Throw It Like a Ballplayer

providing baseball commentary and ponderings since April 2010

Say it ain’t so, Doc

Posted by dannmckeegan on August 27, 2010

Stephen Strasburg of the Nats got the bad news from Dr. James Andrews. He’ll get a second opinion from Dr. Elliot Yokum, but that’s like asking two different choosy moms if they both choose Jif. Natstown Jesus will be going under the knife and missing, most likely, all of the 2011 season. It would hardly make sense to rush him back for a pointless September in 2011. The goal is probably for Strasburg to be ready to go on Day One in 2012. Top draft pick Bryce Harper might be ready by then; Ryan Zimmerman should still be driving the lineup; Jordan Zimmermann and Drew Storen should be integral cogs in the pitching staff. If all goes well, Strasburg will return a triumphant ace and bring Natstown deep into October, someday.

It’s funny. Mocking the Nats isn’t nearly as fun as mocking the other perennial non-contenders. I think it’s because Washington has a clear idea of what it takes to win and what they will have to do to accomplish it. Combine that with the potential for a strong fan base if they can bring home some success and star power, and they might actually have a bright future.

Maybe KC, Pittsburgh, et alii will also make an effort to compete. Pittsburgh has a lot of young players – Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Alvarez, Daniel McCutchen to name a few – but who knows how long they’ll actually be kept. Cynicism deserves its say in Pittsburgh, until proven otherwise.

And cynicism also will have its say for Strasburg and Natstown. Why? Simply because the hype was always too great. It works nicely as a metaphor that the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow in which all of D.C.’s baseball hopes were invested, is no more. It tore. It could not stand the strain. To the surgeon’s table, and under the knife. Not for repair, but with replacement. The hopes won’t be discarded, however, like so much frayed and damaged tissue. The hopes will be rekindled out of the same cloth, the same dirty laundry, that all baseball fans cheer for. The home whites with the angular font and unreliable spelling. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But someday, there’ll be a winner in D.C. For now, the wait is merely extended.

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One Response to “Say it ain’t so, Doc”

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