trust some ####### columnists and commentators who have zero skin in the game. I'm glad the Nats are shutting him down, and the idea that this is some kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Nats is just bat#### crazy. They're much more likely to dominate the NLE for years to come than they are to revert to a pumpkin.
   25. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4215142)
Also, it isn't like they just came up with this idea out of the blue. They made this very specific plan for his rehab in 2010, they followed the same plan with Jordan Zimmerman.

If I'm a player, I want an organization that makes plans and sticks to them. Not one that says, "Ok, we think we know the best way to keep you healthy, we're going to stay on this plan....oh, wait never mind, we're going to make the playoffs! We were just kidding before! I'm sure you'll be fine!"
   26. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4215143)
So Davey Johnson is Rocco Lampone?
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4215145)
First, it's "Strasburg", not "Strassberg". You might consider spellchecking before you print what you write.


I don't see how an auto-spellcheck would help with this. You'd need to actually google it.
   28. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4215146)
They're much more likely to dominate the NLE for years to come than they are to revert to a pumpkin.


Well, I don't think the fear is reverting to a pumpkin. A couple key injuries next season could marginalize them, especially if it takes a few years for Harper to reach his true talent level. Then you've got a window again before some interesting decisions get made.

The point isn't that the Nationals won't be good, but that a shot like this (literally being the best team in the NL) isn't guaranteed or even likely to re-occur for years, whether they're better than the Braves/Mets/Marlins or not.
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4215147)
Are his teammates, many of whom may never have a better chance to win a World Series, really OK with this? And if they're not, and they're expressing that dissatisfaction, won't it start to wear on Strasburg?


I suspect that Strasburg probably wants to pitch but feels like it's out of his hands (and in many respects it is). The other players have to be frustrated but one break for the Nats is the youth and contract status of the team. Virtually all of these guys are likely to be back next year so there is probably a sense of "if not 2012, then 2013 or 2014" prevalent in the clubhouse. Adam LaRoche is the one guy who jumps at me who may feel like his one shot is being hampered.
   30. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4215150)
If pitching in the postseason was really his primary objective, couldn't he tell Rizzo that he'd never sign a long-term deal with Washington unless he got to keep throwing this season? Wouldn't that be significant enough leverage?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating Strasburg do that. Only that he does have some options, and I would have thought that pressure from both his teammates and his own competitive instinct would have led him to use the leverage he has. And as long as this shutdown seems to be proceeding as planned, it doesn't appear that he has.


I think he'd be in the wrong if he did that, actually, from an ethical perspective.
   31. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4215155)
No, but they DO know what Strasburg's hired representative has been saying to the press -- namely, that Strasburg is going to sue the Nationals unless he's benched. Those words might as well be coming straight from the player's mouth. The words *actually* coming from the player's mouth are nothing but PR nonsense. Make no mistake, Strasburg is fully on board with this plan. If he wasn't, it wouldn't be happening.

And what's so ludicrous about the blustery blabberings coming from the big mouth of Stevie's surrogate daddy is that he has absolutely no case whatsoever. This lawsuit threat is one of the most laughable, empty shyster threats in the history of all shysterdom.

But I would kind of love to know what is really going on in the kid's head through all this. If he's half the man that I would hope he is, he ought to be kind of embarrassed over the fact that he has like three daddies and that he is being treated as though he's the second coming of the Baby Jesus himself. Who knows though; this is a MUCH different era now and the society has changed dramatically even in the last twenty years.
   32. God Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4215164)
Coming next week: A Strasburg-authored children's book, Stevie Has Three Daddies.
   33. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4215177)
I think he'd be in the wrong if he did that, actually, from an ethical perspective.


Why? I know you don't seem to be a fan of the post-season but why would it be unethical for Strasburg to make such a stand? Guys make decisions about where to sign for any number of reasons, why would this be an unethical reason? If he went to them and said "in four years I'll only stay if you give me the biggest chunk of money" would that be unethical? It seems to me that if this is what was important to him then telling the Nats that fact would be quite appropriate, certainly better than not saying it, stewing about it for four years then telling them to shove it when the time came.
   34. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4215184)

Given that they have known this was going to be an issue for at least the last several months, couldn't you have started him every 6 or 7 days over that time period so that he'd still have some innings left for the post-season?
   35. Fanshawe Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4215186)
I'm so old I can remember when columnists hated players second guessing managers and whining to the media about not getting enough playing time.
   36. Steve Treder Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4215189)
Given that they have known this was going to be an issue for at least the last several months, couldn't you have started him every 6 or 7 days over that time period so that he'd still have some innings left for the post-season?

That's what I've been thinking. They're intrepid enough to challenge the wisdom of letting a player perform through the entire schedule, but too timid to challenge the orthodoxy of starting every fifth day. What's up with that?
   37. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4215190)
Probably the effect on the rest of the staff's schedules.
   38. Steve Treder Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4215195)
Probably the effect on the rest of the staff's schedules.

