quote:
Originally posted by billhike:
I know there are some hardcore baseball fans on this forum, and quite a few forumites in the Baltimore area. Curious to get your take on how the Orioles are handling him.

Not sure how the Orioles are handling him... However I think the Nationals are being ridiculous. Smile This could have been handled so much better by simply skipping a start of his every 2 months... Shutting down your best pitcher when your team is on the brink of the playoffs and fans are finally interested, even though he is not injured and there is absolutely no evidence that the additional innings will damage his surgically repaired arm is just absurd and a slap in the face to the other 25 guys in the dugout that are going out there and busting ass for 162 games. Rizzo is a fool.
Disagree with both TPE and LBJ on this one. You guys can continue the discussion, as I'm not going to get into a long winded statistical pissing match with you two mutts! Razz

I think Tom Boswell's Recent Article makes a pretty eloquent argument for the Nats' continued chances. Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler? Not too shabby, boys. Not too shabby. We'll never know what would have happened, but I do know that the Nats are built for the long haul. Protecting the recently rehabbed arm of your ace is just another piece in the long haul strategy.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Disagree with both TPE and LBJ on this one. You guys can continue the discussion, as I'm not going to get into a long winded statistical pissing match with you two mutts! Razz

I think Tom Boswell's Recent Article makes a pretty eloquent argument for the Nats' continued chances. Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler? Not too shabby, boys. Not too shabby. We'll never know what would have happened, but I do know that the Nats are built for the long haul. Protecting the recently rehabbed arm of your ace is just another piece in the long haul strategy.

PH

PH- I LOVE Gio... Have since he was with the A's... Insightful, intelligent and a damn good pitcher. But I think the message it sends to the other 25 guys is a bad one, and will only foster resentment. What is the point of protecting one player if you are potentially alienating 25 others? Mark DeRosa already made some not-so-cryptic comments about his personal opinion, and I have to believe he is not the only one. For a guy like Ryan Zimmerman- who has endured years of being a faceless bona fide star on a hapless team- to deny him his best shot at winning it all on the off-chance that your pitcher might suffer years down the road, is insulting. I would be pissed if I was one of the guys in that locker room. There are guys that go out there day in and day out and play INJURED... To coddle your healthy ace because he MIGHT get injured is a tough sell to his teammates.
If Rizzo really wanted to protect his ace, he should have kept his stupid mouth shut in the beginning, and not let the whole world know his intentions. He could have easily played this close-to-the-vest, and simply said Strasburg was suffering arm fatigue, and the team was shutting him down, as opposed to letting everyone know he was on an innings limit and subjecting himself to second-guessing from every analyst and even the rest of the ball club. Whether you think shutting Strasburg down is harmful or helpful, there is no escaping that Rizzo is an idiot for the way he has gone about the whole situation.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Disagree with both TPE and LBJ on this one. You guys can continue the discussion, as I'm not going to get into a long winded statistical pissing match with you two mutts! Razz

I think Tom Boswell's Recent Article makes a pretty eloquent argument for the Nats' continued chances. Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler? Not too shabby, boys. Not too shabby. We'll never know what would have happened, but I do know that the Nats are built for the long haul. Protecting the recently rehabbed arm of your ace is just another piece in the long haul strategy.

PH


PH, we agree on The Boss, but not on this one. Since I am a long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, I can strongly say that I'd take 1 Title over thinking my teams will have a chance for years to come (I realize the Nats aren't assured a title this year, but go for it!).

The Cavs went through it with LeBum for years, the Browns couldn't get past Elway in the '80s, and Indians couldn't get one more strike against the Marlins.

Go for the title when you can!
It's not "coddling" to follow his surgeon's advice. The kid's never pitched a complete season. To push it against the best medical opinions out there is simply short sighted.

