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Poll: Worried about Strasburg?

By Sports Editor  |  July 27, 2010; 8:41 PM ET
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  | Tags: Stephen Strasburg  
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Next: Scott Olsen likely to start, Jesse English done for the year


Who voted no?

Posted by: lowcountry | July 27, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"He did understand," Rizzo said. "Those are the decisions I get paid to make. We're going to err on the side of caution. I'll make the decisions and take the heat for it"

What heat? You're the manager and your pitcher isn't able to pitch and you're saying "I'll make the decisions and take the heat for it?" The heat would come if the pitcher wasn't healthy enough to pitch, you pitched him anyway, and he got hurt. But you don't get heat for pulling an injured or hurt or otherwise unready pitcher.

A bigger concern is, he's 22; he's a professional; the team already said they'll stop pitching him whether it was August or September once he reached a certain number of innings pitched, even if they were in the pennant race. It sound more like he can pitch like a major league pitcher but they don't want to treat him like one.

Posted by: Dungarees | July 27, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@ lowcountry

Who voted not? Everyone who isn't an alarmist, defeatist or pessimistic, including me. ;o)

Posted by: KenzAFan | July 27, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I voted no. Worrying is a useless activity that takes years off your life. You should only worry about things you have some control over. Now, regrets, that's another matter.

Posted by: nats24 | July 27, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

It might be a mere issue of semiotics, but when your top pitcher misses a start it seems (to me at least) cause for concern. I don't think the sky is falling, now will I lose any sleep over it tonight - but I am worried about the lad.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 27, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The heat would be the chorus of boos Miguel Batista received when the extra 20,000+ spectators who came explicitly to see Strasburg pitch found out that they instead paid to see Miguel Batista.

For the record, I wholeheartedly support Rizzo's decision to err on the side of caution but I'm also fairly certain I would have booed as well.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | July 27, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I voted No. I just don't think its serious. Handel super star with tissue paper.

Now I would also like to say a quick FU to people who went to the game. Heard of the scratch, and then after entering the park- resold their tickets to scalpers only to screw over the people who buy them and cant get in.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 27, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Batista just pitched a better game than Stasburg has ever pitched (other than his debut vs. Pittsburg).
Go figure!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | July 27, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Kasten made the call over the weekend, the games tonight and next Sunday were heading towards being sell outs and there were plenty of unsold seats for the afternoon game on Thursday.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | July 27, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

This is the baseball equivalent of I can't play the dog ate my homework. What a WIMP!. It is called Bait and Switch.

Posted by: alterego3 | July 27, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the booing when the reason for SS's scratch was put up on the board: I was at the game, and I know one person who didn't boo - me.

Disappointed? You bet. But why should I boo, when I don't know why SS isn't pitching?

I saw the Nats play a sharp game. Nyjer was the Nyjer we had last year, especially in the first inning. We stole four bases, put up pitching lines that Strasburg would have been proud of. Made the Braves look like a bunch of stumblebums. Top of the ninth, the whole stadium was on its feet cheering and clapping, and erupted when Capps got the last batter looking. Sure I was disappointed to not see Strasburg pitch, but I also had the pleasure of watching the Nats play a good game.

And maybe best of all, there wasn't the slightest whiff of that stupid tomahawk chop in the air. Nats fans outnumbered Braves fans probably twenty to one.

There'll be other chances to see Strasburg pitch.

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 27, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, gilbert. I wasn't there, but I enjoyed the TV game and was real happy for Batista et al.

Posted by: skidge | July 27, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

gilbertbp, I wish i could have been there with you. To hear a capacity crowd cheering for the Nats, that's gotta feel good. I hope a lot of them come back for more. Good games like this can help build a bigger fan base.

I just hope Friday, those @#$%! Phils fan don't drown us out.

Posted by: nats24 | July 27, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Just home from the game. Great game, fascinating crowd. Got there an hour early but still missed out on the T-shirts--long gone.

Absolutely great rendition of the Nat. Anthem by a sax player, big cheers from the crowd, settled into get excited, having taken the day off work for this.

Line-ups announced, what???? Pither: Miguel Batista. Boy, I thought they were playin' wit' us (Batista being a good sport, remember how he took one for the team when he hit a guy?)

Nope, for real, no Stras. No phone service either, so I didn't know why.


Waited a couple of innings, got over to a TV for the answer-non-answer for Strasburg's absence.

Crowd subdued but hung around for the game. Really amazing, because all the people that would have left after the 7th inning of a Strasburg session stayed 9 innings for a shutout by the regulars.
They must have made a MINT at the concessions, people wandering around and eating and talking, and occasionally noticing there was a ballgame on that the Nats were winning.

It was really a fun time. Kudus to Batista for his Strasburg imitation! Clean game--no errors (by us). Noticed quite a few Braves jerseys but they were not vocal.

You have to feel that quite a few of the folks that turned out to see Strasburg might come back again to see Nyjer, Desmond and the rest of the regular crew. That sax player was phenomenal.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 27, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

And there weren't that many boos, just a smattering, and then a short chant of "We want Strasburg"... and then folks had a good time...