Yes, probably, but in a case of choosing which problem to have to face, there's a pretty good argument that the complicated schedule is the one to choose.
   39. A triple short of the cycle Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4215198)
I asked in the other thread: why not have him miss the beginning of the season instead of the end? The drawback is that he would not be on the same spring training schedule as the rest of the pitchers, but pitchers do join teams midseason when coming back from Tommy John surgery, for example, so it seems like it could be done. Have him go through spring training but keep him from ramping up the throwing as if he were going to start the season with the team. Sure it would be awkward and not ideal but so is the current situation.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4215199)
They have said that shutting him down and restarting him is more dangerous than just keeping pitching. If they believe that it seems unlikely they would budge. Maybe in time for the playoffs they unveil new pitcher Mysterio Mysterious, pitching in a luchador mask, to avoid losing face.

This is absurd. Haven't they heard of the DL?

Pitchers are shut down for weeks and months and then return all the time. Should the Yankees be shutting down CC Sabathia for the rest of the season since he hasn't pitched in 2 weeks?
   41. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4215203)
In related news, the Nationals have had a completely healthy pitcher who's made 122 big-league starts over the past four seasons stashed in Syracuse for the entire season. I don't know why his AAA ERA is so bad, but his two MLB starts this year have been good.

Has there been a single team in the last 40 years better equipped to use a six-man rotation?
   42. Steve Treder Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4215206)
This is absurd. Haven't they heard of the DL?

Pitchers are shut down for weeks and months and then return all the time. Should the Yankees be shutting down CC Sabathia for the rest of the season since he hasn't pitched in 2 weeks?


What's truly amusing about all this is the certainty the Nationals seem to be feeling about all. "Shutting him down and restarting him is more dangerous than just keep pitching" -- it's just simply and directly asserted, as though this is some sort of fact that the rest of us should know.

When the fact is that no one in the world knows diddly squat whether it's true or not.
   43. Srul Itza Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4215223)
If pitching in the postseason was really his primary objective, couldn't he tell Rizzo that he'd never sign a long-term deal with Washington unless he got to keep throwing this season? Wouldn't that be significant enough leverage?


Since he chose Boras as his agent, you start from the default position that he will not sign any contract that buys out any of his free agent years, and that when the time comes, he will sign with the highest bidder. So saying he won't sign a long-term deal is probably not much of a threat.
   44. Spahn Insane Posted: August 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4215232)
What do Mark McGuire and Cal Ripkin think?

I don't know, but Strassberg should look at the career of Kerry Woods as a cautionary tale. Not every pitcher with his talent becomes Roger Clemons.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4215252)
Since he chose Boras as his agent, you start from the default position that he will not sign any contract that buys out any of his free agent years, and that when the time comes, he will sign with the highest bidder. So saying he won't sign a long-term deal is probably not much of a threat.


So fire Boras. Or agree to sign a long-term deal if Rizzo lets you keep pitching. Or tell Rizzo you'll ##### incessantly to the media about the pussies in the FO. The point is, Steven Strasburg is not some helpless flower here, if pitching in the playoffs was "pry the ball" important to him. Clearly it isn't (as God notes, since his employee keeps saying otherwise).

Now that's not a criticism. Honestly, I think the fact that a 24-year-old athlete is putting his long-term needs ahead of his short-term wants, and rebuffing what I expect are the pleadings of his teammates along the way, is more worthy of commendation than rebuke. It just surprises me.

   46. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4215268)
Given that they have known this was going to be an issue for at least the last several months, couldn't you have started him every 6 or 7 days over that time period so that he'd still have some innings left for the post-season?

That's what I've been thinking. They're intrepid enough to challenge the wisdom of letting a player perform through the entire schedule, but too timid to challenge the orthodoxy of starting every fifth day. What's up with that?

Probably the effect on the rest of the staff's schedules.

Yes, probably, but in a case of choosing which problem to have to face, there's a pretty good argument that the complicated schedule is the one to choose.



Just skip his turn once a month. This is how overtraining is avoided in every other sport under the sun. Do it following a day off and everyone else gets to pitch on regular rest instead of being pushed back a day. That this wasn't the plan goes a long way toward showing that making a production of having a plan was of greater importance than actually coming up with a sound plan.
   47. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4215269)
I still don't think they'll actually shut him down completely, all the way through the playoffs.
   48. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4215292)
I still don't think they'll actually shut him down completely, all the way through the playoffs.

Stroudsbard will be available off the bench to pinch-hit for pitchers.
   49. Squash Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4215295)
I still don't think they'll actually shut him down completely, all the way through the playoffs.

I don't think so either. People say lots of things about how they're going to plan for the future and then when the shiny new toy comes out make an exception because this time is special. Maybe they'll end up pitching him only one game (i.e. the first) of each series. But I find it a little hard to believe that if they're at a game 7 and he's sitting there with 9 days or rest or whatever that he'll be on the bench.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4215297)
Strassberg? Maybe Newhan posts here as Jack Keefe.