So what, Rizzo is supposed to lie and ask Stras to back up his fabrication of "arm fatigue?" Not a reasonable plan, TPE. I think Rizzo handled it right by getting it out on the table. Doctor's advice. Best likelihood of a continued career for Stras. It's not like this team was cobbled together for a 1 or 2 year run. They'll be around for a long time, and with a healthy Strasburg, I'm looking forward to the next 4-5 years at a minimum.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
I'm with PH and TPE.

Based on the way the Nats have used him, I shut him down, no question.

This said, I would have thought much like TPE stated, you could have given him more skipped starts throughout the season and this would not have been an issue.


I'm no doctor, and certainly not a baseball expert, but I've heard enough reasonable arguments against skipping starts by serious baseball guys to not see this as an option. There's a rhythm of rest and activity that seems to work well for starters in the bigs, and the risk of long lapses between throwing hard in a game situation could put him at increased risk. Again, we have four SERIOUS starters to carry on with the season.

I commend Mike Rizzo and the Nat's management for making a prudent and LONG TERM decision on the fate of this young man. He's a phenom, and entitled to a chance at a long career. To go against the preponderence of medical opinion in the short term run for a title this year would exemplify everything that is bad and short sighted about sports in America.

PH
I obviously meant the Nationals, not the O's. Doh!

My thoughts are letting the guy pitch if he (Strasburg) feels comfortable pushing it. Gotta try and win when you can. This is just my opinion, though. Baseball isn't my favorite sport. I listen to ESPN's Mike and Mike show in the morning, and this topic has gotten a lot of airplay recently.
Here is a great article by Jayson Stark of ESPN on the subject.

The problem with shutting him down is that it doesnt guarantee you anything. There is simply not enough information out there in any kind of valid sample size. He might go on to have a long career. He also might blow out his arm on his first pitch next season. The other pitchers in the rotation might not be as healthy next season and it wont matter how well he pitches they arent getting back to the playoffs.

So many things have to go right to win a pennant and then a Championship that I dont think you voluntarily shut down your ace when its one of those magical years where everything is breaking right and you have a real shot at it.

I do give Rizzo a lot of credit for standing up in what he believes in even though its getting him a ton of criticism.
You're right. There are no guarantees. No guarantee that if they let Strasburg continue that they'll even win a pennant much less the whole shebang. I will give you one guarantee, though:

If they hadn't gone down this road, didn't implement an early shut down and let Strasburg pitch AND his elbow blew again or his shoulder got toasted, the firestorm would be unprecedented. And I guarantee you that a majority of the experts and pundits who've sounded off against the shut down would be leading the lynch mob.

PH
I am not sure about this, but I think that Strasburg is a Scott Boras client. Someone told me that Boras is orchestrating this. If so, this is about keeping Strasburg healthy enough so Boras can cash in on the next big contract, be it arbitration or free agency.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Pretty safe assumption these days, don't you think?

PH

Not when it comes to my beloved Warriors! The training staff has been called into question by the players themselves. In the NBA, the Lakers and Suns are widely regarded as having the best training staffs. Not sure about MLB though.
quote:
Originally posted by TPEwinedrinker:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Pretty safe assumption these days, don't you think?

PH

Not when it comes to my beloved Warriors! The training staff has been called into question by the players themselves. In the NBA, the Lakers and Suns are widely regarded as having the best training staffs. Not sure about MLB though.


Just downright inexcuseable. If the players are indeed correct. Forget the moral implications, it's just bad business to not have top-notch medical staff with an investment of this size.

Frank Jobe was apparently involved in the rehab and shutdown recommendations for Strasburg. I think it's safe to say that he's qualified.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by TPEwinedrinker:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Pretty safe assumption these days, don't you think?

PH

Not when it comes to my beloved Warriors! The training staff has been called into question by the players themselves. In the NBA, the Lakers and Suns are widely regarded as having the best training staffs. Not sure about MLB though.


Just downright inexcuseable. If the players are indeed correct. Forget the moral implications, it's just bad business to not have top-notch medical staff with an investment of this size.

Frank Jobe was apparently involved in the rehab and shutdown recommendations for Strasburg. I think it's safe to say that he's qualified.