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 27, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

There were more boos when the team announced the reason why the Nats held him out - louder than the first inning. They all came from the mouthbreathing, celebrity gawking Strasburg fans (read: could not care less about the actual baseball club around him. I even saw some moron in a Phillies hat and Strasburg shirt). They've just been told to show up every fifth start and they do. Some bumpkin yelled "we want our money back". Well Cletus, you still get to watch two major league baseball teams play in picture perfect conditions. Drink your beer and pay attention. Right after you yell "O" during the National Anthem like the rest of the tail wagging the dog Strasburg fans.

Other than that slight bitterness, I had a great time at the game! :-)

Posted by: Kev29 | July 27, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

What's with all th bitterness and self-righteousness? Sure, the extra 20K were there because of Stras but as far as I could tell most people--not just the elect of Nats Journal--stayed the whole game, rooted for the Nats, and enjoyed themselves. And that's been the case for all the Stras games this year, I believe (missed the Mets' game). I fear that some of our brethren will be the type who, when the Nats get good, will be grumping about "bandwagon" fans and johnnies come lately. Probably wear "I'm not a tourist I l;ive here" t-shirts too.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | July 27, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

It should be noted that when Elaine Benes bestowed tickets upon her Korean nail salon peeps to see the musical rendition of "Rochelle, Rochelle" to make amends for eavesdropping on their conversations in their native tongue by way of Frank Costanza's linguistic expertise, and it was announced prior to the raising of the curtain that the understudy would replace ailing star Bette Midler in that night's performance, some in the theater crowd were angry, especially Ms. Benes's Korean homies who then deemed Elaine's apologetic gesture disingenuous and huffily walked out. Had they stayed for the show, however, they very likely would have enjoyed the play.....once the Tonya-esque understudy tied her shoelace, dried her tears, and was granted a restart of her routine, that is.

Hopefully those in attendance at Tuesday night's Strasmas did not emulate the nail jockeys' example, chose to stay put, and appreciated a marvelous shoelace-tied, tears-free, non-grandmother-dying-before-first-pitch performance by anti-Tonya-esque non-understudy Miguel Batista and his supporting cast.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | July 28, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I was there too. Hanson performed. Nats played a nice game. Desmond almost made another error on the first ball hit to him, but recovered with a couple of nice plays.

Stan needs to get things together at the park. They ran out of fries, which made the fact that there was no ketchup either less painful, Coke, CUPS for your second choice beverage -- only had the souvenir cups, credit card machines were down, etc. The lines were terrible. Why can't they get it together for a big crowd when they know it is coming?

Posted by: dfh21 | July 28, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, they ran out of peanuts too. Peanuts? How do you not have an endless supply of freaking Peanuts at a baseball game?

Reminded me of when they ran out of hot dogs in the top of the third on Opening Day 2007.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 28, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Just another Nats pitcher joining the list of would've, should've, could've--done!

Posted by: richs91 | July 28, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

As I said in another article, I would burn this pitcher out fast so the Yankees cannot use him. Strasburg will leave the Nationals after he serves his 6-year sentence here, so why not get everything they can out of him while he is here?

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | July 28, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game and have 2 comments.

1. The boos when the reason for Strasburg's scratch came up on the scoreboard was in large part to the message displayed. IT said he was scratched because "he couldn't get loose," like it was his fault. If they just said it was because of "tightness in his shoulder," people would have been more understanding.

2. @Dungarees. It is NOT Rizzo's job to determine who plays and who doesn't. That is Riggleman's job. Rizzo should have said that in consultation with Riggleman they both decided (or that Jim decided) that Strasburg shouldn't pitch. It undermines Riggleman's authority when Rizzo steps over the line. It should have been Riggleman's call, not Rizzo's.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 28, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse


better to remain silent than reveal your ignorance ... once you enter, you may not leave and re-enter, so no one could get in the park, leave, and re-sell/scalp their ticket.

I was there ,I was hugely disappointed (paid a lot for a prime seat) and I did not boo and saw a great game.

F the morons who booed and who don't understand the value of the investment in Strasburg's arm, etc. Idiots.

It was impressive that the team, when faced with a last-minute scratch of their ace, dug deep (Batista, Storen & Capps especially, and even Burnett), and shut out a good team.

For all the idiots who booed, I'm sure you'd rather get your $$ worth for 3 hrs. even at the potential cost of the long-term performance of a very special pitcher. Better that you go to wrestling or some other sport that matches your level of engagement and understanding!

Posted by: fendertweed | July 28, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Kev29, you nailed it. The boos for SS's scratch came when the scoreboard posted the reason - not at the beginning of the game when Batista took the mound. Who are you booing, you bozos? Strasburg? If so, you must have the attention span of a head of lettuce and the loyalty of a house cat. Batista? Even if you didn't know how good he was going to be, why are you booing someone who's coming in as an emergency replacement?