I don't see how an auto-spellcheck would help with this.

Andy's actual old enough to remember when we didn't have computers to do our spell-checking for us.

Wouldn't that be significant enough leverage?

He's not a free agent until 2017. That's a pretty empty threat and I can't imagine Rizzo is exactly chomping at the bit to sign him tomorrow through 2021 anyway.
   51. Karl from NY Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4215307)
What do Mark McGuire and Cal Ripkin think?

C Roy Campenella
1B Mark McGuire
2B Red Scheondeinst
SS Phil Rizutto
3B Cal Ripkin
LF Carl Yaztremski
CF Ricky Hendersen
RF Roberto Clemante
P Roger Clemons
RP Phil Neikro
   52. bunyon Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4215315)
If they intend to shut him down, he won't be on the postseason roster. I agree, if he's on the roster, he'll pitch. But surely Rizzo is the one who submits the roster?
   53. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4215327)
No, but they DO know what Strasburg's hired representative has been saying to the press -- namely, that Strasburg is going to sue the Nationals unless he's benched


And of course Boras said nothing of the sort.
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4215330)
I don't know, but Strassberg should look at the career of Kerry Woods as a cautionary tale. Not every pitcher with his talent becomes Roger Clemons.

And that's exactly what the Gnats are likely thinking. They've also got the Dylan precedent right there in front of them to use as a model. I'm just glad that Ritzo is sticking to his guns and not letting hypothetical short term gains stop him from using his best instincts. Tommy Jon surgery on a 22 year old power pitcher shouldn't be something you want to play around with.

----------------------------------------

I don't see how an auto-spellcheck would help with this.


Andy's actually old enough to remember when we didn't have computers to do our spell-checking for us.

He's also old enough to remember when sportswriters would know how to spell the name of one of the half dozen most discussed pitchers in the Majors. I actually wasn't referring to anything more than Newhan's activating his memory, but I guess that's a nonexistent entity in his case.
   55. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4215340)
Found the Boras quote.

“Certainly, when you run afoul to medical recommendations with any player, there most likely are ethical and legal considerations. Coverage for insurance: would the insurance companies say we won’t cover players that won’t follow physician counsel and advice? There are a number of factors in this process where peoples’ careers are affected and affected dramatically. The consequences are far greater when you don’t follow expert medical advice.”


Boras never said he was going to sue the Nationals, he answered a question. When he said there were "legal considerations" he then used medical coverage as an example, not the threat of a lawsuit. And all Rizzo has to do is find one "expert" doctor to say Strasburg can pitch without risk, and they have no more liability and can take off the innings limit (or raise it to where their expert tells them).

Clearly, if any GM went against all medical advice, and demanded a player play while exposed to a substantially higher risk of serious injury, of course he would expose the team to a high risk of liability and a likely lawsuit. Not just from Strawsbergh and Boras, from any player and their agent.

This isn't a unique situation to baseball. Just because teams seem to do whatever they want and never suffer consequences doesn't mean they don't have liability. Often we never know what kind of medical approvals teams have gotten to minimize their liability before continuing to play an injured player or one recovering from injury.

Oh and if you are one of those who think Rizzo is making a mistake, the mistake was made long ago, if not before spring training this year, or even last year. Once the Nationals put together a plan based on the advice of medical experts, they were obligated to follow it or face substantial liability (which is exactly what Boras said). If Rizzo wanted to pitch Strasburg more innings this year, he never should have asked for that plan, and should have pretended that it's impossible for medical professionals to even guess at the risk. Of course that doesn't shield the team entirely from liability, and if Boras vehemently disagreed with the Nationals use of Strasburg in a world without a plan, then Boras would be in the uncharted territory of suing a team to stop mishandling his client.

But that's not the world we are in, and Boras has no need to threaten any suit because the Nationals already locked themselves into a plan that is reasonably protective of his clients health.
   56. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4215351)
C Roy Campenella
1B Mark McGuire
2B Red Scheondeinst
SS Phil Rizutto
3B Cal Ripkin
LF Carl Yaztremski
CF Ricky Hendersen
RF Roberto Clemante
P Roger Clemons
RP Phil Neikro


DH Alex Rodriquez
Gold-Glove "1B" Rafael Palmiero (or Mark Teixiera/Texiera)

BTW, I've never seen "Henderson" misspelled.
   57. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4215375)
Craig (Greg)... well, you know the rest
   58. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4215382)
But that's the thing, even if he did this the big shots upstairs just have to say no. He spoke his piece, management said 'no', and there just isn't any point to him pushing things any more. He's supposed to keep whining to the media about management ignoring him for the 3 months sense this whole thing started?


I don't think there will be any prolonged whining to the media, but I expect we will see another well-orchestrated burst of "I don't like it, I want to keep pitching, etc" from Strozbirg when they actually do pry the ball out of his hand.

