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Tommy John wants to help Stephen Strasburg


(By Nick Wass - AP)

With everyone in baseball talking Tommy John, the Surgery even more than usual last week, Tommy John, the Guy became a popular interview request. He told Bloomberg that his phone was "ringing off the wall" because of Stephen Strasburg's upcoming surgery, adding that "The only thing that could be bigger than this would be if Obama had to have Tommy John surgery."

And when he appeared on 106.7 The Fan's Parker and Parker program, he humbly offered his services if Strasburg needed someone to talk to.

"If I were Stephen Strasburg, I would be calling as many guys that had Tommy John surgery and find out what they went through, what to expect," John said. ""I mean, I would call Tommy John. Yeah, my surgery was done back in '74, but I pitched in a ballgame one year one day after surgery, and from that time on I never missed a start until I retired. Whatever we did, as archaic as it was -- and it might have been dumb luk -- it was pretty much right."

One of the Parkers later asked John if he really wanted to help.

"You know, I would be honored, I really would," he said. "I don't care how strong of a person you say you are, when you have to enter into a wilderness, you're scared. And fear is of the unknown, and you don't know what it's gonna be, and the more people you can talk to to allay those fears, the better off you'll be. I would love to. I would love to talk to Stephen. Give him my cell number, and maybe I can help him to come back."

John -- like CBS Sports's Gregg Doyel -- used the implosion of Strasburg's elbow as a peg to decry modern-day pitching factories, saying Jeezus "is a product of the way baseball is taught now to the younger people, and that is doing 12 months a year stuff. It's a shame, but that's the way it is and he's a product of it."

And he said the prospect of preemptive Tommy John surgery for youth projects was insane and destructive.

"I think if any doctor operates on a kid that doesn't need the surgery, I think it's malpractice and I think he should lose his license and I think he should have to practice Obamacare for free for the rest of his life," John said. "Technically, it sounds good, but the surgery doesn't make you better....The surgery doesn't make you throw harder. The surgery only makes you throw as hard as God intended you to throw."

And John repeatedly suggested that throwing hard is overrated, calling radar guns the biggest detriment to the production of great pitchers.

"If you can get batters out, you're good. If you don't get batters out, you aren't any good, and I don't care if you throw it 106," he said. "Strasburg, what'd he max out at, 102, 103 miles an hour? He can't get any [faster]. The only thing it'll do is stabilize the elbow joint, and so what if he only throws the ball 93 to 94 miles an hour, does that mean the surgery was a failure? I think if he does that that he will be even better, because then he'll learn how to pitch. He won't rely on just raring back and throwing the ball as hard as he can, which probably led a lot to the injury that he has now."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 30, 2010; 9:43 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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