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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shaikin: Stephen Strasburg’s surgeon on Nationals shutdown: ‘I wasn’t asked’

The doctor who performed elbow surgery on Stephen Strasburg said he did not tell the Washington Nationals to shut down their ace pitcher.

“I wasn’t asked,” Dr. Lewis Yocum told the Los Angeles Times.

Yocum said he had not talked with Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year and had not talked with Strasburg since spring training….

Yocum said that, had he been asked, he would not have been able to provide conclusive information about whether Strasburg’s long-term health would be best served by shutting him down.

“There’s no statistic as far as studies,” Yocum said.

Yocum noted that Rizzo set his own standard with Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann….

Yocum said that process — and not any medical directive — essentially determined how Rizzo would proceed with Strasburg.

“It’s based on Mike’s experience,” Yocum said. “Mike is extremely confident. His track record speaks for itself. Zimmermann did extremely well.”

Yocum said the results with Zimmermann and Strasburg might well influence how other teams handle the progress of young pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery, in which a damaged ligament in the forearm is replaced.

“If there was a guarantee, everybody would be doing it right now,” Yocum said. “You just don’t know. This may be the beginning of a trend.”

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM | 208 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: health, medical, nationals

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   1. McCoy Posted: September 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4234813)
But, but, but the doctors told the Nats to shut him down!
   2. spycake Posted: September 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4234823)
Boras is going to sue them for not asking.
   3. Chris Needham Posted: September 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4234826)
I'm sure the BBTF Lawyer Cabal will be along to parse all these properly.

But this is like Christmas for me in the meantime. Meanwhile, many of the pro-shutdown Nats fans are all like "lalalalla can't hear can't hear. Rizzo is awesome! Count Da Winzzzz!!!"
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4234831)
In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz, "Ha Ha!"
   5. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4234847)
Yes, because Rizzo said specifically he only consulted Yocum about Strasburg , not multiple medical experts, and that the Nats never did their own study of pitchers recovering from TJ surgery and the relationship between high workloads in the first two years post recovery.
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4234854)
Yes, because Rizzo said specifically he only consulted Yocum about Strasburg , not multiple medical experts, and that the Nats never did their own study of pitchers recovering from TJ surgery and the relationship between high workloads in the first two years post recovery.


I'd have to go back and look, but weren't you saying in the other threads that Yocum was specifically involved, and that the much ballyhooed 50-page study was produced by doctors?
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4234858)
The relevant claim by Rizzo, reported by Jayson Stark:
Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told ESPN he made this call after consulting with one of America's most esteemed orthopedists (and noted Tommy John surgery pioneer), Dr. Lewis Yocum, and other sports-medicine experts. And guess what?

The sports-medicine community couldn't be more delighted to see a team -- any team -- take a courageous stand like this, with a player this prominent, on a team that might be risking its shot to win a World Series in favor of protecting its ace's health.
If Rizzo is lying about whom he consulted, it makes me skeptical they really have this awesome secret study that definitively supports shutting Strasburg down.
   8. Chris Needham Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4234862)
I'm sure Rizzo consulted with him. But probably way back when the surgery was performed. Nothing recently, as I guess the team's doctors are doing that (or more conspiratorially, Boras' doctors).

But we do know that Yocum wasn't consulted recently. And that Dr. Andrews hasn't consulted at all on Strasburg.
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4234866)
Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told ESPN he made this call after consulting with one of America's most esteemed orthopedists (and noted Tommy John surgery pioneer), Dr. Lewis Yocum, and other sports-medicine experts. And guess what?


So either Rizzo lied, or he said he consulted with Dwight Yocum and Stark misreported it.
   10. McCoy Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4234869)
Yes, because Rizzo said specifically he only consulted Yocum about Strasburg , not multiple medical experts, and that the Nats never did their own study of pitchers recovering from TJ surgery and the relationship between high workloads in the first two years post recovery.

Despite the fact that Rizzo claimed he did consult Yocum what Yocum said here still backs up a lot of what was said in the past articles. Which was that the doctors weren't the ones saying Strasburg had to be or should be shut down or that there was medical evidence/data that it was a good idea.

As Yocum said, this is Rizzo's idea (or we could say the Nationals' idea) and not an idea put together by a team of doctors who studied the issue and came up with a plan of usage for Strasburg. That was and still is utterly false.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4234875)
I'm sure Rizzo consulted with him. But probably way back when the surgery was performed. Nothing recently, as I guess the team's doctors are doing that (or more conspiratorially, Boras' doctors).


The most charitable interpretation for Rizzo is that he spoke with Yocum last year and got general feedback from Yocum -- but not related to a "shutdown" -- and Rizzo used that in making his decision.

Because unless Yocum is lying or mistaken, Rizzo never asked him about shutting Strasburg down. And Yocum said that had he been asked, he wouldn't have been able to provide anything conclusive.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4234877)
Yes, because Rizzo said specifically he only consulted Yocum about Strasburg , not multiple medical experts, and that the Nats never did their own study of pitchers recovering from TJ surgery and the relationship between high workloads in the first two years post recovery.

Despite the fact that Rizzo claimed he did consult Yocum what Yocum said here still backs up a lot of what was said in the past articles. Which was that the doctors weren't the ones saying Strasburg had to be or should be shut down or that there was medical evidence/data that it was a good idea.


Right. KT snarked that Rizzo never said specifically that he "only" consulted Yocum, but according to Yocum he was never consulted *at all* about any shutdown.