Just skip his turn once a month. This is how overtraining is avoided in every other sport under the sun. Do it following a day off and everyone else gets to pitch on regular rest instead of being pushed back a day. That this wasn't the plan goes a long way toward showing that making a production of having a plan was of greater importance than actually coming up with a sound plan.


The thought process going into the season wasn't, and shouldn't have been, just about getting him to a specific number of innings. It was about getting his body back into dealing with the rigors of being a starting pitcher taking a regular turn in a standard major league rotation. Any modification of the rotation to slow the rate at which he accumulated innings would have worked against that goal, and created a need for another adjustment period some time in the future. Shortening his season doesn't do that; it just mitigates the risk of continuing to pitch him beyond some vague and difficult to ascertain point of cumulative fatigue. All things considered, I'm pretty confident that the plan the Nationals came up with was the right one. Unfortunately, they forgot to plan on being in contention.
   59. Poster Nutbag Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4215384)
The names....it's like old-school Baseball Mogul all over again!

Has a thread ever begged for Keefe more? This clown is stealing his name-misspelling-schtick!
   60. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4215429)
BTW, I've never seen "Henderson" misspelled.

Well, I'll be darned. A Google search for "Rickey Hendersen" (in quotes) turned up 1,090 results. "Harry and the Hendersens" turned up 2,160.

Is "Hendersen" actually a name in Denmark or Sweden or something? There are so many very common "-son" names in the U.S. (Jackson, Johnson, etc.) -- and Henderson itself is pretty common (11 major-league players, 12 if you count Henderson Alvarez) -- that I assumed "Henderson" would be the default spelling, even by stupid people.

It seems much more likely that the misspelling of "-son"/"-sen" names would go the other way, e.g., Larry "Anderson" from the Bagwell trade.

Oh yeah, and:

P Greg Maddox
   61. Swedish Chef Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4215462)
Is "Hendersen" actually a name in Denmark or Sweden or something?

"-sen" names are a Danish and Norwegian thing, Sweden uses "-son".

I'm pretty sure Hendersen is an American corruption, the Danish phonebook returns just one guy named that.
   62. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4215480)
"-sen" names are a Danish and Norwegian thing, Sweden uses "-son".

Sweden uses "-sson" more than "-son," right? As in "Olaf's son" => "Olafs son" => "Olafsson." (As an ABBA fan I know that it's Benny Andersson but Stig Anderson, so apparently both are used.)

I just realized that the "Nielson" in my handle (not my real name) is an uncommon spelling of "Nielsen."
   63. Swedish Chef Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:57 AM (#4215491)
Sweden uses "-sson" more than "-son," right? As in "Olaf's son" => "Olafs son" => "Olafsson."

It turns out "-sson" often, but not in every case, because we do love our genitive suffixes* but we see them as "-son" endings.

*) Like most English speaking media used to think a soccer team was for example "Helsingborgs", but it never can be, it's either "Helsingborgs IF" or "Helsingborg"... But they have gotten better lately.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4215492)
I had some delicious choucroute garnie in Strasbourg.
   65. Swedish Chef Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:02 AM (#4215493)
And Iceland is the odd duck, they never transitioned to fixed surnames, they take the name of the father (sometimes the mother) and add "-son" or "-dóttir".
   66. Ron J Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4215494)
#55 Decades ago Les Cain won a case for being forced to pitch while injured. Since then, teams have been risk adverse when there's a clear warning on the record. Finding a doctor who disagrees and going with that recommendation is probably legally risky. (Though the Strasburg situation isn't as clear as the Cain situation. Cain was injured and pitching through it ended his career. With Stras you're talking about a fear of injury. I think severity and timing would matter if it ever ended up before the courts. I can't imagine that an insurer would be impressed that you managed to find a doctor who said what you wanted to hear either.)

It will surprise nobody that Cain's manager at the time was Billy Martin.
   67. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:57 AM (#4215501)
Finding a doctor who disagrees and going with that recommendation is probably legally risky


I agree with this, my example of Rizzo just finding a pliant doctor is unrealistic, esp. when you have expert doctors already telling you the oposite. The die is cast, and blaming Scrawsborg, Boras or even Rizzo is silly.
   68. Dan Evensen Posted: August 23, 2012 at 06:46 AM (#4215521)
"-sen" names are a Danish and Norwegian thing, Sweden uses "-son".

FWIW, I can attest to this.

I spent years thinking that Evensen was a very rare name. Then, when I was 16, my family went to Norway on vacation. Suddenly, I was just another one of the Joneses.

Tommy Jon surgery on a 22 year old power pitcher shouldn't be something you want to play around with.

I see what you did there.
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 23, 2012 at 07:05 AM (#4215523)
And that's exactly what the Gnats are likely thinking. They've also got the Dylan precedent right there in front of them to use as a model. I'm just glad that Ritzo is sticking to his guns and not letting hypothetical short term gains stop him from using his best instincts. Tommy Jon surgery on a 22 year old power pitcher shouldn't be something you want to play around with.

