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Friday, August 17, 2012

WaPo (Steinberg): Rob Dibble slams Stephen Strasburg and Mike Rizzo

Dibble goes diabolical!

On the Lerners

“Then again, they’ve got an owner that is more like Arthur than George Steinbrenner.”

On Strasburg’s father talking to Mike Rizzo

“Do you need your dad to talk to the general manager? You know, that’s sad to me. Is Scott Boras gonna come out? If he talks about Stephen Strasburg, so help me God, I’m gonna go bananas tomorrow night, because this kid is a man. He’s 23 years old, he’s married, he’s making $4 million a year. Speak up for yourself….Nobody’s dad gets involved in their Major League kid’s career. It just doesn’t happen. But it shows you, Tony Gwynn pitched him once a week, every Friday at San Diego State. He goes to Washington, the PR people walk him to the bullpen, almost hold his hand to walk him out there. I mean, it’s just been one thing after another.”

On Strasburg not speaking up

“The one thing that is the resonating idea here is you only get one shot at that ring. And you either want to take it, or you just say, you know what, I’ll do what somebody tells me to do.”

On the J-Zimm comparisons

“What the Nationals are doing, they’re doing it on their own, and they don’t have any kind of data to back it up. And to keep on bringing up Jordan Zimmermann, I’ll bring up [this]: Jordan Zimmermann was rushed to the Major Leagues. Strasburg, rushed to the Major Leagues. Even Drew Storen, rushed to the Major Leagues. All three of them got hurt. So don’t tell me you were protecting them before they got hurt and needed Tommy John surgery. Now after the fact, oh, now we’re gonna hold them back and we’re gonna bring them along cautiously. It doesn’t hold water, the whole argument.”

JE (Jason) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM | 118 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, medical, nationals

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   1. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: August 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4210348)
Dibble:

. . . this kid is a man.


Microbrew:

facepalm
   2. Dale Sams Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4210358)
I read as much as I stomach....die in a fire Dibble.
   3. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4210367)
Was just about to post this, with the lede "FROM THE MOUTH OF THE MONSTER."

What a turd Dibble is. My favorite quotes:

On Strasburg saying the decision is out of his hands

“That’s all you need to know. 'It’s out of my hands. I don’t want it in my hands, even though I’m a professional pitcher trying to — from spring training to the end of the season — win championships'....He’s in a totally different world. Remember the Stepford Wives? He’s a Stepford Pitcher.”

On Strasburg as a teammate

“If Stephen Strasburg is naive enough to think that he’s going out there by himself every fifth day, and the defense and the catcher and the pitching coach and the manager and everybody else isn’t out there pulling, trying to get this guy to win, and then he just goes out there and gets 18 outs and acts like this is the way it’s supposed to be? It’s kind of sad in a way. I feel sorry for someone that thinks that’s all it’s about, getting my 18 outs and going and taking a shower and doing it again in five days, and when I get to 160 innings then I’m just gonna sit on the bench and hope that they can do it without me. That’s sad. That’s what it really is.”

On Strasburg’s talent

“You still talk about Strasburg like he’s a phenom. He won his 14th game [Wednesday]. Look at his numbers: 225 innings pitched over three years, and he did have the Tommy John surgery, but he doesn’t have any type of numbers to back up the whole phenom thing. So for Mike Rizzo to be claiming that we’re protecting this guy? You’re getting paid to pitch, pitch the guy in the postseason if he’s not hurt. If he’s hurt, put him on the DL. I want to stop talking about it, because you know what, no one’s that special. And that got my ass canned when I was in DC, because I would just remind everybody, listen, nobody’s that special....A once in a generation pitcher that can’t even average six innings pitched a start? And now he’s gonna be shut down because he can’t pitch in the postseason?”
   4. AROM Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4210370)
Here's mine.

If you haven’t hurt it yet, it’s not gonna get hurt.


If this were true then pitcher injuries would never happen to anyone. Since every pitcher was once at a point where they had not yet hurt their arm.
   5. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4210371)
It really must be read in whole to be believed. It's as concentrated a burst of pure, rage-fueled ignorance as I've read in quite some time. Obviously it's more about the fact that Dibble got fired by the team for being such a retarded turd about Strasburg right before he had to get Tommy John surgery than it is about Strasburg's talent, but he's not just critiquing baseball decisions, he's actually going after the poor kid personally. Calling him a "Stepford pitcher?" Even though he's said countless times that he doesn't want to be shut down, and that they'd have to "rip the ball out of my hand?" More or less declaring outright that Strasburg is a bad teammate who doesn't care about anyone else on the club except himself?

Yeah, #### you Rob Dibble.
   6. Spectral Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4210375)
That Dibble comes off as spectacularly stupid is no surprise. That he has such a complete lack of ability to grasp anything about human interaction, I was unaware of.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4210376)
As repugnant as Dibble is, I've got to wonder if there aren't players in the Nationals clubhouse saying the same types of things, questioning the Strasburg shutdown decision. I also wonder if that's going to have an effect on how Strasburg feels about it.
   8. Joey B. Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4210379)
Why does it seem to me as though it was all this crap that led to Dibble being fired from MASN in the first place? Oh yeah, because it was!
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4210385)
It seems like Dibble's plan for his career is just to leech off of Strasburg's fame and get attention by criticizing him every step of the way.
   10. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4210386)
Is Scott Boras gonna come out?


I don't know what kind of inside info Dibble has, but THAT would make some headlines!
   11. Spectral Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4210387)
On reading more, I especially like this bit:

The manager of the Nationals has a world championship ring, called the ’86 Mets, when he was managing Doc Gooden, who was like 20 years old. I think he knows how to handle young pitchers. He’s not gonna burn them out.


Because everyone knows that Doc Gooden wasn't burned out in anyway whatsoever.
   12. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4210388)
If you haven’t hurt it yet, it’s not gonna get hurt.


Until you hurt it, 'cause then it's already been hurt!

/yogi
   13. Dale Sams Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4210389)
Here's mine.