And we were told from people here that medical evidence from doctors - such as MRIs - were driving this decision, so doctors had to be involved, but now we learn that the surgeon himself wasn't involved in the decision. To say nothing of the point I raised earlier, which is that in order to compare MRIs you need MRIs and the Nats couldn't have had them for most of the pitchers in this much-trumpeted 50-page study.

How can an MRI tell you that he's ok to go 160 IP but not 200?

   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4234879)
This gets more and more bizarre.
   14. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4234894)
Next I suppose they're going to tell me that Rizzo's fifty page binder full of advanced medical studies doesn't actually exist!
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4234898)
Rizzo's decision should be overruled, or he should be fired. It's not that he lied to Jayson Stark, but that he has no justification for any decision that turns specifically on 160 vs. 200. And people here argued that he had Yocum behind him, and now that pillar has fallen.

Rizzo has altered the course of the Nats' franchise based on 200>160, which is ludicrous. It's one thing to lose an ace pitcher to injury, but to lose him to bizarre decisions is inexcusable. If the Nats fall short they will never be able to go back and replay the 2012 postseason this time with Strasburg, and they have absolutely no guarantee that they will ever be back in the postseason again with him, much less so with a team this good.

And no real reason to believe that 200>160 is going to keep Strasburg healthy for coming years, and they only have him under control for so long - it's not like he's signed for another 10 years - and despite their carefulness so far he already got hurt so what are we really doing here, anyway?

   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4234899)
And Yocum said that had he been asked, he wouldn't have been able to provide anything conclusive.

Because he's smart. There is no conclusive evidence.

A highly esteemed Dr. has nothing to gain by offering speculative opinions outside his immediate field.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4234900)
Also, when you get right down to it, if you're going to do this then it seems odd to use IP as your barometer, rather than discrete starts or # of pitches or even a Pitcher Abuse system such as the one Rany set up (*).

(*) I know Rany's system didn't prove to be all that useful, but neither is IP..
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4234903)
Because he's smart. There is no conclusive evidence.


Is there good evidence?
   19. JJ1986 Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4234905)
Also, when you get right down to it, if you're going to do this then it seems odd to use IP as your barometer, rather than discrete starts or # of pitches or even a Pitcher Abuse system such as the one Rany set up (*).

(*) I know Rany's system didn't prove to be all that useful, but neither is IP.


I kind of doubt it, but they've said they weren't using IP.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4234906)
Is there good evidence?

Not that I know of.
   21. OsunaSakata Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4234912)
The Donation of Constantine, Obama's birth certificate, Romney's income tax returns, the 50-page Strasburg report. Anybody got any more?
   22. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4234914)
The moon landing?
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4234918)
Anybody got any more?

The John Grisham masterpiece?
   24. Adam M Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4234921)
Anybody got any more?


George R. R. Martin's next book.
   25. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: September 13, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4234929)
I think the unwritten rules are written down someplace. Dallas Braden probably had them a while back, but it could be that Jamie Quirk has hidden them someplace recently.
   26. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4234934)
For the billionth time, this is overall Nats process. It is not a secret Strasburg plan. It is the same thing that they did with ZImmermn where it worked extremely well. It is part of the reason Lucas Giolito was willing to sign, because they have an overall organizational philosophy of handling injured young pitchers carefully.

Rizzo's decision should be overruled, or he should be fired.


You're right Ray. Fire Rizzo! What a bum! No clue what he's doing!


Washington Nationals WSN 89 54 .622 --
Atlanta Braves ATL 81 63 .563 8.5
Philadelphia Phillies PHI 72 71 .503 17.0
New York Mets NYM 65 78 .455 24.0
Miami Marlins MIA 63 81 .438 26.5
   27. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4234938)
I feel better for Lannan than I feel badly for Strasburg.
   28. andrewberg Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4234942)
This conversation is always going to go in circles. The Nats' supporters can always say that they have a plan! And it has worked! But as long as we do not know what the actual plan is or what went into adopting/developing it, there is no sound way to defend its application.

On the other hand, there is no way to say that the plan is inherently flawed. This Yocum interview is weak circumstantial evidence about the plan development process. Again, we don't know what it is, or what went into adopting/developing it, so we cannot really say it is doomed.
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4234947)
I know I'm repeating arguments that have already been made--I've stayed out of these threads to this point--but the one thing I don't get is why they didn't just start his season in mid-May.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4234951)
I know I'm repeating arguments that have already been made--I've stayed out of these threads to this point--but the one thing I don't get is why they didn't just start his season in mid-May.

Because it wasn't "the plan".
   31. McCoy Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4234954)
And if zimmerman gets hurt next year is it still a good plan?
   32. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4234955)
Shooty, they wanted to get his innings in for sure this year, so he could be used more next year. If any glitch in the inhuman machine everyone thinks Strasburg is actually happens during the season, and he misses a few starts, there's little chance he gets near that 160ish number that allows a full season out of him in the "Rizzo plan" or whatever the mess is really called. Also, knowing he won't pitch a full year, it's easier to cover the innings when rosters expand in September. Actually, things have worked about as well as possible, except that everyone not a Nats fan is complaining about it. But even THAT may be Rizzo's diabolical plan. Zimmerman, you only play 140 games a year! Get over it, when you try to play more you hurt things! Yes, Werth, we ARE overpaying you to be a leadoff man and not a run-producer, got it?!
   33. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4234958)
except that everyone not a Nats fan is complaining about it.