I see what you did there.


While over on Highway 61 a lonesome voice cries out, "What about me?" (/hurt feelings)


   70. Belfry Bob Posted: August 23, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4215569)
I didn't understand from the beginning why they didn't treat Strasburg like someone returning from injury and just start him up later...I was calling for this back in the Spring, and I'm not a Nats fan. It sure looked like this was a team that could at least compete for a playoff slot; wasn't that even the conventional wisdom coming in?

If they would have had him report later and start up his season in mid-May, what would have been the harm in that? Maybe the NL East would be closer right now, to be sure, but I'd rather know I have my best pitcher for the rest of the season at this point.

Seemed like a no-brainer then, even more so now.
   71. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4215584)
#70 is the only real counterargument to what the Nats are doing, but at this point it's water under the bridge.
   72. bunyon Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4215594)
I was just another one of the Joneses.

I've always wondered about this. Jones is quite a ways down the list of most common surnames in the US and, yet, it's always used this way.



So, am I to understand there are doctors who say that 160 innings, no, wait, 180 innings is the limit for a pitcher coming back from TJ?

Don't they also say 18 months?


Makes me hope they shut him down, he remains perfectly healthy for the next 20 years...and never sniffs the postseason again.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4215600)
Makes me hope they shut him down, he remains perfectly healthy for the next 20 years...and never sniffs the postseason again.

That's a perverse comment if you're a Nats fan, and an inconsequential comment if you're not.
   74. bunyon Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4215608)
That's a perverse comment if you're a Nats fan, and an inconsequential comment if you're not.

So's your Mom.


I say it only as a fan of baseball. It may be the right thing to do - I don't know, and the folks making this decision don't either - but it is fingernails on the chalkboard to a what sports is supposed to be about. It isn't supposed to be about long term thinking and contracts and caution. It's supposed to be about going after the prize, beating your opponents, fighting.


If you want perverse, I know a lot of folks hoping he gets hurt early next year after being shut down.

I do think that if the Nats make the playoffs and lose to the WC team in the LDS without using their best pitcher, it is going to take a long time for that stink to come off of Strasburg. He'll always be the guy that didn't pitch, whether it is his decision or not.
   75. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4215613)
I just checked out the article, and the spelling has been corrected.
   76. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4215618)
Mike Rizzo has never fixed an innings limit on Strasburg. He said they will watch him carefully and decide the best time to pull the plug on his pitching season. The 160 inning number came from Jordan Zimmermann's shutdown point last year; since that was a nice round number, the media ran with it and it became "truthiness".

No doubt they will watch his pitch speed, effectiveness, consultations with doctor(s), read his tea leaves, and decide based on the preponderance of evidence, but it's not fixed on one numeric innings count.

Besides, after last night's gack-up to the Barves the Nats might as well plan to rebuild for next year, that was embarrassing. Maybe next year.
   77. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4215622)
Can we at least stop repeating that Strassburg is the Nationals best pitcher? Please? He might be their most talented pitcher. He might have the ability to be their most dominant starter in any give game. He almost certainly has the best long-term career prospects (barring re-injury of course). But they happen to have a legitimate CYA candidate fronting their rotation this season, and his name is not Stephen Strasburg. Or do y'all just count pitcher wins for that?
   78. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4215623)
I love that Rizzo is now telling the press that he has this super dooper ultra top secret fifty page binder full of rigorously researched data and methodology that proves that he's right. And of course it goes without saying that he's never going to show this "document" to anyone.

The old "I can't tell you my secrets" gambit; it's one of my top ten favorite gambits.
   79. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4215624)
I say it only as a fan of baseball. It may be the right thing to do - I don't know, and the folks making this decision don't either - but it is fingernails on the chalkboard to a what sports is supposed to be about. It isn't supposed to be about long term thinking and contracts and caution. It's supposed to be about going after the prize, beating your opponents, fighting.

I agree with the general sentiment, which is why I can live with brushback wars and bench brawls. But you can take that to the point where you're putting the long term interests of your franchise at risk, and you figure that discretion is the better part of bravery. Which is obviously what the Nats are thinking.

If you want perverse, I know a lot of folks hoping he gets hurt early next year after being shut down.

Or people who would have been rooting for that to happen if he hadn't been. It's the same sort of perversity at work.

I do think that if the Nats make the playoffs and lose to the WC team in the LDS without using their best pitcher, it is going to take a long time for that stink to come off of Strasburg. He'll always be the guy that didn't pitch, whether it is his decision or not.

If that sentiment could be quantified in a poll taken among Nat fans only next year, I'd be willing to bet a fair amount of money that you'd be wrong. It may not mean that much, but the most influential Nats writer in the area, Thomas Boswell, has strongly backed the shutdown from the day that it was announced, and has repeated that sentiment many times.

And what John Kruk, Rob Dibble or Tommy John may say about it is of very little consequence to me, since once again, they have zero skin in the game.