The manager of the Nationals has a world championship ring, called the ’86 Mets, when he was managing Doc Gooden, who was like 20 years old. I think he knows how to handle young pitchers. He’s not gonna burn them out


Sooner or later just like the world first day
Sooner or later we learn to throw the past away
Sooner or later we learn to throw the past away

History will teach us nothing
History will teach us nothing


annnnd diet tab to #11.

   14. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4210392)
“What the Nationals are doing, they’re doing it on their own, and they don’t have any kind of data to back it up.


I don't think they've revealed all that they know (or at least all the data they're going on), but, from what they've indicated in the press, Dibble's kind of right about this. I've only seen the sports doctors quoted for broader approval of erring on the side of caution, but nothing really firm.
   15. Spectral Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4210396)
I don't think they've revealed all that they know (or at least all the data they're going on), but, from what they've indicated in the press, Dibble's kind of right about this. I've only seen the sports doctors quoted for broader approval of erring on the side of caution, but nothing really firm.


This is all that I'm aware of as well. However, I'd note that I don't see any feasible way for any data to have been collected. The Nationals are essentially in uncharted territory with their approach. The lack of data shouldn't really be that discouraging - they are the data point. Maybe it won't work at all, but I'd rather a team be trying something that's backed with sound reasoning (even if there's no yet data) than just saying, "well, we don't know how to do better than the normal approach, so normal approach it is!".
   16. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4210400)
As repugnant as Dibble is, I've got to wonder if there aren't players in the Nationals clubhouse saying the same types of things, questioning the Strasburg shutdown decision. I also wonder if that's going to have an effect on how Strasburg feels about it.
Strasburg has made it pretty clear that he absolutely doesn't want to be shut down. WTF else can he do? It is literally not his choice. When Rizzo says "you're shut down," what is Strasburg going to do? Steal Davey Johnson's lineup card before he hands it to the ump, scratch out John Lannan's name, and write in his own?

Adam Kilgore reported out a pretty solid piece on the attitude towards the impending shutdown in the clubhouse a couple of days ago. He said the unanimous opinion from them, both on and off the record, was "we understand why it's happening and we accept it, but obviously we're not thrilled." Jordan Zimmermann has also made it a point to speak up on behalf of the idea, pointing out how critical he now feels his early shutdown last year (under identical circumstances save for a pennant race) was to his remarkable success this year. Paraphrasing him, he said "I hated it with a passion last year, but in retrospect it was the right thing to do."
   17. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4210402)
I've got to wonder if there aren't players in the Nationals clubhouse saying the same types of things, questioning the Strasburg shutdown decision. I also wonder if that's going to have an effect on how Strasburg feels about it.


My guess is there are quite a few players frustrated by it but that their frustration is with the organization, not with Strasburg. He's been pretty clear with the whole "rip the ball out of my hands" stuff that he wants to keep going so unless he's doing a 180 when he's in the clubhouse I doubt the criticisms are of him.
   18. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4210407)
This is all that I'm aware of as well. However, I'd note that I don't see any feasible way for any data to have been collected. The Nationals are essentially in uncharted territory with their approach. The lack of data shouldn't really be that discouraging - they are the data point. Maybe it won't work at all, but I'd rather a team be trying something that's backed with sound reasoning (even if there's no yet data) than just saying, "well, we don't know how to do better than the normal approach, so normal approach it is!".
I can't remember which national writer it was (Olney?), but a week or so ago he wrote a long article quoting a number of orthopedic and sports surgeons who were, in fact, THRILLED by the care and concern with which Rizzo and the Nats are treating their young arms. I specifically remember that one of them called it "the new Moneyball."

In addition -- and this point has been made by a number of writers already -- it gives the Nats a GOOD reputation with agents and players, not the opposite. The message they're sending here is "we will care more about your long-term health and career than our short-term interests. You are not just a piece of meat to us." The father of Lucas Giolito (the HS pitcher the Nats drafted and surprised the industry by managing to sign) specifically said the other day that the main reason he okayed the idea of his son signing onto the Nationals is because of the rep they had acquired for caring for young pitching arms -- important because Giolito already had an elbow problem that caused him to fall several slots in most teams' draft estimations.

Leaving aside purely ethical & moral considerations, that's a damn good reputation for the Nats to have in the game. Especially given the fact a number of teams -- Red Sox, Mets, Pirates -- have developed toxic reputations for the indifference/incompetence/quasi-malevolence of their medical staff.
   19. Bob Tufts Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4210408)
From a Washington Post article by James Wagner on 8/15:

The Nationals have used fellow starter Jordan Zimmermann as a model for their approach with Strasburg. Zimmermann had Tommy John surgery to replace his torn ulnar collateral ligament in 2009 and pitched 1611 / 3 innings last year in his first full season back, just over his prescribed 160-inning limit. While that proved successful for Zimmermann, who has emerged as one of the league’s best pitchers, Strasburg won’t be held to the same number.

Did Dibble call out Dibble during his career? Per Deadspin - http://deadspin.com/5620583/rob-dibble-is-trying-to-destroy-stephen-strasburg - Dibble spent the entire 1994 and 1996 seasons on the DL due to injuries which eventually ended his career.
   20. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4210410)
However, I'd note that I don't see any feasible way for any data to have been collected. The Nationals are essentially in uncharted territory with their approach.


Very true. But that's pretty much Dibble's point. They're making this up as they go along. Maybe they're right, but they're not guided by any real data (that's been revealed) that firmly suggest that this is the way to proceed. (It wouldn't be a big issue, of course, but for the status of the Nats as significant contenders for it all.)

So Dibble raises an interesting point, however inartfully as he might raise it. Let's say the Nats continue to pitch him throughout the playoffs. That might be negligent in some sense; there's a chance he'll get hurt (now or in the near future). But there's nothing willfully negligent about it -- they're not going against all data and logic. How far, then, has the industry come? Wasn't the whole point of pitch counts/PAP/all that stuff a reaction to baseball management willfully riding their pitchers (young ones, especially) into a higher potential for injury? Now we have a team that is so cautious that it has adopted essentially the opposite approach.
   21. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4210414)
By the way, we're kind of through the looking glass here. A baseball team -- a legitimate WS contender! -- says it will shut down its best pitcher for fear of injury. Meanwhile, Rany Jazayerli(sp?), the inventor of Pitcher Abuse Points, says on his podcast that the Nats are essentially dumbasses. (And Joe Sheehan agreed.)