But it was good to see that even in the 8th inning, the stands were still mostly full. I guess people were thinking, "Dammit, I paid serious money for these tickets and if I'm not going to see Strasburg, I'm sure as hell going to get all nine innings of what I paid for." And what they got was a Nats team that looked like they could beat anyone that night. And maybe a few people will come back even if Jesus isn't on the mound.

I don't know if the Braves fans were just being well-mannered, or weren't out in force, but they were certainly pleasantly quiet. Funny thing: After the final out, we made our way to the aisle, and a young lady already in the aisle, but in the row below us, let my wife and me get in. I thanked her, joked, "Now *I* have to let someone get in front of me in the parking lot..." and she laughed, and said, "But we're ALWAYS like that in Atlanta; it's so different here." To which I said, "I'm originally from New York; up there, we'd cut in front of you and curse at you."

Okay, I got tix for Friday and Saturday, even though Jesus isn't scheduled to pitch (though who knows, since he's allegedly "day-to-day?). Gotta drown out those odious Phillies fans. If you don't have tix, get them, 'cuz I saw an online ad for buses from Philly for the weekend games...

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 28, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW, that young lady was smoking hot - hot enough to melt 6" rebar. Also young enough to be my daughter, which I guess makes me a dirty old man.

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 28, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

1. The boos when the reason for Strasburg's scratch came up on the scoreboard was in large part to the message displayed. IT said he was scratched because "he couldn't get loose," like it was his fault. If they just said it was because of "tightness in his shoulder," people would have been more understanding.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 28, 2010 8:21 AM

Disagree. The message said that he "had difficulty getting loose". Anyone with half a brain can read that as some sort of tightness/pain/worse. So baseball fans quietly worried about what was keeping him out. Celebrity gawking consumerfans booed, because they came to watch one person and had to settle for a baseball game instead.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 28, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Great game. What was the name of the guy who did the star spangled banner? That was awesome. Oh yeah, Batista was great too and Dunn made a super "save-Desmond-from-an-error" catch on our shortstop's throw to first to keep the Braves off the scoreboard.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | July 28, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse


You're wrong about the re-selling tickets. Sure, people can't re-enter, but people CAN sell their tickets after they entered. It's just that the person they sell the tickets to won't be able to get into the game, and that's precisely the problem. A friend of mine came let to the game to meet up with me (~7:45) and said that a lot of scalpers were going crazy because people were leaving the game and selling them used tickets because they turned around and left as soon as they saw Strasburg wasn't pitching. Hopefully that explains what Alex was so mad about - he's basically mad that people conned others into buying their used/useless tickets.

Posted by: rbkoli | July 28, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think the whole reaction of the crowd last night was classless. Would this have happened in Atlanta if their young gun Tommy Hansen couldn't pitch? Or Cincy with Mike Leake? Sure, Strasburg has more than lived up to expectations and possibly has a 'tired arm', but to boo Miguel Batista. I'm a Nats fan and happy we have a team after what we've seen happen with the Orioles franchise. They played well last night and got a quality win against a good team.

People who left the game last night were there strictly to see Strasburg and are not true Nats fans. As for reselling tickets outside the gates, that shows a complete lack of class and integrity. People who did that should look in the mirror this morning. Strasburg's injury appears relatively minor and if he doesn't pitch again this year, I'll be disappointed but it won't stop me from watching the Nats.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 28, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Pitchers, like quarterbacks, get sore shoulders. It comes with the territory. RELAX, people. RELAX!

Posted by: linroy62 | July 28, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who isn't worried, I guess cannot imagine the tremendous stresses on muscles, tendons, ligaments applied by the tremendous torque that Strasburg puts on his arm, elbow, and shoulder every time he pitches at those velocities. It's not about his character, his mechanics ... it's about frangible tissues.

Maybe he is able to do that, 100-plus pitches, in 30 or more games a year ... I hope so. But I've seen those tissues, muscles, joints -- in situ -- I dunno....

Posted by: JPMcC | July 28, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

What is there to worry about? This team isn't going anywhere anyway within any time frame that matters. Lerners know business and branding. Guess what their team's brand is now after five years with no prospect of a winning season? All you have to do is watch ESPN and you'll see that their brand is: perennial loser. Since they spend no money to change this, you may logically conclude that they are OK with this brand. And being businessmen, you may infer further what their business plan has been all along: pocket the subsidy that DC put into the stadium, suck up all the rest of the value of owning an MLB team. After that, I ask again -- who cares?

Posted by: nalpak1 | July 28, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nats24 | July 27, 2010 9:42 PM
Well said...pitchers are subject to injuries that didn't occur back in the day. I am 65 years old and when I first began to watch baseball, pitchers usually worked the whole game. However, they didn't throw the arm bending and twisting pitches that are thrown today.

Posted by: mortified469 | July 28, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

One more thing, it is sad to say that DC is not really a baseball town. With the metro population, there should be sell outs, or close to them, every home game. I went to the old Senator's games and our group was one of the few. We are more like Miami.

I hope that my assumption is incorrect. I would like to see DC support its baseball team. After all, they support a losing football team and its owner.

Posted by: mortified469 | July 28, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

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