I'm not complaining, I just think it's weird. It's no skin off my nose if the Nats don't pitch him.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4234959)
I know I'm repeating arguments that have already been made--I've stayed out of these threads to this point--but the one thing I don't get is why they didn't just start his season in mid-May.


I understand why they didn't start it in mid-May - they weren't necessarily expecting to be in this position and they wanted to make sure that Strasburg reached his presecribed limit.

What I'll never understand is why they didn't modify the plan once it became apparent (which it did early on) that they were going to be serious contenders this year. It's one thing to have a theory, with little supporting evidence, on how a limited workload is best following TJ surgery. It's something entirely different to believe that there's absolutely only one way to execute that theory. It's that unflinching devotion to The Plan, in the face of very different circumstances than you anticipated, that I can't get behind.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4234965)
Shooty, they wanted to get his innings in for sure this year, so he could be used more next year. If any glitch in the inhuman machine everyone thinks Strasburg is actually happens during the season, and he misses a few starts, there's little chance he gets near that 160ish number that allows a full season out of him in the "Rizzo plan" or whatever the mess is really called.

You can always send him to Puerto Rico or the Dominican League for 3 or 4 starts.
   36. Esoteric Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4234966)
Yes, let's fire Mike Rizzo. What a turd he's been for the Nationals organization.

And while we're at it let's take out all the garbage at once and shitcan that geriatric turd of a manager they've got in Davey Johnson. WTF has that guy ever accomplished?
   37. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4234969)
They already had seven starters in the beginning of the year as it was, and they used the guy for a month last year, no reason not to ramp him up normally and try to win actual major league games, and get the gate receipts.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4234970)
Yes, it is a simple fact of logic that a criticism of one decision by a person is equivalent to wholesale rejection of that person's career and body of work. Esoteric's post is devastatingly on target.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4234980)
They already had seven starters in the beginning of the year as it was, and they used the guy for a month last year, no reason not to ramp him up normally and try to win actual major league games, and get the gate receipts.

Isn't the fact that they had excess starters an argument for keeping him in extended ST?
   40. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4234987)

What I'll never understand is why they didn't modify the plan once it became apparent (which it did early on) that they were going to be serious contenders this year. It's one thing to have a theory, with little supporting evidence, on how a limited workload is best following TJ surgery. It's something entirely different to believe that there's absolutely only one way to execute that theory. It's that unflinching devotion to The Plan, in the face of very different circumstances than you anticipated, that I can't get behind.


Rizzo has been pretty clear that stopping and starting him was something they believe would have a negative effect.

I don't agree with this decision but I'll say this for Rizzo; he has been pretty good about addressing the concerns. I think he is reaching the wrong conclusion but at every step in the process he has had a reason for what he is doing.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4234992)
Rizzo has been pretty clear that stopping and starting him was something they believe would have a negative effect.

So what if he had tweaked a hammy on April 30, and needed to go on the DL? Shut him down?
   42. Esoteric Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4235003)
Yes, it is a simple fact of logic that a criticism of one decision by a person is equivalent to wholesale rejection of that person's career and body of work. Esoteric's post is devastatingly on target.
Except for the fact that Ray wrote at #15 in this thread (and in other recent threads as well) that unless the Strasburg decision is summarily overturned Mike Rizzo must be fired. Which is what I was responding to.

So your post completely misses the mark. I await an acknowledgement and apology.
   43. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4235008)
Had it been clear the Nats were going to be contenders, I might have advocated for Strasburg to be held out a bit. As it is, I understand why they didn't, and I strongly don't favor chucking the long established organizational philosophy so that we can have our ####### number 3 starter for the playoffs!
   44. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4235009)
I demand that Rizzo release his tax returns!
   45. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4235010)
Actually, things have worked about as well as possible, except that everyone not a Nats fan is complaining about it.


Yup.

   46. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4235011)
For the billionth time, this is overall Nats process. It is not a secret Strasburg plan. It is the same thing that they did with ZImmermn where it worked extremely well.


Not "worked." Has worked. So far.

But in relation to what? They chose Plan A with Zimmerman; we don't know what would have happened if Plan B had been chosen, any more than I know that when I take Route 16 to my grandmother's house and arrive safely, I would have crashed had I taken the Mass Pike.

And again, they weren't in contention when they did it with Zimmerman. I don't think anybody would be complaining if they did this and the Nats were 10 out.
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4235013)
I understand why they didn't start it in mid-May - they weren't necessarily expecting to be in this position and they wanted to make sure that Strasburg reached his presecribed limit.


But how does starting him in mid-May risk him not reaching his prescribed limit?
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4235014)
What I'll never understand is why they didn't modify the plan once it became apparent (which it did early on) that they were going to be serious contenders this year. It's one thing to have a theory, with little supporting evidence, on how a limited workload is best following TJ surgery. It's something entirely different to believe that there's absolutely only one way to execute that theory. It's that unflinching devotion to The Plan, in the face of very different circumstances than you anticipated, that I can't get behind.


Yes. There is absolutely no evidence that this "plan" is more reasonable than any number of other similar plans that could have been implemented.
   49. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4235015)
Yes, it is a simple fact of logic that a criticism of one decision by a person is equivalent to wholesale rejection of that person's career and body of work. Esoteric's post is devastatingly on target.


Where "devastatingly on target" means "not at all on target"? Where did I submit a wholesale rejection of Rizzo's career and body of work?

I said that he is making an irrational decision here and should be overruled or fired because of it.