   80. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4215631)
Mike Rizzo has never fixed an innings limit on Strasburg. He said they will watch him carefully and decide the best time to pull the plug on his pitching season. The 160 inning number came from Jordan Zimmermann's shutdown point last year; since that was a nice round number, the media ran with it and it became "truthiness".


Sure, but whatever the criteria are, the actual decision is getting closer. I think I heard that Davey Johnson said after last night's game that Strasburg would probably miss his last two or three starts of the season. That means he will likely take four or five more turns, which is probably going to put him right around 170.

And maybe that leaves room for him to pitch in relief in the playoffs. ;-)
   81. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4215636)
it's one of my top ten favorite gambits


Pshaw. It's not even one of the top ten gambits in the French Defence.
   82. OsunaSakata Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4215656)
It's sort of amusing how appalled the national media is as opposed to most Nats fans. Frankly, I believe most sports fans in Washington are more concerned with RG3 than Strasberg. (Didn't he developed the technique of Method Pitching?)
   83. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4215668)
There are two major flaws with all of the "keep pitching him" arguments.

1. The Nats were not seriously considered to be in contention this year. Sure, there was a chance that they could compete for a wild card, but even then it could be a one-and-done playoff. This is not Yankees/Red Sox/Rangers where the team should have logically planned for a division winner. Therefore, any arguments about starting him late or skipping him all year or whatever do not hold any water. And even if they did, you're still doubling down on him because if you plan for him to hit 180 on the last day of the year you still have the playoff innings to consider. So do you plan for 160 plus playoffs? Or 180 and sit for the playoffs? Or 180 plus 20 for playoffs?

2. The playoffs are a crapshoot. OK, that's a general statement, but even with Strasburg, what are the chances that they win the World Series? Seriously, what is the increase in their chances with him? What happens if you blow out his arm in the post season in round 1? Or he pitches but you get bounced anyway? You can't argue right now, in August (or even September or October) that a World Series title is more important that Strasburg's future health. Because there's no guarantee they win it all. Even with Strasburg they probably won't. (Of course, "probably won't" is true for every team in the playoffs). You have to gauge the chance of the WS with Strasburg plus your injury worries against the chance of a WS with Strasburg over the next 4 years.

Of course, if you disagree with the increased injury risk that's fine, but then that needs to be your argument, not "flags fly forever" or "they should have addressed this in April".
   84. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4215676)
There are two major flaws with all of the "keep pitching him" arguments...


I agree that you couldn't plan for the playoffs, and thus starting him later wasn't a reasonable option. My problem is with the rigidnes of it all (though, really, I'd pretty much let Strasburg make the decision, and if he's committed to shutting down, then that's what I'm doing).

However, if Strasburg really does want to pitch, I would have made some in-season adjustments that would make him available for the postseason. Let him skip every third start or keep him on a shorter innings leash every few outings or sit him down for three weeks. Something to stretch out the innings when it became apparent you were going to be playing very meaningful games in September and October.

I don't mind the idea that you want to limit his innings in his first year back from TJ Surgery. I don't like the inflexible commitment to "the plan," particularly when that plan remains mostly a theory.
   85. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4215680)
Frankly, I believe most sports fans in Washington are more concerned with RG3 than Strasberg. (Didn't he developed the technique of Method Pitching?)

No, that was Polack Stanilavski, the long neglected pitching coach who applied his techniques to a diverse group of hurlers ranging from Hub Pruett to Mike Marshall. He cudda been a contender but he mumbled so much that half his pupils couldn't understand a word he was saying.
   86. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4215683)
Greg, your points are all spot on. The Nationals have clearly taken their decision, and they're not going to change their minds.

The only aspect of this whole debate that really annoys the hell of out me is the fact that whenever someone has the audacity to ask a question like "why not just shut him down now and bring him back for the playoffs", the response is just a simple "we're not doing that" without any real explanation as to why they refuse to even consider the idea.

I mean, spare me all this bunk about how it's just too risky to even contemplate such a wild and crazy idea. There is not one single iota of evidence to demonstrate that bringing a pitcher back in a season after an extended stint on the D.L. is risky or dangerous. Every freaking team does this from time to time, and there is NEVER any debate about it and nobody else ever suggests that because the pitcher got a mild injury during the season that he simply must be "shut down".
   87. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4215702)
True, there are things that could be done that are judgment calls.
   88. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4215771)
Clearly Strazbirg just needs Rob Dibble to go beat some sense into Rizzo.



Frankly, I believe most sports fans in Washington are more concerned with RG3 than Strasberg. (Didn't he developed the technique of Method Pitching?)


Probably true which is sad, since they have a winner in the Nats; while the Redskins are headed for 5-11 again.

   89. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4215837)
I say it only as a fan of baseball. It may be the right thing to do - I don't know, and the folks making this decision don't either - but it is fingernails on the chalkboard to a what sports is supposed to be about. It isn't supposed to be about long term thinking and contracts and caution. It's supposed to be about going after the prize, beating your opponents, fighting.


