John Feinstein in today’s Washington Post*:
Pitching Strasburg in October is not a betrayal. It’s simply recognizing that circumstances have changed…Not pitching him is a betrayal: to the pitcher, to the team, to the fans and to the city.
If you haven’t read Tom Boswell’s piece on this issue, also in the Post, read it, and then let folks know what you think.
(*Hat Tip to JC for pointing out this article.)
Sox ‘Trade’ ?
PS – For those of you who are no doubt awaiting my great insights on the recent Sox trade (firesale?), I’ll spare you. I suspect we haven’t seen the end of the Sox moves to repair their (our) broken team. Plus, there’s enough already written about what they did last weekend. Basically, no one really knows or will know for some time whether it was brilliant, stupid, etc. Father time will so determine.
Matt Mendelsohn said:
I know I’m in the minority but Feinstein sums up my feelings exactly. The Nats have this feeling that if not this year, then next. Well, that’s a stretch. The Red Sox, Cubs and Indians have had some pretty special teams over the last hundred years but it’s not like they went to the World Series every year.
You play to win the World Series and that’s within sight (no hubris, I said sight) this year. So you do what you need to win it.
Let’s say Strasburg had this absolute, impenetrable innings count. And let’s say he had three terrible starts in a row in which he didn’t make it past the third inning. Wouldn’t that accomplish the same thing? No one would say, “Oh, you can’t do that to his arm, his rhythm will be all messed up, he won’t be limber. Pitchers have shitty starts all the time and that, whether anyone is thinking about it in advance, is a de facto way of pitching fewer innings.
So the Nats’ argument that it can’t be done, there’s no way around it, seems a bit silly. Moreover, let’s say for argument sake, that a team says a guy can pitch no more than 200 innings. (I’m making that number up.) What would happen to a guy’s arm if he pitched 206 innings that season? Can anyone really point to any evidence that an extra start or two (which is really what we’re talking about since we’re into September already), combined with a shortened game or two (which could happen by virtue of a bad outing anyway) couldn’t get you to the same place?
Finally, Strasburg once said he wanted to be a Yankee some day. So do we really think this kid is going to stay around here in DC forever? He’s here to pitch for the fans, let him pitch. He’s an athlete, not a pianist whose fingers need a Brinks security team.
Nick GoSox Nyhart said:
Richard – on the Red Sox… you are right, there are likely more moves to come, but the best observation I saw on this was that it was an “NBA” style trade, one where the financial relief is done NOT to save money and downsize payroll, but one that frees up investment cash for new pieces – including some big pieces – but pieces that fit better in Boston and for the team as a whole. Some writers this weekend have hailed the Sox for getting back to a grow-your-own-stars approach through player development. But that’s wrong. If the Sox want to meet their owners’ stated goal of making the playoffs and competing for a championship every year that need to do well at BOTH developing players AND picking up stars through trades and free agency. As a big market team with wealthy owners, there is no excuse not to do this. They just need to do it better than they have the past few years.
Land Wayland said:
I live in Los Angeles and I hope the Dodgers benefit from this big trade. The new owners are fulfilling their promise to do whatever it takes to rebuild the team. I hope the owners of the Red Sox have similar motives in mind…that is, by moving some very good players out, they will have the money to bring in some great players. I am just glad that the Red Sox are in the other league so they can go their merry way without impacting the Dodgers too much (until next year’s World Series).
Judging baseball talent is as difficult as judging movie star talent and political talent. Many are trying diligently to do the job but few can deliver. Where’s the Amazing Kreskin when we need him?