Baseball teams now are playing it safe (and coddling their players), while the statheads are saying go for it (because it's all about winning now).
   22. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4210421)
[16] The interesting thing in that piece was the divide among the players. The younger ones like Storen were much more ok with the decision, saying "it's what's best for him and the team over the long-term." Whereas oldsters like Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa (unrelated, but screw him) seemed much less in favor of it, pointing out that you never know when you'll get that shot to win.
   23. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4210422)
Dibble is obviously a d-bag, but he does have some valid points. A married 23-year man shouldn't have to have his daddy speak on his behalf. This isn't like a Lincecum situation where his dad has been a lifelong pitching coach.

If I were Strasburg, I would also demand to pitch in the postseason, and I would probably be upset with the regular season shutdown if my team were not in such a good position in the standings. If winning a champoinship isn't the most important thing to an athlete, well, I just don't know how to identify with that.

As for the future, what is Strasburg's ceiling now? Its taken him 41 career starts to surpass 230 IP, and he's not particularly economical with his pitches despite excellent control and low hit totals.
   24. Spectral Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4210425)
Esoteric says:

I can't remember which national writer it was (Olney?), but a week or so ago he wrote a long article quoting a number of orthopedic and sports surgeons who were, in fact, THRILLED by the care and concern with which Rizzo and the Nats are treating their young arms. I specifically remember that one of them called it "the new Moneyball."


Excellent point, I forgot the article already (and it was only a week ago!). It's really a must read for anyone who wants to be well informed on the Nats reasoning. It's from Jayson Stark and can be found here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8253442/shut-stephen-strasburg-just-let-pitch

Here's where the important bit comes in (or, at least important to me):

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.

Let's hear now from three members of that community -- three men who have spent years trying to peer beyond the surface of pitchers and their often-troubled arms:


What follows is strong endorsement from some very credible people.

Back to Esoteric:

In addition -- and this point has been made by a number of writers already -- it gives the Nats a GOOD reputation with agents and players, not the opposite. The message they're sending here is "we will care more about your long-term health and career than our short-term interests. You are not just a piece of meat to us." The father of Lucas Giolito (the HS pitcher the Nats drafted and surprised the industry by managing to sign) specifically said the other day that the main reason he okayed the idea of his son signing onto the Nationals is because of the rep they had acquired for caring for young pitching arms -- important because Giolito already had an elbow problem that caused him to fall several slots in most teams' draft estimations.


I concur wholeheartedly with this. That people focus on the effect on player's psyches is entirely reasonable, but the focus being almost entirely on the negative seems somewhat absurd. It seems like almost everyone actually around the team accepts the reasoning behind the decision and grants that it's about doing what's right for the player in the long run (even if we can't know with certainty what that is). The point is, the Nats are trying to do what's best for Strasburg's long term health, and that's sure not something you'll get from every team (as you note).
   25. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4210429)
In addition -- and this point has been made by a number of writers already -- it gives the Nats a GOOD reputation with agents and players, not the opposite. The message they're sending here is "we will care more about your long-term health and career than our short-term interests. You are not just a piece of meat to us." The father of Lucas Giolito (the HS pitcher the Nats drafted and surprised the industry by managing to sign) specifically said the other day that the main reason he okayed the idea of his son signing onto the Nationals is because of the rep they had acquired for caring for young pitching arms -- important because Giolito already had an elbow problem that caused him to fall several slots in most teams' draft estimations.


Alternative read: Giolito signed with the Nationals because they centered their entire draft strategy about carving out the maximum amount of money possible for him to sign. Sure, maybe it was the team's history with recovery that pushed them over the edge. But it was also likely 98% that giant dumptruck full of money.

(related prickish rhetorical kinda question: should an organization get credit for successfully rehabbing all the injuries that seem to pop up in its organization? wouldn't it be better if their players didn't get injured in the first place?)
   26. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4210432)
Not to take away from a discussion of Rob Dibble's assholishness, but to review

• "In baseball, this is as groundbreaking as 'Moneyball' was in 2001," said Stan Conte, senior director of medical services for the Dodgers and a man who has been tracking baseball injury data for more than a decade. "They're taking something off the blackboard and putting it into practice, and I don't know if they're right or wrong. Only the future will tell us. But at least this is not another case where somebody is following tire tracks in the snow off the side of the cliff just because that's the way a lot of people did it before. In baseball, we've done that repeatedly. And there are a lot of wrecked cars at the bottom of that cliff."

• We also spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Guy, medical director and team orthopedist at the University of South Carolina, who trained under Dr. James Andrews at the American Sports Medicine Institute and who, like Strasburg, was a pitcher at San Diego State.

One of Guy's missions, dating back to his work with Andrews, has been a proactive effort to promote pitch counts, innings limits and periods of prolonged rest to protect young pitchers as far down the chain as Little League. And he is gratified, he said, to see signs that "that mentality is spreading … and now it's finally getting into all levels of the game, even with a pitcher like Strasburg."

As part of Guy's work, he constantly preaches to young pitchers the need to be shut down -- to "let your body recover, let your ligament recover, let your elbow recover." And it's "amazing," he said, how well even injured pitchers bounce back from those rest periods, "and how strong they feel because they rested."

• Finally, we spoke with Dr. Glenn Fleisig, who works with Andrews at the American Sports Medicine Institute and is widely described as America's most prominent expert on biomechanics. He cited a remarkable ASMI study of teenage pitchers that showed that pitchers who "regularly kept pitching after they were fatigued were 36 times -- that's 3,600 percent -- more likely to have surgery than not have surgery."