Isn't this thinking precisely why some people here hate the NFL and their 'faceless gladiators'? Why should we demand an athlete to risk a potentially career ending injury for one last win or one or two postseason victories?
   90. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4215878)
Isn't this thinking precisely why some people here hate the NFL and their 'faceless gladiators'? Why should we demand an athlete to risk a potentially career ending injury for one last win or one or two postseason victories?

It's the same mentality that wants us to strip the environment so that we can just save a few dollars on gas or electicity bills. You can't reason with it, because they aren't even listening.
   91. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4215888)
Isn't this thinking precisely why some people here hate the NFL and their 'faceless gladiators'? Why should we demand an athlete to risk a potentially career ending injury for one last win or one or two postseason victories?


Not really. Stephen Strasburg isn't hurt. Not at all. This isn't shooting some idiot up with enough painkillers to sedate a rhino, just so he doesn't feel the pain from his broken pelvis. It's wishing that a guy who isn't hurt keeps doing the same thing he's done all season because he wants to win the big prize.

Second, the football guys are being asked to risk their long-term well-being, in and out of the sport. That isn't the case with wishing that Strasburg would invert that W a few more times this fall even at the risk of his long-term earnings potential.



   92. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4215900)


Not really. Stephen Strasburg isn't hurt. Not at all. This isn't shooting some idiot up with enough painkillers to sedate a rhino, just so he doesn't feel the pain from his broken pelvis. It's wishing that a guy who isn't hurt keeps doing the same thing he's done all season because he wants to win the big prize.

Second, the football guys are being asked to risk their long-term well-being, in and out of the sport. That isn't the case with wishing that Strasburg would invert that W a few more times this fall even at the risk of his long-term earnings potential.


How do you know that Straburg isn't hurt at all? Do you know what his arm feels like after he pitches? When he wakes up in the morning? And are you blaming Strausberg for shutting himself down so he gets a larger contract later? Blaming the GM for shutting Stresburg down so the Nats can pay him more later? Not sure where you are coming from with that last sentence.
   93. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4215915)
"I feel great," said Strasburg, on the night his inning total topped 145, his win total reached 15, his strikeout total leaped to 183 and the Nationals' lead in the National League East jumped to a season-high seven games over the second-place Braves. "I feel like there's a lot more left in the tank."

Now, either he's telling the truth or he's lying, and I certainly can't read his mind. But given the way he pitched that night, I'm sort of inclined to believe that he's telling the truth right now.
   94. TerpNats Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4215919)
Can we at least stop repeating that Strasburg is the Nationals best pitcher? Please? He might be their most talented pitcher. He might have the ability to be their most dominant starter in any give game. He almost certainly has the best long-term career prospects (barring re-injury of course). But they happen to have a legitimate CYA candidate fronting their rotation this season, and his name is not Stephen Strasburg. Or do y'all just count pitcher wins for that?
The way much of the national media handles the Nats, you'd think their roster was Strasburg, Harper, maybe Werth or Zimmerman (the one with one "n" at the end of his name), and 20+ nobodies. (Remember the MLB Network promo-ing Tuesday's game pitting "Harper and the Nats" vs. "Heyward and the Braves"?) Strasburg's part of a three-pronged group of aces in the Washington rotation, while Harper has certainly contributed, but at age 19, he's nowhere near the level of the aforementioned Werth, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Morse, Desmond and Espinosa. Bryce has the potential to be a dominant player once he physically matures and learns all the ropes (he has a pretty good baseball sense already, considering his age), but nevertheless, he's a star in the future tense.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4215932)
How do you know that Straburg isn't hurt at all?


Obviously I don't know his exact health status. But the same could be said for every player not currently on the DL (or with no acknowledged injury issue), so I kind of work from the default position those guys are healthy. As far as I know, he's the only one of those seemingly healthy players that plans to not be playing in the near future.

And are you blaming Strausberg for shutting himself down so he gets a larger contract later? Blaming the GM for shutting Stresburg down so the Nats can pay him more later? Not sure where you are coming from with that last sentence.


Actually, I'm not blaming him for anything. I was merely noting how I think bunyon's attitude differs from the football fan mindset you cited.

As for me, I don't have a problem with Strasburg shutting himself down to protect his future. I think it's kind of cool, if for no other reason because it seems to run counter to the attitude most athletes have toward short-term goals vs. long-term interests.
   96. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4215939)
The way much of the national media handles the Nats, you'd think their roster was Strasburg, Harper, maybe Werth or Zimmerman (the one with one "n" at the end of his name), and 20+ nobodies. (Remember the MLB Network promo-ing Tuesday's game pitting "Harper and the Nats" vs. "Heyward and the Braves"?) Strasburg's part of a three-pronged group of aces in the Washington rotation, while Harper has certainly contributed, but at age 19, he's nowhere near the level of the aforementioned Werth, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Morse, Desmond and Espinosa. Bryce has the potential to be a dominant player once he physically matures and learns all the ropes (he has a pretty good baseball sense already, considering his age), but nevertheless, he's a star in the future tense.