EDIT: Sorry, I guess I missed the sarcasm.
   50. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4235018)
Actually, things have worked about as well as possible, except that everyone not a Nats fan is complaining about it.

You need to get out more often. I know a few unhappy Nats fans.
   51. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4235019)
Rizzo has been pretty clear that stopping and starting him was something they believe would have a negative effect.


They are simply concluding that. With no evidence to back it up.

I don't agree with this decision but I'll say this for Rizzo; he has been pretty good about addressing the concerns. I think he is reaching the wrong conclusion but at every step in the process he has had a reason for what he is doing.


Since when is "a reason" ample justification for doing something? I'm sure every man who cheats on his wife has "a reason."

How about a good reason?
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4235020)
So what if he had tweaked a hammy on April 30, and needed to go on the DL? Shut him down?


Exactly. No organization, ever, anywhere, has approached pitchers this way.

If a young pitcher tweaked his hammy on September 1st and a team was out of contention they might shut him down; if they were in contention they'd try to bring him back.
   53. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4235023)
Except for the fact that Ray wrote at #15 in this thread (and in other recent threads as well) that unless the Strasburg decision is summarily overturned Mike Rizzo must be fired. Which is what I was responding to.

So your post completely misses the mark. I await an acknowledgement and apology.


No apology needed. Saying that he is making an irrational decision and should be overruled or fired because of it is not a wholesale rejection of Rizzo's career and body of work.

   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4235025)
I said that he is making an irrational decision here and should be overruled or fired because of it.

Still ranting about a decision that you don't even have a rooting interest in, I see. Do you want me to say something socialistic so you can at least have a nice change of pace?

But you'll have to excuse me, as I have to get ready to record about seven hours worth of Mack Sennett shorts so I can watch them at least twice each at some later date.
   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4235026)
Had it been clear the Nats were going to be contenders, I might have advocated for Strasburg to be held out a bit. As it is, I understand why they didn't, and I strongly don't favor chucking the long established organizational philosophy so that we can have our ####### number 3 starter for the playoffs!


He is their number 1 starter.
   56. Esoteric Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4235027)
I said that he is making an irrational decision here and should be overruled or fired because of it.
Yes, but this is 1.) ridiculous; 2.) apparently a post that MCoA didn't see before accusing me of conflating 'legitimate criticism' of Rizzo with ridiculous calls for his firing, which you have made. (And it would have to be a firing, because Strasburg isn't being reactivated.)
   57. Esoteric Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4235031)
He is their number 1 starter. Obviously.
Except that he is not. He is their number three in terms of season performance. He was also getting perceptibly weaker as the season went on. Or is Mr. Show Me The Empirical Evidence suddenly going to fall back on "aura and perception" now?
   58. spycake Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4235032)
Obviously I wouldn't fire Rizzo, but this does lower my opinion of him a bit. At best, it's not very creative and it is disappointing as a baseball fan. At worst, it's CYA and cave in to Boras.
   59. Esoteric Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4235040)
At best, it's not very creative and it is disappointing as a baseball fan.
Wait, seriously? This has literally never been done before. Rizzo's doing it in the face of HOWLS of disbelief (and outright contempt) from various quarters in the media and professional baseball. I can understand how it might be disappointing, but to say that it's not creative when it's literally unprecedented is...an odd choice of words.
   60. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4235042)
Actually, things have worked about as well as possible, except that everyone not a Nats fan is complaining about it.

I'm a Nats fan, and I'm pretty ticked off that one of the most dominating pitchers in the game won't be available to us in the playoffs because the team somehow didn't have enough foresight to handle this situation better. There is no guarantee whatsoever that the Nats are going to be in as good a position to win it all any time again in the near future as they are this season.
   61. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4235043)
Rizzo has been pretty clear that stopping and starting him was something they believe would have a negative effect.


Starting and stopping isn't the only way to achieve that goal. You could skip every third start. You could limit the innings he throws in individual starts more than you're doing now. You could move him to a bullpen role (though one that mimics starting condidions - regular rest between outings, ample warm-up before takign the mound).

There were creative ways Rizzo could have employed to achieve his goal (limiting Strasburg's innings) while also having him avaialble for postseason work. There's not a lot of evidence this was genuinely considered.

   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4235049)
Except that he is not. He is their number three in terms of season performance. He was also getting perceptibly weaker as the season went on. Or is Mr. Show Me The Empirical Evidence suddenly going to fall back on "aura and perception" now?


No, he is their number one in terms of seasonal performance. He has a similar ERA and better peripherals (including a league-leading K rate). Perhaps the others have better durability (I assume so but haven't checked), but (a) his durability is more a management decision than him not being capable of going deeper into games, and (b) durability matters more on a seasonal basis than a per-game (playoff) basis.

And since when is "best pitcher on the team" limited to one season?

As for your Mr. Empirical Evidence quip, I'm on record here that I basically ignore in-season splits. This came up recently in connection with David Wright. Check the thread.

As to "fire Rizzo" being an overreaction, I flat disagree. EVEN IF he just had to do this, there was a better way.
   63. spycake Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4235051)
Did you see the photograph of Rizzo's face as he walked away from the podium? That expression is damning for sure.

Rasmussen says a plurality support Rizzo right now, although I'm not sure how they sample registered Nats fans or "likely" Nats fans. Nate Silver likely thinks otherwise but he's a @!$#$%@ Cubs fan so he's almost certainly biased about pitcher abuse.
   64. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4235054)
Ray/SoSH - I 100% agree with you that Rizzo could have accomplished what he is doing without the approach he chose to take. Right or wrong Rizzo has been very clear about the "why" of it though which is what I was addressing in #40 (responding to a question SoSH had asked).