"I've been doing research here with Dr. Andrews for 25 years," Fleisig said. "I've done studies where we find two times, three times, five times. I've never found any other study with a 36-times factor."
   27. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4210436)
[24] What's interesting is if you do a close reading of the Stark and Passan pieces, there's a lot of support from the medical community about this concept. But there weren't many (any?) who said that this specific decision was the right one. Perhaps a bit of semantics, but...

Also, and to be cold-blooded here: the interests of the doctors are different than the interests of the team. Frankly (and this is just the nature of sports), Mike Rizzo shouldn't care whether or not Stephen Strasburg can still lift his arm above perpendicular in ten years. He shouldn't really even care about that in five. That's not to say you do something that was so obviously abusive as to what happened with Prior. But this is almost to the opposite extreme.
   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4210438)
Paraphrasing him, he said "I hated it with a passion last year, but in retrospect it was the right thing to do."


Didn't he also say that he'd have hated it even more if the team had been in the race last season?

A baseball team -- a legitimate WS contender! -- says it will shut down its best pitcher for fear of injury.


They're not planning to shut down Zimmermann. That was last year.

A married 23-year man shouldn't have to have his daddy speak on his behalf.


I'm guessing you don't have kids. You never stop wanting to protect your kids. I'm in my fifties; my dad's 92; he's still trying to protect me.

The thing that I don't feel like I'm hearing enough in all of this is that while everybody gets to have an opinion, only one guy actually has the responsibility of making the decision. We don't have to agree with Rizzo to appreciate that distinction.
   29. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4210441)
The thing that I don't feel like I'm hearing enough in all of this is that while everybody gets to have an opinion, only one guy actually has the responsibility of making the decision.


Oh, keep listening. He's all too happy to tell you himself that he's the decider.
   30. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4210442)
Cold-bloodedness only gets you so far, Chris. Either (a) players looking out for their own self-interest don't want to play for your team because it curtails their future earning potential or you're paying a shitload of cash to a great team on the DL unless you can time the exploding ligaments & what-have-you to the end of the contract periods.
   31. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4210446)
[24] What's interesting is if you do a close reading of the Stark and Passan pieces, there's a lot of support from the medical community about this concept. But there weren't many (any?) who said that this specific decision was the right one. Perhaps a bit of semantics, but...
Nah, that's just a matter of medical ethics. One of the major rules doctors adhere to is that you must NEVER make a diagnosis of any person who isn't your patient and whom you haven't personally examined -- because while general health principles hold true and are worth expounding, how can you give an opinion on a specific patient without familiarity with his or her particular case? It would in fact be irresponsible (to say nothing of unethical) for them to do so.

That, and nothing else, is why none of the medical experts quoted will state "yes they should shut him down" or "no, they shouldn't." It would be grossly unprofessional of them to offer an opinion on that matter -- and their peers would most certainly notice.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4210449)
As for the future, what is Strasburg's ceiling now? Its taken him 41 career starts to surpass 230 IP, and he's not particularly economical with his pitches despite excellent control and low hit totals.


The low innings per start thing isn't mostly driven by him not being economical; it is driven more by the Nats not letting let him pitch as many pitches per start as other successful pitchers thus far in his career. His ceiling is best pitcher in baseball.
   33. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4210450)
They're not planning to shut down Zimmermann. That was last year.
Cute.

This take might not be relevant any longer, but Joe Sheehan painted an interesting scenario on the Rany & Joe podcast that was taped a few days ago: Rizzo says, "No, that 180 IP (or whatever) limit was for the regular season." Trickeration!
   34. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4210453)
[30] That's assuming that there's no middle ground.

I think most agree that you don't want to drive Strasburg into the ground. And that pitching him too much this year could do that. COULD do that. Not WILL do that. But what are those odds? And what are the odds that even by sitting him, that he won't get injured any way. I hate how much of this argument rests on a single data point: See what they did with Zimmermann?! But see what happened with Joba? What about with Strasburg himself? The team babied him the first year they had him, and he still got hurt. Crap happens sometimes, even if you try to control it. And in this case, we just don't know one way or another what those various percentages and odds are.

Rizzo's banking that the odds of contention this year won't diminish that much, and that the odds of future contention will increase. That may be true, but without knowing or being able to assess the odds for other scenarios, it's not a question that anyone can really answer definitively.

I'm rambling here, but I guess that that's what bugs me the most about this. Much of the pro-shutdown argument IS being framed as if it is definitive. As if those odds have been assessed, and that this definitely IS the right thing to do. It's probably that, more than anything, that chafes me.
   35. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4210460)
I think the more interesting question is how would you measure fatigue? What would you look for as indications that he should be shut down?

I refuse to believe it's as simple as them counting innings. Are they counting pitches? Are they weighing pitches by pitch type and situational stress? Are they tracking pitchFx for bite on his pitches or changes to release point?

There are any number of ways that you COULD track Strasburg to monitor how fatigued he is to help assess a decision to shut him down. The team, for whatever reason, refuses to talk about it.

(For what it's worth, I pulled down some data on Strasburg's curves from brooksbaseball last night. I don't know if you can draw broad conclusions, but his curves are getting much less bite on them now than they were at the beginning of the year.)
   36. Joey B. Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4210461)
Personally, I don't think there is any kind of real "science" or scientific data that can be applied to pitching arm injuries beyond the rather obvious facts that 1) not pitching is safer for the arm than pitching, and 2) some guys' arms are more durable than others.

Is there some kind of "magic number" of pitches or innings or total stress factor within a given time period beyond which the chances of a guy getting injured go up dramatically? There almost certainly is, but I don't think that there is any possible way to ever scientifically prove what that magic number is for any particular individual pitcher. It's nothing but a guess backed up by some anecdotes from the past.
   37. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4210462)
And if you missed it, here's Scott Boras basically threatening the team with a negligence lawsuit if they don't shut Strasburg down.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4210465)
At this point the Nats are the best choice (not a lock, but the best bet of the bunch) to win the World Series, either with or without Strasburg. They'd be more of a favorite with him, but I'm glad they're shutting him down, for the very reasons they've stated. You don't want to take chances with a pitcher who could very well be your ace for the next 10 or more years.
   39. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4210467)
But see what happened with Joba?