All true and it's interesting how they also pick out Heyward as the "leader of the Braves". The media has to have a "young, marketable star" to try and sell; regardless of whether or not that star is anywhere near the best player on the team. ESPN is the best example of this, but all the networks do it. Besides that two Zimmerman thing is really hard to keep straight, you know.
   97. bunyon Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4215950)
How do you know that Straburg isn't hurt at all?

Did you see him pitch a few nights ago? He really looks like he's suffering.

If there is data, then put it out there and show us the reasoning. What shutting him down appears to be is erring on the side of caution. Taken in a vacuum, it might be a good decision. At the least, it isn't a bad decision.

But they're not in a vacuum, they're in the playoffs. They may not be there again. Given that there is no data supporting shut down or letting him go and there is something to play for, I think he should play. If the medical folks have either data that pushing him farther risks serious long term injury* or has data that supports his being currently injured then, yes, absolutely, shut him down. What I'm saying is I don't see that data.


* Other than, you know, pitching, which invites long term injury by its very nature.


To sum up my position: if there is nothing to play for, use caution; if there is something to play for, play for it. It may well be in the legal interest of the Nationals to shut him down. To me, that kind of calculus sucks.
   98. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4215954)
"I feel great," said Strasburg, on the night his inning total topped 145, his win total reached 15, his strikeout total leaped to 183 and the Nationals' lead in the National League East jumped to a season-high seven games over the second-place Braves. "I feel like there's a lot more left in the tank."


Yeah, because lots of times you hear someone say "Well, it's been a long season, and my arm hurts like a ##### every morning after I pitch, I really don't have much more energy left." Clearly Strazburgz is giving his complete and 100% truthful answer to the guy sticking a microphone in his face.
   99. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4215968)
I was merely noting how I think bunyon's attitude differs from the football fan mindset you cited.


Where does that line get crossed then? Is it ok if a pitcher cannot lift his arm above his shoulder or pick his kid up when he is done playing?

This was an interesting article: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8274392/comparing-mortality-rates-football-baseball
   100. Chris Needham Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4215976)
The problem with this debate (and it's happening to an extent here) is that it's thought of in terms of certainty. If they pitch him more, he WILL get hurt. If they save his arm, he WILL be healthy.

Obviously it's not as simplistic as that. I think this is where some sort of framework needs to come into play. Then everyone affixes their own percentages (based on guesswork, some more educated than others).

Not having Strasburg pitch in the playoffs reduces the Nats' chances of winning by X%?
Not having Strasburg pitch in the playoffs reduces his further chances of injury by Y%?
Not having Strasburg pitch in the playoffs increases the Nats' chances of winning in future years by Z%?
Not having Strasburg pitch in the playoffs means he's going to get injured in future years anyway W% of the time?
Etc, etc, etc.

Those are all unknowns. And they'll always be unknowns -- which is part of the reason why this is so maddening). The other part is the certainty with which some are answering those questions.

Rizzo's made the calculus that X is low; Y is high; Z is high and W is irrelevant.

Most Nats fans see that the same way.

I, on the other hand, think his assessment of Z is WAY too high.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(6 - 2:36am, Sep 02)
Last: RollingWave

NewsblogTrevor Hoffman's Hall of Fame induction seems inevitable
(7 - 2:30am, Sep 02)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogPhoto of the day: Bill Murray, indy league ticket-taker
(103 - 2:27am, Sep 02)
Last: Robert in Manhattan Beach

NewsblogNitkowski: Wanted: Major League manager...sort of.
(8 - 2:07am, Sep 02)
Last: Robert in Manhattan Beach

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-1-2014
(40 - 2:01am, Sep 02)
Last: MNB

NewsblogAstros Fire Bo Porter
(57 - 1:54am, Sep 02)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogRobothal: Changed [Manny] Ramirez enjoyed helping Cubs prospects grow
(13 - 1:27am, Sep 02)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Ballot
(10 - 1:12am, Sep 02)
Last: Moeball

NewsblogHBT: Jorge Soler with an extra-base hit in each of his first five games
(2 - 1:02am, Sep 02)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(28 - 1:00am, Sep 02)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogRon Roenicke rips into home-plate umpire
(17 - 12:18am, Sep 02)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogBlue Jays Acquire Mayberry Jr.
(7 - 12:10am, Sep 02)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogAthletics Acquire Adam Dunn
(43 - 11:46pm, Sep 01)
Last: Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66)

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(986 - 11:25pm, Sep 01)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

NewsblogOT:  2014 College Football pre-season thread
(101 - 11:17pm, Sep 01)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

Page rendered in 0.8930 seconds
52 querie(s) executed