I think in fairness to Rizzo it should be noted that just as he cannot conclusively demonstrate that his idea is a good one, neither can we conclusively demonstrate that it is a bad one.

And once more with feeling, I think this is a terrible idea.
   65. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4235055)
These are the Nationals. They are 8 1/2 games in front on September 13. Since they moved to Washington in 2005, their record before this year is 492-640. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the handling of the Strasburg situation, and I don't, calling for the firing of Rizzo is just bizarre.
   66. spycake Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4235056)
Wait, seriously? This has literally never been done before. Rizzo's doing it in the face of HOWLS of disbelief (and outright contempt) from various quarters in the media and professional baseball. I can understand how it might be disappointing, but to say that it's not creative when it's literally unprecedented is...an odd choice of words.


How is it creative if he did the exact same thing last year with Zimmermann?

Teams have limited innings before. When you have a reasonable expectation of playing meaningful September/October baseball, the creative way would be to limit his innings, but still keep him available for the most important games late in the season.

The uncreative thing would be to do the exact same thing you did last year, when you were coming off a last place finish and considered yourself lucky to win 80 games.
   67. Chris Needham Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4235063)
Here's the conspiracy angle that's gnawing at me today. What did Boras know and when did he know it? (Or is it follow the money that's more appropriate here?)

When Rizzo (after much angst) talked about the 50-page binder, my first lame joke was to Boras' "Ollie Perez is Sandy Koufax" binder. But after today, I started wondering if there's a bit more to that. How much input did Boras provide? How many of the statistical comps did Boras point out? He was certainly well spoken and knowledgeable about the comps the team was supposedly using. And after today, we know that neither Yocum nor James Andrews were involved involved in the regular rehab process, other than Yocum having provided some general guidelines early on. Did Boras have a medical team give the team advice?

I mean, you've got an agent who's established a great relationship with the owners. And Boras and Rizzo are practically BFFs, to the point where Boras is openly talking about how he helped shape the direction of the franchise. And when you look at the type and quality of the Boras agents on the team, Rizzo's certainly a bit beholden to him.

Was Boras' team helping to shape this decision despite the inherent conflict between Boras' long-term interests and the Nationals' long- and short-term interests? How much did he push and influence Rizzo? How much behind-the-scenes cozying did he do to the ownership to ensure they were on Rizzo's side when the tough questions came? How much of the Boras media tour over the last month or so was to help deflect some of the toughest questions that Rizzo was getting once the heat finally was turned up?

Where did Boras' influence with this end, and where did Rizzo's resolve begin? I guess that's what troubles me about this.

If you excuse me, I'll be fashioning a tin foil Curly W.
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4235067)
Never attribute to a conspiracy what you can attribute to incompetence or obtuseness.
   69. What Zupcic? Posted: September 13, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4235069)
The uncreative thing would be to do the exact same thing you did last year


Rizzo should light Strasburg on fire and jump over him with his truck!
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4235082)
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, etc. That's what Rizzo is missing. Reducing a sure run at the playoffs this year with the best team in the league, in favor of speculative runs at the playoffs in future years with teams which will likely be worse than this one (because it's hard to stay on top) is misguided.

You don't know if Harper blows out a knee next year. You don't know if Zimmerman hurts himself again.

You do - not - know if Strasburg gets hurt despite this. You don't even know if this really reduces his chances of getting hurt in future years.
   71. Bob Tufts Posted: September 13, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4235086)
Froma a WaPo piece by Tom Boswell 8/14:

"It includes the view of the surgeon, Lewis Yocum, who’s performed all the operations on Nats pitchers in recent years. It is Yocum’s belief that pitchers who break down from premature returns from elbow surgery — sometimes ruining their shoulders, and their whole careers, rather then their new elbows — don’t usually do so during the first big stress year but rather the following season."

Jordan Zimmermann, the Nats big prospect pre-Stras, was shut down at 161 1/3 innings on 28th August his first full year back - and lived to pitch about 200 healthy and productive innings this season.

And the Nats have another Yocum client as of 31st August - Lucas Giolito, 16th pick in the draft because of concerns over a strained elbow ligament that later ruptured Aug. 14 during pitching in the Gulf Coast League, underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles.

   72. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4235092)
Froma a WaPo piece by Tom Boswell 8/14:

"It includes the view of the surgeon, Lewis Yocum, who’s performed all the operations on Nats pitchers in recent years. It is Yocum’s belief that pitchers who break down from premature returns from elbow surgery — sometimes ruining their shoulders, and their whole careers, rather then their new elbows — don’t usually do so during the first big stress year but rather the following season."

Jordan Zimmermann, the Nats big prospect pre-Stras, was shut down at 161 1/3 innings on 28th August his first full year back - and lived to pitch about 200 healthy and productive innings this season.


But doesn't that suggest that this year was the danger year for Zimmerman, and next year will be for Strasburg? i.e. you need to baby them for two years?
   73. Bob Tufts Posted: September 13, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4235100)
Damage builds over time. Watch a pitcher throw - the throwing arm lays back flat. Try to do that while sitting at the keyboard - it's alomost impossible. Do that 100 times throwing 100mph and imagine the stress.

By limiting Zimmermann in year one they believe they have not overtaxed the ligaments and enabled almost complete healing (and possibly also avoided damaging his shoulder by altering the motion due to inflammation) and that he is healthy enough post-this surgery to pitch from this point on.