Not sure how much Joba is relevant because Pudge Rodriguez caused the injury that derailed his path to stardom. Though I suppose you could use it to say "sh!t happens, so might as well get the good while you can."
   40. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4210468)
who could very well be your ace for the next 10 or more years.

I keep reading this 10-years line. Sure, it's a hypothetical. But he's only under contract for 4 more years. Again, don't go Prior on him. But where he is in 2019 shouldn't matter to today's decisions.
   41. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4210469)
Oh, keep listening. He's all too happy to tell you himself that he's the decider.


Maybe the guy is the biggest jerk in the history of jerkiness, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a lot easier to spout off about this on talk radio or a message board than it is to actually make the call.
   42. Joey B. Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4210475)
And if you missed it, here's Scott Boras basically threatening the team with a negligence lawsuit if they don't shut Strasburg down.

So Stevie has two daddies? :)
   43. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4210477)
[41] Certainly. But barring something like Detwiler getting pounded in game 4 of an ALDS loss, the whole thing is so unprovable because of all the variables that there's no way to say he's made the wrong decision. Or the right one.
   44. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4210483)
From the link in 37:

would the insurance companies say we won’t cover players that won’t follow physician counsel and advice?


Isn't it more likely that they'd gladly issue a policy and cash the premium checks, but then refuse to pay a claim if you hadn't followed doctors' orders?
   45. Swedish Chef Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4210486)
I refuse to believe it's as simple as them counting innings. Are they counting pitches? Are they weighing pitches by pitch type and situational stress? Are they tracking pitchFx for bite on his pitches or changes to release point?

There are any number of ways that you COULD track Strasburg to monitor how fatigued he is to help assess a decision to shut him down.


Why would they need to look at game data? The team can examine his pitching arm directly and see how it develops during the season.
   46. Spectral Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4210488)
[40]
But he's only under contract for 4 more years. Again, don't go Prior on him. But where he is in 2019 shouldn't matter to today's decisions.


If the Nationals think they have the inside track to resign him past those 4 years (and obviously they do think that), then it very much matters how he'll be in 2019. Having Boras for an agent implies that they won't be getting any sort of discount on resigning Strasburg, but it's entirely possible that they'll have the first shot at paying market value.
   47. Chris Needham Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4210489)
[45] If it's just as easy as looking at an arm and determining whether it's healthy or not, then there wouldn't be any pitcher injuries ever. It's not like they're going to MRI him after every game. Poke him with needles maybe? "Does it hurt when I do this? On a scale of 1-20, how much?"
   48. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4210491)
35 - Chris, I don't recall who, but someone looked at Stras and made the argument that he appeared to be fatiguing based on diminishing results. If that's a safe conclusion, and if the rule that fatigue increases the likelihood of injury, and if recent injury history (and mechanics) suggest increased likelihood of further damage, then ... no, no guarantee, but further likelihood.

I'm the last person to make claims for medical certainty after my own experience with cancer stats and outcomes, but then again, the flags fly forever argument seems to assume much greater certainty for the Nats' post-season outcome than the crapshoot doctrine implies.
   49. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4210492)
Is Scott Boras gonna come out? If he talks about Stephen Strasburg, so help me God, I’m gonna go bananas tomorrow night,


Too late!
   50. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4210496)
The one thing that is the resonating idea here is you only get one shot at that ring. And you either want to take it, or you just say, you know what, I’ll do what somebody tells me to do.”


You also get only one shot at $200 million. I'm sure every single player in baseball history, including Dibble, would trade a shot at a ring for a better shot at the huge payday.
   51. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4210500)
Is there anyway we could go back in time and hand Lou Pinella a lead pipe?
   52. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4210501)
Oh, keep listening. He's all too happy to tell you himself that he's the decider.
Chris, has it occurred to you that major part of the reason Rizzo keeps coming out and saying "I'M the decider, I'M the only one who makes this decision, it's all ME" is that it takes all the heat for a very controversial decision off of Strasburg (and, to a lesser extent, Davey)? Seems transparently obvious to me. He repeats it constantly because he's going out of his way to hammer home the point that nobody has any right to question Strasburg's 'heart' or 'commitment' because he doesn't get a say in the matter. He's even said, more than a few times, "You want to criticize someone? Criticize me. If it all blows up, I'm the one to blame."

I think it's actually a savvy media strategy, and not at all the bloviating self-importance that you're so quick to characterize it as.
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4210504)
While that proved successful for Zimmermann, who has emerged as one of the league’s best pitchers, Strasburg won’t be held to the same number.

It's far too early to conclude that the approach has "proved successful for Zimmermann." The "Joba Rules" had proven successful for Joba Chamberlain, too -- until the very moment his right elbow blew.

There's a lot of psuedo-science afoot with this Strasburg decision.(*) No one really has a clue about the relationship between workload, surgery, and pitcher injuries. As in most areas where there's money in pretending one does, there's plenty of pretending going on. Tommy John pitched 207 and 220 innings his first two years back from surgery and pitched another 2500 innings, and the doctors were -- definitionally -- making it up on the fly.

(*) The blithe and seemingly unquestioned conclusion that overuse definitively caused Mark Prior's and Kerry Wood's injuries is simply nonsense. The case isn't close to proven and the pretense of proof that surrounds so many of these baseball debates is tiresome.
   54. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4210507)
Why would a team talk about an advantage they have regarding pitcher usage and injury recovery? I think every guy is different, so while the 161 was what they gave Zimmermann, it's not actually pertinent as a shutdown point, I think there are other ways they are measuring how much Strasburg can pitch this year. You can be as careful as you like and still get hurt, but that shouldn't stop you from trying not to get hurt. LaRoche is a great guy to talk, for example. He did what players are supposed to do, right, play through an injury...and SUCK while they do it, then get the surgery after a bunch of games where someone else could have done better.

