I’ve certainly jabbed at Jim Bowden over the years, but he went on a rant Tuesday night that was absolutely perfect. His target were the folks who questioned the Nats for “rushing” Stephen Strasburg back to the Majors, such as Rob Dibble (“You don’t need to rush a guy back just to get a couple starts in so you can sell out the stadium”) and Curt Schilling (“there’s absolutely no reason for him to pitch in the big leagues this year”).
Without naming names, Bowden had a few choice words for the critics before Tuesday’s start. This is from Inside Pitch on MLB Network Radio; audio here. It started because the program was running a poll on whether the Nats were right to bring Strasburg back.
“This is a really dumb poll and a really dumb question, and it infuriates me,” Bowden said. “And it’s probably just because I’m a former GM, but how anybody can criticize the way the Washington Nationals have brought Stephen Strasburg back?
“[Critics] know nothing about baseball, nothing about rehab, nothing about the history of the surgery, and have NO respect for the medical profession. They followed this to the t. This is Dr. James Andrews, who is one of the best in the country; this is his exact plan, TO THE DAY. It’s 12 months and 3 days from the surgery, and he never had a setback, and they carried about the exact program. His velocity’s up to 98, 99 with no pain, and they’re doing absolutely everything they’re supposed to from a medical perspective, from a baseball perspective and for the future of Strasburg.
“He’s not on the mound tonight to sell tickets. He’s on the mound because this is the program that you do when you come back from Tommy John, and you want to build up Major League innings as part of this program at the end, so that next year if they’re in a pennant race, they’re gonna be prepared to have Strasburg pitching important games in September. This is nothing that can be debated. Nobody can sit here and say that this is wrong and have any medical or baseball reason for that....
“C’mon. Give me a freaking break. I don’t even want to be discussing this. KUDOS to Mike Rizzo and the Nationals, KUDOS to Jim Andrews, KUDOS to Stephen Strasburg, KUDOS to the training staff of the Nationals, to Dr. Wiemi Duoguih, to Dr. Andrews, everybody that was involved in this process did their job, and he’s on the mound tonight BECAUSE of that.
“God Bless the Nationals, God Bless Strasburg, and God Bless the United States of America.”
Love that guy sometimes.