Kornheiser and Wilbon critique Strasburg injury coverage
I can't say I read every Washington-based report on Stephen Strasburg's injury and his potential for recovery, but I've read a lot of them, and they all seemed to strike the right tone.
Kilgore: After one of the most electrifying beginnings to a baseball career in memory and after validating the massive hype that trumpeted his arrival, Strasburg ends his season with an uncertain future. The Washington Nationals will hold their breath, optimistic Strasburg will conform with the odds and return to full health by 2012.
Zuckerman: Recovery time from the ligament replacement surgery is typically 12-to-18 months, meaning Strasburg wouldn't be ready to return until late-2011 at the earliest, a crushing blow to an organization that has pinned much of its long-term hopes on the 22-year-old's right arm.
Boswell: It's bad enough that the best pitching prospect in many years is gone for at least 12 months after only 12 major league starts. But it's even more galling that absolutely nobody can give you an exact reason or a particular culprit or a proper emotional reaction. And nobody can do better than give you rough odds on what kind of pitcher Strasburg will be by opening day of 2012.
Sheinin: If Strasburg sits out 2011, then goes on to have a Hall-of-Fame career, would [drafting him] still be a mistake? I'm not saying that will happen, but I think what's really unwise is leaping to conclusions about the rest of Strasburg's career based on this. Tommy John surgery is commonplace and comes with a very high degree of success.
AP: It's a blow to Strasburg, of course, and to a baseball world that has spent the summer gasping in awe at his 100 mph fastball, bending curves and wicked batter-freezing changeups, but the biggest punch to the gut is to a Nationals franchise that had made the young phenom the centerpiece in their plans to climb out of perpetual last-place irrelevancy....Now he faces something he's never experienced in his baseball life: surgery on his arm and the realistic prospect of not pitching again until 2012.
That's a pretty nice dose of realism, far as I can tell, balanced with data on the high rate of success of the procedure. And yet Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon apparently believe the local media, or at least some segment of that, have been irresponsible in recent days. PTI dialog follows:
Kornheiser: In Washington, this is being spun as no problem at all. In fact, in Washington, people point to the fact that so many current Cy Young-caliber pitchers have had the same surgery without a problem.
Wilbon: This optimism that I hear expressed at times is insane. It's irresponsible, when you do it in this profession. When you are reporting and even analyzing and you act like this is no big deal, that's junk. This is a big deal. Otherwise we ought to go around yanking our sons arms out of the socket and just sort of have this surgery be mandatory so they can all come back later. It's insane....It certainly could mar his career. It's not the death sentence it once was, but any phony optimism here, he still has to come back from this surgery.
Kornheiser: It's so Pollyanna-ish, isn't it, to think that this is an automatic, that a year from now he's gonna be Walter Johnson? I don't get that.
Wilbon: It's irresponsible.
If anyone has any idea who or what they're talking about, I'd be most interested. Because I really can't remember anyone in this profession saying this is an automatic, being Pollyanna-ish, or acting irresponsibly. Quite the opposite, actually.
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