It wasn't too long ago when it was all about Strasburg's inverted W mechanics, and that it was just a matter of time before he broke down, well he did, and now you're supposed to work him more than before? What changed? If anything, shouldn't they be paying even more attention if they can, and being more careful? Ignoring the recovery needs, ignoring the increase in workload, and gambling on just pitching a guy like nothing's happened for the sake of a small percentage advantage in the playoffs is also short-sighted. The difference between Detwiler and Strasburg is what? It's impossible to know. It's impossible to know if he would get hurt after 185 innings too.




   55. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4210508)
He repeats it constantly because he's going out of his way to hammer home the point that nobody has any right to question Strasburg's 'heart' or 'commitment' because he doesn't get a say in the matter.


Didn't convince Dibble! ;-)

You make a good point. But he could've asked Boras to do him (and Strasburg) a solid by shutting up. There is an element of this where it looks like it's a decision coordinated with (by) the player's agent.
   56. Swedish Chef Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4210513)
If it's just as easy as looking at an arm and determining whether it's healthy or not, then there wouldn't be any pitcher injuries ever.

Things snap. Also, pitchers are put on the DL as a preventive measure all the time before things get worse.

It's not like they're going to MRI him after every game.

Do it once a month, you still get a time series to look at.

Poke him with needles maybe? "Does it hurt when I do this? On a scale of 1-20, how much?"

I humbly submit the idea that there may in fact be practitioners of sports medicine that aren't worthless quacks.
   57. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4210514)
That's not to say you do something that was so obviously abusive as to what happened with Prior.


If we're trying to get beyond the myths to actual data, can we start by debunking the idea that Prior's injuries were caused by anything 'abusive' done in 2003 (more specifically, the idea that it was the 132 pitch game late in the season)?

He was out for 2 months in 2004 with an Achilles tendon problem. I don't know of any reason to connect that with one game in 2003. He didn't start getting elbow problems until 2005, and the main problem that year was the injury caused by the comebacker off the bat of Brad Hawpe. His shoulder problems first manifested themselves in 2006.

That doesn't mean that Prior was handled correctly in 2003. Just that there is nothing 'obviously abusive' about his treatment that year.
   58. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4210515)
DIBBLE: STRASBURG A STEPFORD PITCHER, MR. PRESIDENT
   59. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4210517)
he's only under contract for 4 more years


Nitpick -- he's under team control for four more years; his contract is up after this season. The Nats can renew him for 2013 -- I think for around $3M (80% of the AAV of his previous contract) -- and then he's arbitration eligible for 2014-2016.
   60. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4210521)
Nobody’s dad gets involved in their Major League kid’s career. It just doesn’t happen.


Tony Rasmus says hi.

-- MWE
   61. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4210522)
If we're trying to get beyond the myths to actual data, can we start by debunking the idea that Prior's injuries were caused by anything 'abusive' done in 2003 (more specifically, the idea that it was the 132 pitch game late in the season)?

Yes.

Mark Prior pitched 211 innings for the Cubs at 22 after pitching 116 innings for the Cubs at 21. Greg Maddux pitched 249 innings for the Cubs at 22 after pitching 155 innings for the Cubs at 21.

Debunked.
   62. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4210529)
It's far too early to conclude that the approach has "proved successful for Zimmermann.


Well, sure. But if Zimmermann gets hurt again in 2014, it won't be correct to conclude that the approach failed.

The "Joba Rules" had proven successful for Joba Chamberlain, too -- until the very moment his right elbow blew.


The Joba rules were successful in allowing the franchise to get reasonable value out of a fragile pitcher while gradually transitioning him to the role of full-time starter in MLB, and it kind of ticks me off that this point always seems to get lost. OTOH, if the purpose of the Joba rules was to prevent a recurrence or exacerbation of his pre-existing elbow injury, then they pretty clearly failed miserably.
   63. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4210531)
Well, sure. But if Zimmermann gets hurt again in 2014, it won't be correct to conclude that the approach failed.

Then the validity of the approach can't be falsified. That's why the whole area is a psuedo-science.

The Joba rules were successful in allowing the franchise to get reasonable value out of a fragile pitcher while gradually transitioning him to the role of full-time starter in MLB, and it kind of ticks me off that this point always seems to get lost.

If the Joba Rules didn't have as a primary goal trying to ensure that his right elbow didn't blow, they were even more pointless than they appeared on the surface.
   64. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4210547)
If the Joba Rules didn't have as a primary goal trying to ensure that his right elbow didn't blow, they were even more pointless than they appear on the surface.


If the goal is simply to ensure that his elbow doesn't blow, then you just shut him down. The primary goal was to have him continue to pitch while also reducing the risk of his elbow blowing. And at any rate, the "rules" only existed in August and September of 2007. So if you want to parse things that closely, they succeeded, since he pitched very effectively and his elbow did not explode in 2007.
   65. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4210552)
[41] Certainly. But barring something like Detwiler getting pounded in game 4 of an ALDS loss, the whole thing is so unprovable because of all the variables that there's no way to say he's made the wrong decision. Or the right one.

I wonder if the Nats will let Strasberg sit on the bench when he's shut down in the post season. That would be some fun TV. The guy who's pitching when Strasberg would have pitched is getting pounded, the camera pans to the dugout to see Strasberg sitting there stone faced, then a quick cut to the executive box where Rizzo is checking his Blackberry. That would be awesome. Think of the things Joe Buck could monotone over that sequence while he thinks about the Cowboys-Eagles game he's working on Sunday.
   66. mex4173 Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4210557)
Is Dibble advocating Strasburg make the team drag him, kicking and screaming, off the mound?


You know, like an adult.
   67. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4210588)
It's far too early to conclude that the approach has "proved successful for Zimmermann." The "Joba Rules" had proven successful for Joba Chamberlain, too -- until the very moment his right elbow blew.

I wish people would stop saying this. The difference between Joba! and ...Joba had nothing to do with Joba Rules and whether they worked or not and starting/relieving. He was injured on a Pudge Rodriguez throw to 2B and has never been the same since.
   68. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4210593)
Mark Prior pitched 211 innings for the Cubs at 22 after pitching 116 innings for the Cubs at 21. Greg Maddux pitched 249 innings for the Cubs at 22 after pitching 155 innings for the Cubs at 21.

