Is there any sentient being on the planet earth who has yet to express an opinion on the Stephen Strasburg shutdown?
If so, please pass along my work number. It’s 202-334-6532. He or she can just leave his or her opinion on the voice mail. Tell them to keep it under 60 seconds. Thanks.
Where was I? Oh, right, Jim Riggleman and Stan Kasten. These men once led the Nats, and now they both work for NL rivals, and yet both took calm and measured views of the Nats’ decision, ultimately siding with the team and Mike Rizzo.
“I’ve talked to Mike about this,” Kasten said on ESPN Radio this week. “And I do know this: all of us can have our opinions from a thousand miles away. But there is no human being in the world that has done more research on this, that has talked to more doctors, talked to more trainers, or knows more about the subject — including private things — than Mike Rizzo.
“And because none of us have the information that Mike does, I’m saying Mike is probably making the best decision,” Kasten concluded. “And that’s what we should all accept.”
Of course, life is easier for Kasten’s Dodgers if there’s no Strasburg in the mix. But Riggleman has no particular incentive one way or the other, and he, too, sided with Rizzo.
“I agree with it,” he told Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio. “To me, it’s kind of 50-50 as conversations take place. People down here in the minor leagues are talking about it, and it’s 50-50. But you’ve got to make a decision. One of the main things about it, I think, is that you had this last year with Jordan Zimmermann.
“You know, we went into the season and decided that that’s what’s gonna happen. Smarter people than me were making that decision, and it’s an organizational decision. So we went into it very comfortable that Jordan was gonna pitch X amount of innings. The success that Jordan is having this year, I think, speaks for itself — ok, look, that was a great plan, let’s stay with the plan.
“You can’t change the plan because you’re winning,” Riggleman added. “If you feel that this is the best thing for the future of the player, then you can’t later say well never mind, we’re not worried about the future of the player, let’s go ahead and try to win now. You have that plan set up, and you stick with it. And I think a year from now everybody’s gonna be saying it was a great plan, aren’t we glad we did that.”
Then Riggleman asked if he would be at least tempted to try to keep pitching Strasburg beyond the limit.
“No, not at all,” he said. “To me it’s an easy decision. You come to that decision in the previous winter. And it’s not like you or the general manager or the pitching coach are making that decision. Doctors are involved in this.
“I’ll put it this way: 10 years, 12 years after Kerry Wood got hurt, I was still answering questions about did you pitch him too much. Nobody at the time that I was pitching him complained about him pitching — they only complained when I took him out of games. So nobody was worried about his health when he was pitching. They wanted him to keep pitching. But I think the decision they’ve made is the right decision.”
Bill James says it’s a ‘reasonable’ approach
Rudy Giuliani opposes the shutdown
Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw weigh in
James Andrews says you can’t criticize the Nats
Mitch Williams calls the strategy “absolutely absurd”
Dennis Eckersley says the Nats have to pitch Strasburg
Rick Sutcliffe has a plan for Strasburg
Stephen A. Smith says it’s disgraceful
Kevin Millar asks the Nats to look Strasburg in the eyes
Jake Peavy says it blows his mind
Scott Boras on possible legal ramifications
Rob Dibble blasts Strasburg and Rizzo
Andrea Mitchell discusses Strasburg on MSNBC