"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda
I watch the Nats a lot. Last year they basically tempted the baseball gods by not only shutting down Strasburg but by proclaiming how they will be there (in the WS hunt) year after year. Call it arrogance, call it bad karma or a kenahora (Yiddish term for not tempting bad things when they are good), but the Nats set themselves up for this season.
Further, they only bat one way -- they just swing for the fences. And with the air in DC, it turns out to be lots of balls hit to the warning track. I was at a game last month and the lowly Brewers played small ball and smoked them. Why? Because before you swing for the fences, you need to have runners on base. The Nats just don't get on base enough and when they do hit homers, its usually Harper running around the bases with no one on.
Frankly, I think the Nats may be falling behind the Mets by next season.
I'm going to miss Johnny Beisbol
And btw...Dusty is FANTASTIC in this regard. His unspoken rule of "give 'em another day" when a guy is coming back from the DL goes a long way IMO in making sure that players stay healthy longer.
Big Klu (08-09-2013)
A pitcher like Strasburg (heck, any pitcher really) is more or less an un-protectable asset over the long term with any certainty. Injuries can and will happen. Their risk can be mitigated, sure, and if WAS weren't the best NL team last year, I'd agree the only rational thing to do was shut him down.
But they were the NL's best team. And they had a legit chance to leverage a risky asset for their first championship. And mind you, not automatically be cashing it all in. Perhaps, sure. But perhaps not also. From an organizational standpoint, I don't agree with what they did.
Really interesting debate either way.