PH

I agree 110% about it being bad business to have anything but the best training staff. Greg Oden was being pushed by the Blazers training staff to come back early from his significant knee injuries, even as other teams' trainers were pulling him aside and saying they were jeapoardizing his career.

Has Dr. James Andrews been involved in Strasburg's surgery and rehabilitation? He appears to be the preeminent authority on athlete shoulder and elbow injuries. Just curious.
Andrews wasn't directly involved, and when asked about the decision rightly declined to make any specific comments given his lack of direct involvement. His general tone was supportive of the shutdown, and interestingly also strongly against the "rest and recycle" suggestions that many have made as a possibility of extending Strasburg's season.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Andrews wasn't directly involved, and when asked about the decision rightly declined to make any specific comments given his lack of direct involvement. His general tone was supportive of the shutdown, and interestingly also strongly against the "rest and recycle" suggestions that many have made as a possibility of extending Strasburg's season.

PH

Thanks for the info PH.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Pretty safe assumption these days, don't you think?

PH


Normally, yes, but not necessarily in this case. From what I read, management decided at the beginning of the season to limit his innings. If that decision it not subject to revision after consulation with the physicians, I think it's a bad decision. I have no idea what's going on behind the scenes.
quote:
I have no idea what's going on behind the scenes.


No one does. Strasburg's medical team has been admirably quiet during this fracas. Nats' management has made it clear, however, that the decisions regarding his rehab and innings limit were all medically driven. And most of them were made before he went under the knife. There was no possibility that they'd ask Stras, "How you feelin' big boy" and make a decision based his apparent health in September. With quotes like this from Dr. James Andrews, one of the pre-eminent TJ surgeons in the country:

I don’t think you can criticize that one bit, to be honest with you. If you look at the injury rates on re-dos for Tommy Johns, the highest injury rates they have is during the second year, when they’re coming back and really back up at top form and throwing and getting fatigued.

it's hard for anyone without first-hand knowledge of the situation to have a valid opinion on the medical components of the decision.

The additional fact that Strasburg's surgeon, Lewis Yokum, is in practice with the guy who invented the surgery - leaves little doubt in my mind that the medical support in this case is competent to say the least.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by scbeerman:
I am not sure about this, but I think that Strasburg is a Scott Boras client. Someone told me that Boras is orchestrating this. If so, this is about keeping Strasburg healthy enough so Boras can cash in on the next big contract, be it arbitration or free agency.


Strasburg is represented by Scott Boras. Powerful guy, for sure and has definitely supported the shutdown. I think a claim that he's "orchestrating" this thing is simply off the wall.
I am with PH on this one. The Nats are doing what is best for them in the long term. They shut down Zimmerman last year after 160 and look how well he is pitching now. For anybody who thinks they are making the wrong decision by playing it safe and following the advice of the medical folks I have a couple of thoughts for you: Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.
I think the "early" early shutdown was a good move. Regardless of whether his next to last start was good or bad (and he was lousy and looked tired) I think Rizzo was going to pull him anyway. I don't think they wanted him on the mound knowing that it was his last start. This way there was no chance of him going out and "overthrowing" knowing it was his last chance to prove himself. Onward!!

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
I think the "early" early shutdown was a good move. Regardless of whether his next to last start was good or bad (and he was lousy and looked tired) I think Rizzo was going to pull him anyway. I don't think they wanted him on the mound knowing that it was his last start. This way there was no chance of him going out and "overthrowing" knowing it was his last chance to prove himself. Onward!!

PH


I was at that game, and while he had the Heat (fairly consistent 95mph fastball) he didn't have the control he normally has. Signs that he is getting worn down. Remember, this year he threw more innings than he ever has before. He is only 24 for goodness sake. As a Nats fan I want to watch him for years to come. I think that he will only get better and stronger but wouldn't have if they overworked him.
I wonder how the statistics would work if it was limited to how pitchers were used after returning from Tommy John surgery. The point is, the Nationals said they were going to do this before the season started, and it was exactly what they did with JZim. I don't have any problem with what they did, and since I live in the DC area and am a big Nat's fan, my opinion counts more than some punk from Kansas City.
TPE gets like a pit bull on a porterhouse sometimes..... Razz

All the stats in the world don't make a hill of beans in this matter.

