Tag Archives: Washington Nationals

Shutting down Strasburg: the dumbest move in sports history?

Most baseball fans already know — the Nationals are in first place in the NL East, but they’re going to shut down ace Stephen Strasburg after 180 innings to protect his young arm. Strasburg had Tommy John surgery two years ago, and the Nationals aren’t taking any chances. I don’t necessarily think he should go over 180 innings (I’m no doctor), but why are the Nationals doing it this way? He’s going to hit doomsday just before the season finishes and the playoffs begin. Sorry fans, sorry players, your first place team is going to be shorthanded when it counts.

In a similar situation, the White Sox have found ways to give Chris Sale extra rest throughout the season. Why not do that or even use a six man rotation? GM Mike Rizzo has favored a regular schedule for Strasburg on the advice of various medical experts. A six man rotation would be pretty regular. I’m not the first to suggest this — I just want to highlight how dumb this decision was. The Nationals have never been to the playoffs! They might miss their shot at a World Series because of this.

In celebration of the Nationals strategy, poll your friends/office mates and share the dumbest sports decision(s) that you can think of in the comments below. “Trading Babe Ruth” is a good start but not very original.

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Head to head: MLB vs. NBA

Howard Bryant had an interesting take Wednesday on ESPN regarding the health of the MLB and NBA. Bryant’s point is that the MLB is thriving because it has embraced player movement through free agency. Unlike in the NBA, where a player’s current team can offer him more years and money (or where David Stern can just shut down a trade), the MLB has no rules designed to keep players with the same team once their contract expires.

You can skip the video rebuttal by Jemele Hill, who played the unenviable roll of defending the NBA. She compares contract numbers for the NBA and MLB, noting that Pujols makes over $200 million against $100 million or so for the NBA’s top players. This isn’t a relevant comparison; Continue reading