If they had not put in limits on stress in the first season (especially since the recovery time has been cut from 18 months to 12 months, it may have been a different 2012 for Zimmermann. That's how I interpret Yocum's statement.
   74. jingoist Posted: September 13, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4235113)
All you Rizzo naysayers keep missing the main point.
Money.
If you blow up Stasburg due to overuse you loose the #1 draw in DC....not just this year but maybe for 10 to 15 years to come.

If your strategy is to do the very best you can to show him, his parents, his agent and other young pitchers that you have a caring strategy with a primary purpose being the long term health and care for your pitching assets it will go a long way to help resigning Stasburg and attracting free agent pitching talent.

This is a shrewd move, well thought out with 100% ownership buy-in.

This team will be contending for world series titles for years to come; this is the Phillies redux.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4235124)
All you Rizzo naysayers keep missing the main point.
Money.
If you blow up Stasburg due to overuse you loose the #1 draw in DC....not just this year but maybe for 10 to 15 years to come.

If your strategy is to do the very best you can to show him, his parents, his agent and other young pitchers that you have a caring strategy with a primary purpose being the long term health and care for your pitching assets it will go a long way to help resigning Stasburg and attracting free agent pitching talent.

This is a shrewd move, well thought out with 100% ownership buy-in.

This team will be contending for world series titles for years to come; this is the Phillies redux.


Fans come to see winners, and FA sign for the most money.

A World Series win this year is worth more to the Nationals' bottom line than 4 years of Strasburg.
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4235144)
Fans come to see winners, and FA sign for the most money.

A World Series win this year is worth more to the Nationals' bottom line than 4 years of Strasburg.


Yes.

Ron J has looked specifically into the issue of whether there is a bump in attendance for certain star pitchers. From what I can recall - and perhaps I am recalling it incorrectly - he found a bump for Nolan Ryan but it may have been the result of people who would otherwise have gone on a different day simply waiting to go on a day that Ryan started instead. So there was no real attendance increase, or maybe was a small one.

In either case any real attendance boost in Strasburg's starts is pretty much swamped by a WS win - which shows up not only in playoff revenue but also in increased attendance the following year.

The problem with Strasburg getting hurt is not so much losing him as "a draw" but simply that the team will be worse without him, and worse teams draw worse. And yes, I know that the point is that losing him = a loss in revenue no matter how specifically that happens, but again, offsetting that is the fact that playoff runs are huge revenue sources, both during the run and in the next season.
   77. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4235162)
On the subject of whether certain players boost attendance beyond simply winning, I've done a quick BTF search and cobbled together a few of Ron's comments on this:

[James] did point out that many of the things that were said about Ryan (his attendance boost for instance) are provably wrong.


I've only taken a detailed look at this by revenue rather than attendance (and the study itself is more than a decade old) and when I controlled for everything I found no evidence that fans care about how a teams goes about winning. Actually that's not quite correct, there was clear evidence that Mark McGwire produced a revenue boost beyond his contribution to winning. Couldn't find anything for Bonds or Sosa (but the Cubs were hard to model -- as somebody on RSB suggested, Wrigley effectively functions as a new park. And with super-Bonds you have the new park issues too. It's more than possible that Bonds' impact is kind of rolled into the new park)


#6 Ray, McGwire in his St. Louis days was one of the few players I've ever found that had a tangible impact on attendance beyond the on-field contribution.

Shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. I mean his BP was an event.


Most of the others I've found are pretty minor. Ryan (near the end of his career -- earlier the effect was just on the edge of maybe), Valenzuela (briefly). Koufax (can't find the results but I'm pretty sure that Valenzuela had a bigger impact). I'm pretty sure the Bird was drawing part way through the season (again, can't find the study so this is from memory)

And when I looked at the various record hunts I found clear evidence of attendance boosts when there was a reasonable chance of seeing the record. Zip for the chase.

I didn't go back far enough to have ever looked at Maranville, but I'm doubtful that it's true. I have no doubt he was unusually popular but popularity doesn't seem to manifest itself in attendance.


The last comment, which is most on point, is from this thread, for those interested.
   78. NTP Nate Posted: September 13, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4235197)
And here comes Boras and some unnamed FO types to say that they most certainly have spoken to Yocum about Strasburg this season. So this either adds to Needham's tinfoil hat conspiracy or... the team's preferred TJ surgeon is lying to the press for some reason? This has the potential to get even weirder.
   79. NU41 Posted: September 13, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4235200)
I can understand the disgust for the mentality of losing a key piece of the team in a contending year, except that the decision to let him keep pitching becomes extremely short-sighted.

This Nationals team was built to have sustained success due to the benefits (higher draft picks/Strasburg/Harper) of their recent poor performing seasons. Because this is their first year of which the rebuild is paying off, the fan mentality becomes more panicked with the idea that "this may be our only chance!" That would be the case if they have over purchased all their players at older ages on the free agent market, however they have a young core of players that are built for success over the long term, and Rizzo knows that he is entering a window of success and that Strasburg is an important cog in that machine. The Nationals will still make the playoffs this year, but by looking out for the long-term health of Strasburg, he is making the more calculated risk, and conservative risk that the next 4-5 years are more important that going "all-in" for one year.