Debunked.


Minor nitpick, but Prior pitched 167 innings (majors and minors) at age 21, and 234 innings at 22 (regular and post season). Maddux had no minors or post season during the years in question.
   69. madvillain Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4210608)
In the Jason Stark ESPN article from a week ago, he quoted an anonymous pitching coach (almost certainly Chicago's Don Cooper) that didn't agree with the Nats' strategy, saying that skipping a start or two and giving extra rest would be his prescribed course of action.

Of course, Chicago has had excellent success keeping players, and especially pitchers, healthy. Their handling of Chris Sale, other than the minor blip of sending him to the bullpen for a week in June, has been masterful.

I have to think that there are better ways to go about this, and the Nats are just being stubborn.
   70. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4210610)
Minor nitpick, but Prior pitched 167 innings (majors and minors) at age 21, and 234 innings at 22 (regular and post season). Maddux had no minors or post season during the years in question.

Fair enough. Maddux pitched 27 innings at Iowa at 21, so the corrected totals are:

Maddux at 21: 182 IP
Prior at 21: 167 IP

Maddux at 22: 249 IP
Prior at 22: 234

Still debunked.
   71. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4210620)
[70] What is it that you are debunking with this singular comparison?
   72. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4210634)
Fair enough. Maddux pitched 27 innings at Iowa at 21, so the corrected totals are:

Maddux at 21: 182 IP
Prior at 21: 167 IP

Maddux at 22: 249 IP
Prior at 22: 234

Still debunked.


I missed the Maddux minors numbers. I assumed he didn't and thus didn't check. My bad.

Still, unless I'm missing some sarcasm here, I don't think that even you believe one counter-example is proof of anything.

Pitchers with similar age and use as prior with similar outcomes:

Dontrelle Willis
Oliver Perez
Scott Kazmir
Jeremy Bonderman
Steve Avery
Jaret Wright
Dave Flemming
Jair Jurrjens

And there's probably as many dramatic counter examples like Maddux. C.C comes to mind.
   73. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4210636)
What is it that you are debunking with this singular comparison?

The absurd idea that it's somehow "obvious" and "proven" that Mark Prior's arm injuries resulted from "overuse" and/or "abuse." We've seen it on this thread and it was in a long story in the NYT in the last few days.

Nothing of the sort has been remotely proven. It's troubling to see nonsense so carelessly accepted as wisdom bordering on canonical.

This entire exercise is nothing more than hindsight, data mining, and backfilling. The Nationals have no real clue about the future impact on Strasburg's health and performance of any particular level of IP in 2012. None.

   74. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4210644)
I posted this in the Mazzone thread, but people preferred to talk about Leo there so I'll ask again: Strassburg is just under 140 IP and his spot in the rotation will come up eight more times. He figures to take three to seven of those turns. So the Nats are going to need one to five starts from someone else. Taking the upper end of that, the difference between 30 Strassburg innings and 30 John Lannan innings is what, four runs maybe? Am I way off on that guesstimate? If not, does anyone really think that's going to cost them NL East crown?
   75. madvillain Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4210652)
If not, does anyone really think that's going to cost them NL East crown?


The impression I get is that seemingly the Nats are saying no pitching in September and most certainly no pitching in October. They'll win the division with or without him, but it's tying one hand behind your back to go into the playoffs with your ace on the shelf.
   76. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4210663)
Per ZiPS, Strasburg is projected at an ERA of 2.90, whereas Lannan is projected at 4.50. So 1.6 runs per nine innings, so roughly 5.3 runs in 30 innings. So half a win.
   77. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4210735)
Oh, dear God, Chris, an agent actively looking out for the future earning potential of his client! File a malpractice suit.
   78. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4210787)
Per ZiPS, Strasburg is projected at an ERA of 2.90, whereas Lannan is projected at 4.50. So 1.6 runs per nine innings, so roughly 5.3 runs in 30 innings.


I didn't realize that Strasburg gives up so few unearned runs, but basically close enough.

The impression I get is that seemingly the Nats are saying no pitching in September and most certainly no pitching in October.


I see where you're getting the "certainly no pitching in October" part, but if they let him go to 180 he will most definitely be doing quite a bit of pitching in September. Personally, I'd put him in the bullpen for the post-season. And probably use him as a pinch-hitter, too.
   79. Brian Oliver Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4210789)
Maybe I've missed this in the myriad of articles, but has there been any discussion of the increase in innings from last season?

This is not Verducci Effect, per se. But I wonder how much of a medical concern is raised going from less than 50IP to over 150IP? If Strasburg were to have thrown 80IP last year, would it change the medical opinion of him pushing 200IP?

Like I said, someone may have written this, I just wonder if there is something to not quintupling his IP from one year to the next
   80. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4210801)
If Strasburg were to have thrown 80IP last year, would it change the medical opinion of him pushing 200IP?


In order to have thrown 80 innings last season, he'd almost have to be a couple of months further removed from his surgery, so I'm going to guess that it would change the calculus (but maybe not for the reason you're thinking).
   81. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4210804)
Everytime FP and Bob irritate me, I just think about what it was like having to listen to that idiot Dibble.
   82. Brian Oliver Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4210808)
(80) That's my point, does the fact that TJ arms only throw a limited number of innings in the previous season pre-decide the max they can throw in the next year?

Wouldn't a team be better served pushing the recovery up front as a means of accelerating his return to 'normal'? (Assuming the team wants that arm back as soon as possible). Isn't a big part of the debate dictated by what is considered a reasonable increase in IP by a pitcher?
   83. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4210814)
Actually, now that I think of it, the timing of Zimmermann's injury dictated that he came back at the start of 2011 after throwing only 31 innings in 2010. And other pitcher have had their surgery timed such that they missed an entire season, and thus have an infinite workload increase no matter what limit was set. Not sure whether any of that helps answer your question.
   84. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4210997)
I'm only hearing reports about it and no details, but apparently Rob Dibble just had an "epic meltdown" on 106.7-FM in Washington, DC (the Nationals' flagship station). Can't wait to hear the latest slander.
   85. rr Posted: August 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4211020)
How would one distinguish an "epic meltdown" from Dibble's usual behavior?
   86. McCoy Posted: August 17, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4211075)
He collapses into a puddle of goo this time?
   87. Walt Davis Posted: August 17, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4211078)
Maybe they're right, but they're not guided by any real data (that's been revealed) that firmly suggest that this is the way to proceed.

