Last week, a column by Mike Wise revealed Scott Boras’s role, or what Boras says is his role, in the Stephen Strasburg shutdown. It’s no surprise that Mike Rizzo sees it a little differently.
“This decision is my decision; it’s based on research we’ve done from our medical practitioners and from our pitching coaches and what we’ve done in the past,” Rizzo told Holden on 106.7 The Fan today. “We’ve got a plan that’s been in place since January. We’ve got it outlined in a 50-page presentation form that we have followed protocol the whole time. It’s the same protocol that we followed with Ross Detwiler, with Jordan Zimmerman, with Stephen Strasburg.”
The Nats have a 50-page presentation from January on how to handle Strasburg’s season. That makes it all the more unreal that Strasburg was not in on the conversation.
“It’s something that they haven’t discussed with me, so all I can do is just keep pitching and keep helping this team win as many games as we can,” Strasburg said in July. “And when they think that it’s time for us to shut it down, then it’s going to be their call. I know they’re only doing it because obviously a lot of medical studies have shown that it’s the right thing to do.”
Those medical studies are apparently a large part of the presentation, which I like imagine is in PowerPoint form with fun graphics and maybe some music.
“It’s philosophical, it’s medically based, it has research, it has comps, it shows what other pitchers have gone through,” Rizzo explained. “It’s been researched from back in the days of the 1990s. The people who say there’s no research on this subject, they’re not looking in the right places.
“It’s a legitimate study,” he continued. “It’s not an old-school, gut-feel baseball decision.”
As for the presentation itself, it’s top secret.
“You will never see it; it’s not for publication,” Rizzo said. “Our owners have it and I have it. It’s just the way we do business and the way we’ve done business for the three years since I’ve been the general manager.”