As a GM, you do not have success by having one good year out of five (one championship in one playoff appearance), but by having 6 good years out of 7 (making the playoffs as many years as possible). As a fan, I would rather be the 1990s Atlanta Braves than the 1990s Florida Marlins.
   80. Bob Tufts Posted: September 13, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4235201)
The Nats have crappy radio and TV deals and will not earn a significant boost in non-attendance related revenues with a World Series win. And as for attendance, they drew 25K/game in 2011, with 30K/game in 2012. Even without a WS appearance, they stand a solid chance to draw 35K/game in 2013 on what they have already done in 2012.

NU 41 is spot on. To build brand equity and fan loyalty, you need three years of success (in the playoffs or close enough in late September) - not just one. That will change the image of the fracnhise and enhance non-attendance related revenue streams.
   81. Tom T Posted: September 13, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4235210)
Damage builds over time. Watch a pitcher throw - the throwing arm lays back flat. Try to do that while sitting at the keyboard - it's alomost impossible. Do that 100 times throwing 100mph and imagine the stress.

By limiting Zimmermann in year one they believe they have not overtaxed the ligaments and enabled almost complete healing (and possibly also avoided damaging his shoulder by altering the motion due to inflammation) and that he is healthy enough post-this surgery to pitch from this point on.


As the former MLB pitcher notes, this is the biomechanical expectation with respect to post-TJ condition -- no single pitch is expected to cause massive damage, but each pitch should lead to accumulation of small amounts of damage that may not heal fast enough to prevent increased risk (as a function of time/pitches/usage) of crossing a critical threshold.

If the Nats follow this particular strategy for 15-20 years, we might be able to answer whether or not this particular procedure seems to be effective.

Now, nothing says *this* (160 IP) is the correct procedure, but a slight limitation from a "normal" workload wouldn't really provide any information here --- if you knock off 10 or 15 IP per year, I expect you would be well within normal year-to-year variation so you'd have no idea how the load change affects long term health. By chopping off a sizeable chunk of IP, you improve your chance to assess whether a reduction is a good thing. If 160 IP is actually found to reduce subsequent injury rates, maybe you bump it up to 190 IP and see what happens. If that still works, you either stop there or return to "normal" workloads (and if THAT works, you are essentially able to rule out workload as being the issue underlying re-injury following "modern" surgery). If 160 IP is NOT found to reduce the injury rates, you either try something drastic (like 80 IP out of the bullpen) or else you punt on workload being a determining factor in re-injury and start examining how you might change pitching mechanics (potentially dangerous) or training regimens.

Workload *should* matter (if one were to throw 1 IP per year, its pretty likely you'd be too old to be effective before you got injured; if one were to try to throw 1000 IP per year, its pretty likely you'd be injured along the way), but its contribution remains unclear. So, from a scientific/engineering research perspective, Rizzo's chosen as good an initial "alternate hypothesis" as any. I'd rather see someone try SOMETHING different that is at least not irrational (i.e., "I think re-injury comes from wearing the color white, let's change all of our uniforms to avoid having any white on them!"), than continue to do what everyone else has always been doing.

That said, Rizzo's arguments about having spoken with Yocum and Andrews look a bit fuzzy...but we (my research group, that is) often see players refer to having spoken to doctors in the context of concussions, only to find that they DID speak with the doctor about the topic ("Wow, these concussions seem pretty bad. Oh well..."), but not when they actually were experiencing symptoms or side-effects of said injury. If he asked questions right after surgery, he may well see that as being "close enough" to having consulted with Yocum.
   82. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: September 13, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4235226)
The Nats have crappy radio and TV deals and will not earn a significant boost in non-attendance related revenues with a World Series win.

That depends on the outcome of the lawsuit that is almost certainly coming in the near future. We'll see.
   83. PepTech Posted: September 13, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4235231)
If the Nats fall short they will never be able to go back and replay the 2012 postseason this time with Strasburg, and they have absolutely no guarantee that they will ever be back in the postseason again with him, much less so with a team this good.


OK, what if it turns out the Nats win the WS this year, and Struesel leads them to not only the playoffs for the next 10 years but three or four WS titles over that span? Would Rizzo be a genius then, or a blind squirrel who found a nut? To have any credibility, you must opt unequivocably, right now, for squirrel.

This whole thing is a little like arguing over a trade. What's the point in What Iffing the future? It's going to unfold, and then we can use hindsight instead.
   84. Bob Tufts Posted: September 13, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4235254)
Update from LA Times:

The doctor who performed elbow surgery on Stephen Strasburg said Thursday he has worked with the Washington Nationals on the rehabilitation strategy that led the team to shut down the pitcher last week.

Dr. Lewis Yocum had told the Los Angeles Times that he "wasn't asked" by the Nationals about whether to shut down Strasburg and had not discussed the subject with General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year.

On Thursday, Yocum clarified his comments by saying he and the Nationals -- as well as Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras -- had agreed last year that the team would limit Strasburg's innings this season. Over the course of this year, Yocum said, he has spoken with Rizzo and the Nationals' medical staff but has left to the team the decisions about how and when to shut down Strasburg.

Yocum and Rizzo spoke on Aug. 13, as Strasburg approached his innings limit. The Nationals ended Strasburg's season after his Sept. 7 start.

Yocum said he stands behind the Nationals' decision to shut down Strasburg.

Rizzo declined to comment.

Yocum also issued the following statement:

"I would like to correct the misimpression generated from today’s L.A. Times article, that I have not been a participant in discussions with the Washington Nationals regarding the recovery strategy for pitcher Stephen Strasburg. In fact, I have been contacted repeatedly and have had numerous discussions with the Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and the team’s medical personnel, as recently as mid-August. While the final decision was up to the team, as is standard practice, I was supportive of their decision and am comfortable that my medical advice was responsibly considered."