As Strasburg clearly stated, he (and the Nationals) are following the advice of his medical team. Case closed.

And it is no surprise that the Nationals' fan base, dinwiddie and I included, overwhelmingly support the decision.

Lannan didn't look too shabby last night, either..... Cool

PH
Wow.. Absolutely scathing criticism of Rizzo on the front page of the USA Today sports page, including by his fellow executives.

One GM said: "if we don't win the World Series, I don't care who does, as long as it's not those guys. They don't deserve to win it. Not after what they did."

Said another GM: "I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That's how strongly I feel about this."

And like I said, if I am Nats player like Ryan Zimmerman, who has played his heart out for a perennial bottom-feeder... I AM PISSED! I think Rizzo is an absolute fool, and if the Nats get bumped in the first round, he deserves to be fired. Good luck leaving the fate of your franchise's season in the hands of Ross Detwiler.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:


PH

In no way do I think it is beating a dead horse PH... When damn near everyone OUTSIDE of Washington, D.C. thinks the team made a HUGE mistake shutting down Strasburg, it lends one to think that Nationals fans are drunk off the Rizzo kook-aid.
The horse was dead at the beginning of the season.


The shutdown decision was made MONTHS ago. It was based on one primary criterion and supported by two secondary considerations. The driving reason, and the one that supersedes all others is this:


It. Was. A. Medical. Decision.


Period.



We can argue until we're blue in the face whether it was a GOOD medical decision, but it was based on the opinions of the medical people who were charged Strasburg's care. They get to make the call. Not you, not me, not some hack from the USA Today and not the majority of people outside Washington, inside Washington or anywhere else. The informed medical community admittedly has a range of opinions on the Nat's strategy, but the majority of docs involved in this kind of stuff choose to act on the side of caution. The supporting arguments buttressing this decision are the long term business call on the value of a Strasburg who (if his doctors are correct) will likely have a better chance at an extended career, and an underlying moral question: Do we ignore the doctors, and the long term value of this young man to his team and his family because our season has gone better than we expected?


It would be a perfect example of situational ethics if the Nat's management decided to reverse this medical, business and moral decision made a long time ago because having him around suddenly made their chances to extend the season somewhat better. It was either a good decision at the beginning of the season or it wasn't. But it was made, and being made shouldn't become alterable because things got more promising in the Nats' race for the World Series. None of the people who have been so vocal about this decision recently made any kind of fuss when the Nats announced their strategy after the surgery. I'll give a pass to anyone who questioned the decision right when it was made. Otherwise, anyone else who is carping about this within the past month or so, based solely on this year's playoff considerations is kicking a very dead horse.


PH
Look at JZ'mann year this year, and you understand why they did it. True Straus ws having problems, but his last three games have been beauties. He just needed to settle down. Z'mann is now 8-2 with a ~1.70 ERA; Strasburg has a 2.49 ERA and has pitched 23 innings in his last three consecutive starts, is averaging over 100 pitches a start and has thrown as many pitches this year as Justrin Verlander. (Before this, Strasburg had never had more than 20 innings in a span of 3 starts).

Considering that these guys should be anchoring the rotation here for years, I think Rizzo was justified and has been proven right in doing what they did.
In what world has Rizzo been proven right? There was no way to be proven right because by choosing one course of action you can't ever know what would have happened with the other course. He could have pitched the Nationals to the world series and been fine this season or he could have blown out his elbow the next start. We will never know.

Rizzo made a decision in early in the year, when Was wasnt expected to contend and refused to revisit it with the new facts of being a world series contender in Sept. Some people think that's smart, some dont but he will never be proven right.

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