There will come a day when birds chirp, and apples ripen, and kids climb on the school bus, and leaves flaunt their obscene reddish hues, and football players get hurt in real games instead of fake games, and pumpkin beers fill the shelves with the earthy magnetism of nutmeg and cloves, and I will never have to listen to anyone talk about Stephen Strasburg’s Shutdown again.
Until then, hey, look! Tommy John! Talking about Tommy John surgery! Don’t think I’ve gotten his take on this issue before. Course, I haven’t heard Terrmel Sledge’s opinion, either. He probably has an opinion. Lots of people have opinions. Lenn Sakata has got to have an opinion. Putting that on my to-do list right now. That’ll be great.
Wait, where was I? Oh right, same place I always am, sitting at my desk, transcribing an interview about Stephen Strasburg’s Shutdown, while staring blankly into the distance and imaging a life unhinged from ligaments.
So some ESPN Radio host asked Tommy John what factors should go into Mike Rizzo’s decision to shut Strasburg down.
“I would hope the general manager has a degree in orthopedic surgery, or at least kinesiology or physiology, and I don’t think Mike Rizzo has any of that,” Tommy John said. “Here’s the thing, go back, Wikipedia Tommy John and see how many innings I pitched in 1976, my comeback year.”
[Ok, hold on. Wikiiiiiiiiiiii! Wiki Wiki Wiki!]
“I think it was like 206 or 207 innings.”
[It was 207.]
“From the time I came back until I quit in 1989, I never missed a start in 13 years,” Tommy John continued. “Now, we were archaic back there, but here’s my take on the thing: There’s no guarantee [if] you shut him down. The Yankees screwed Joba Chamberlain over. I mean, this poor kid has had all kind of problems, and they had Joba Rules....It didn’t help him a bit. He still had to have Tommy John surgery.
“So there’s no guarantee that you’re shutting Strasburg down, that he’s going to be healthy down the road,” Tommy John Tommy Johned. “You want him healthy. I understand that. He’s the franchise. But you know what? The golden ring only comes around on the merry go round maybe one time. There’s no guarantee that if you keep Strasburg out this year and keep him healthy for next year next, year next, year, that you’re gonna win.
“You’ve got a chance to win now,” Tommy Tommy John, Tommy Tommy John said. “Now, I don’t say you trash the kid, but you pitch him. And maybe somewhere down the road you skip his turn, you give his arm a little rest. But if I were a fan of the Nationals, I would be SO upset. That I’ve got a chance to be in the playoffs, maybe be in the World Series, and you’re taking that away from me?
“I wouldn’t buy my tickets next year. I would say hey, go do it yourself. I understand where [Rizzo’s] coming from, I understand that. But he’s not gonna get hurt. If he hasn’t been hurt this year, he’s not gonna get hurt.”
Cool. Done deal. End of story. He isn’t gonna get hurt. Tommy John promised. That gives us a breather to post some great quotes from literature.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
And so on. Got that from Wikipedia. It’s good for more than just Tommy John innings counts.