   85. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 13, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4235255)
All you Rizzo naysayers keep missing the main point.
Money.
If you blow up Stasburg due to overuse you loose the #1 draw in DC


If Strasburg gets hurt they lose Harper?
   86. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 13, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4235261)
Except for the fact that Ray wrote at #15 in this thread (and in other recent threads as well) that unless the Strasburg decision is summarily overturned Mike Rizzo must be fired. Which is what I was responding to.

So your post completely misses the mark. I await an acknowledgement and apology.
I did miss that. My bad.

I don't like switching from the interesting topic of why the Nats shut Strasburg down, and whether they should have, to the uninteresting question of whether Rizzo should be fired (obviously he built this club, he shouldn't be fired even if he's handling Strasburg wrong), but you're not the one who changed the subject.
   87. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 13, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4235306)
Update from LA Times:

Was that a 180-degree switch? Wow, I didn't know that the Boras empire owned and operated re-education camps too!
   88. Esoteric Posted: September 13, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4235308)
I did miss that. My bad.
Hey, here's to owning up like a man. Thanks, you're a straight shooter.
   89. Esoteric Posted: September 13, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4235310)
I have to say, it's reeeeeeeeally hard to square #84 with the original article.

EDIT: But, the more I think about it, not impossible. The original LAT article may have simply made a butchery (intentional or otherwise) about Yocum's position. He might have spoken with Nats medical personnel as recently as August but not Rizzo or Strasburg.
   90. NTP Nate Posted: September 13, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4235326)
Boras got to him! (No reason not to keep the conspiracy fires burnin' bright.)

BORAS: Doctor... Yocum, is it? Nice little ligament replacement practice you got here; be a shame if anything happened to it. Now, you do remember that series of conversations you and Mike Rizzo had regarding Strasburg's rehabilitation plan, don't you, doctor?

YOCUM: ::Gets on the phone to the LAT::
   91. Bob Tufts Posted: September 13, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4235328)
He might have spoken with Nats medical personnel as recently as August but not Rizzo or Strasburg.


As I mentioned before, considering that on 31st August Dr. Yocum did the surgery for Nats 2012 1st round selection Lucas Giolito, I'd say that there HAD to be conversations with medical personnel in DC throughout August.
   92. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 13, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4235348)
Wow, Boras brought the hammer. Too little too late.

Rizzo looks more and more clown shoes as the days pass. I don't care about the Nats but when this all blows up in his face it will pretty satisfying to those of us who like to see poor decision making punished. It's been a little dry since the Schilling bankruptcy. Speaking of baseball only of course, the Romney campaign is the gift that keeps on giving in this regard.
   93. SteveM. Posted: September 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4235386)
It is a little ironic that on a website when managers are slammed for not thinking outside the box, some are slamming a GM for doing exactly that.
   94. vivaelpujols Posted: September 13, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4235389)
What the #### are you talking about?

Except that he is not. He is their number three in terms of season performance. He was also getting perceptibly weaker as the season went on.


Strasburg has the lowest xFIP on the team this year by .50 points. ZIPS projects a 2.6 FIP going forward or Stras, 3.5 for Gio and 3.82 for Zimmermann. That's some straight up ######## going by single season ERA to try to show that Strasburg is not the best starter on the team.
   95. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4235397)
Slightly off-topic, but here goes:

How many pitches does a starter typically throw during his bullpen session? At what level of exertion, overall, is he throwing them?

How many pitches are used when a guy loosens up each inning - is eight the max? Do most pitchers use them all? At what level of exertion is he throwing them?

How much has the conventional wisdom on the above shifted through the years? Do guys throw more or fewer warmups now as opposed to, say, 1960?

Could you, theoretically, safely lessen the bullpen session and the warmups each inning by some amount and thus "save more bullets" for the actual game?

I assume things are the way they are for good reason, but I've never really heard this aspect of pitcher usage discussed. People say "Oh, he threw 110 pitches" or whatnot, but he also threw X number in the bullpen and X number of warmups through the game, even if they were less stressful. I would guess that anything thrown from the mound anywhere near full velocity puts at least a little something on the day's odometer.
   96. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4235399)
It is a little ironic that on a website when managers are slammed for not thinking outside the box, some are slamming a GM for doing exactly that.

Well, what the hell else do a bunch of miserable Red Sox fans have to talk about these days? Li'l Petunia's newborn? Bobby Valentine's mustache collection?
   97. SteveM. Posted: September 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4235413)
Well, what the hell else do a bunch of miserable Red Sox fans have to talk about these days? Li'l Petunia's newborn? Bobby Valentine's mustache collection?


Try being a Cubs fan where the lone excitement is Soriano's march to 100 RBI's.
   98. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 13, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4235417)
Try being a Cubs fan where the lone excitement is Soriano's march to 100 RBI's.

Thanks, but I saw enough of Soriano in the 2003 World Series to last me a very long lifetime, although I do admire the fact that he speaks Japanese.
   99. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 13, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4235418)
Well, what the hell else do a bunch of miserable Red Sox fans have to talk about these days? Li'l Petunia's newborn? Bobby Valentine's mustache collection?


I bet someday, if they try really, really hard, Joey and Chris can become just as big a Nats fan as you are Andy.

   100. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4235434)
What wasn't Yocum asked?

A specific question or anything at all? The article doesn't say.
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