If they're not being guided by real data they're idiots. The data is out there for anybody willing to take the time to gather it. It might not be enough data to provide a very good estimate, but all you need to do is:

a) track down the history of TJ surgeries -- if teams don't already have full (major) injury databases, they are idiots; if they don't, hire some interns to go through newspaper archives. C'mon, DL stints are an "official" record.

b) performance before and after TJ surgery.

c) analyse controlling for innings before/after and age.

The sample might not be big enough to tell but TJS is not exactly uncommon.

Then the validity of the approach can't be falsified. That's why the whole area is a psuedo-science.

Sigh. It's probability. Every pitcher has a probability of being injured. The best you can ever hope to do is to reduce the risk. The approach is perfectly valid and not pseudo-science -- the question is how much power does the sample size provide to detect how big of a difference. And then weighing that risk reduction (if it exists) against the cost of that reduction (i.e. the risk of missing the playoffs or not succeeding in the playoffs from the team's perspective or the lost future salary from the player's perspective).

Unless you're going for the generally pointless and obvious point that even if we have strong evidence it works on average in the population, we don't know if it will work for Strasburg. In which case pretty much everything except gravity is pseudo-science.
   88. OsunaSakata Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4211092)
Rob Dibble gets interviewed by a student of Jerry Sandusky and a sidekick of that student. (Clicking on the audio opens a pop-up window with the interview.)

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/08/17/lavar-dukes-rob-dibble-gets-defensive-during-spirited-interview/
   89. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4211106)
Look at his numbers: 225 innings pitched over three years, and he did have the Tommy John surgery,

Then by all means, let's push this guy as hard as we can.
   90. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 17, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4211144)
Not a direct comparison, of course, but Santana has an ERA around 8.00 since being extended a bit to go for his No-No, giving up 6 tonight (so far). The Nats approach seems better than the traditional ride-him-til-he-drops approach. There are no guarantees either way, but I can't see criticizing the Nats for going along with what the medical people suggest might be the best practice for the long run. There is a tremendous down-side if Strasburg is injured again.
   91. jingoist Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4211207)
The Nats have been playing all season with at least one starter down.

From day 1 we dont have Morse until late June
Then we lose Werth in May for 2 months with a broken wrist
Then Zimmerman misses two weeks in the spring
We just got Desmond back tonight after missing 3 weeks

Davey finds a way' he plugs in a Lombardozzi in LF for Morse; Bernandina/a-called-up-early Harper for Werth.

When Morse comes back and Desmond goes down Davey then sticks Lombo in at 2B and Espinosa moves effortlessly to SS (he came up as an SS).

And it all works spectactularly; much better than it does in real life most times.

There's a sense that this current group of players is so cohesively glued to one anothers true outcome its almost eerie.

That said, I'm in Rizzo's camp on his call.
He's being cautiously prudent with a very valuable potentially long-term asset of the team.
I wish more GM's valued their assets the same way.

This 2012 Nats team will find a way to win without Stras in late September and into the playoffs.

Unless jackson and Gonzalez turn bad at the last minute, a Zimmermann/Gonzalez/Jackson playoff rotation looks just fine.
If the need a fourth starter, Mr Detwiler will do just fine thank you.

   92. Belfry Bob Posted: August 18, 2012 at 03:16 AM (#4211219)
I am sure the Yankees and their fans thank the Nationals for taking such good care of their future ace.
   93. zenbitz Posted: August 18, 2012 at 03:19 AM (#4211220)
It seems the main error is not having a contingency plan to get Strasburg through the season and into the playoffs with his inning limit. They could have had him pitch every 7 days or something since the ASG and then maybe take a little extra time off in September and still have some innnings for the post season. [It has been established in other threads that it's considered 'worse' for him to pitch 160 innings, then take a 6 week break and pitch in the playoffs]

If they lose ground and the race gets close again, they can re-evaluate again. This is assuming that IP/6 months is the quantity most important to limit.
   94. Martin Hemner Posted: August 18, 2012 at 05:35 AM (#4211225)
A bit unrelated, but, does a Nationals World Series win put Davey Johnson in the HOF? He's got a .560 career winning percentage, and this would bookend his career with titles. He kind of reminds me of the ML-version of Bill Parcells. Early success in NYC, then he makes a bunch of successful short stops in different cities, never quite reaching the glory of those early years.
   95. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:31 AM (#4211228)
I dont really understand Davey's career. How does he keep managing this good multiple times and have so many years off in between? Why is he out for 10 years before coming to Washington?
   96. Brian Oliver Posted: August 18, 2012 at 07:16 AM (#4211229)
In his JFK interview, Dibble says that guys like Strasburg, Zimmermann, and Storen were rushed to the majors to early, unlike a guy like Jim Palmer who built up arm strength over time.

Strasburg's age at MLB debut: 21
Zimmermmann's age at MLB debut: 23
Storen's age at MLB debut: 22
Palmer's age at MLB debut: 19
   97. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4211242)
Bob Gibson thinks Tim McCarver knows more about pitching than Rob Dibble.
   98. boteman Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4211269)
Why quibble with Dibble?
   99. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4211274)
I dont really understand Davey's career. How does he keep managing this good multiple times and have so many years off in between? Why is he out for 10 years before coming to Washington?


He had some heart trouble which had been really sapping his energy. He had surgery last year I think, and came out of it feeling much much better and more like his old self. He also had some trouble with family, one of his children died I think.
   100. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4211293)
Thats sad to hear. I would have loved to see what he could have done with a 25 yr managing career by now. Wonder if he could have gotten to the upper echelons with that. Great great manager.
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