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Strasburg: "I’m not too happy about it"

Sep 9, 2012, 12:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Stephen Strasburg lasted only three innings last night against the Marlins.

Updated at 8:00 p.m.

Stephen Strasburg was adamant. He wanted to pitch again this season, not only next week in New York but throughout September and into October if the Nationals proceed to reach the postseason for the first time in club history.

No matter what Strasburg thought about the Nationals’ premature shutdown plan, the right-hander was never going to be allowed to control his own fate. Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson were going to make that call, and on Saturday morning they decided the time had arrived to end their young ace’s season.

The news wasn’t easy for Strasburg to accept.

“I don’t know if I’m ever going to accept it, to be honest with you,” he said some nine hours later, after the Nationals completed a dramatic, rain-delayed, 7-6 win over the Marlins to move one step closer to the NL East title. “It’s something that I’m not happy about at all. That’s not why I play the game. I play the game to obviously be a good teammate and to win. You don’t grow up dreaming of playing in the big leagues to get shut down when the games start to matter.”
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  1. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    My countdown to this post was eerily accurate. I think this has more to do with the team being distracted during a pennant race than SS. At this point, babying him along the rest of the season is something they can't afford. The team needs to keep winning now. Managing in September is different than managing in April. More cold-blooded. And more of that to come. Not warm and fuzzy. All players will need to suck it up and put on their big-boy uniforms. Perform or sit. Like it or not.

  2. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Should it scare me that Ozzie made total sense in that interview?

  3. Kevin Rusch - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    You know, I'm OK with that. This is now 3 stinkers in the last few weeks; I don't know why he's had the bad starts, but if you told me it was because of "last stage of rehab" fatigue, I'd believe you. Lannan has looked pretty good so far; it's quite possible he'd have won the game last night.

  4. original Nats Fan - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    thank you, Nats. It was evident that Stras didn't have any command yesterday. For his sake and for the team's sake, it;s the right thing to do

  5. Doc - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    NatsLady, thanks for the link to Ozzie. I always like emotion, it makes a good movie, and a good manager.

  6. sm13 - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    This was the right move. Stephen has clearly pitched enough innings and gone well beyond any prior year. For all those media bozos who said the innings limit didn't matter, here is your chance to apologize to Rizzo.Thanks Stephens for a great year!

  7. Gonat - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I just got a text on this. Here people were calling into the post-game radio show wondering if the 3 innings last night would mean Stras would have more innings and an extra start.

  8. Gonat - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    He also won't reach that 162 innings mark like JZim last year.Talk about uncomfortable, did you see the post-game interview with Stras. Awkward……

  9. Scooter - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Kid had a terrific season. Won't it be exciting when he comes back even better next year? (Assuming he didn't just blow out his rotor cuff or something.)

  10. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Ozzie is completely right … been pretty much thinking and saying the same thing though so I guess I'm biased.So, now Lannan gets his chance.

  11. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    And for all of you who are worried about how SS is feeling about this — let's remember that John Lannan, a Nats veteran who was our most successful pitcher last year, spent the entire season in the minors, except for his two successful starts here. Would SS have rather traded places with him ? And then there's another pitcher out there with a fracture skull – would he like to trade places with him? He has had a good year as a major league pitcher and has a bright future ahead – let's not feel too sorry for him. This is nowhere near the worst thing that can happen to you.

  12. NatsLady - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    swami, I agree. The thing was a distraction to the team. I feel bad for Stras but dragging it out wouldn't have made it better. The vultures would have been out in NY–even more media hype, if that's possible. Yes, Davey could have stuck with the "physical" explanation. But that's Davey–says the game is 90-95 percent mental (given the talent, of course). In the end, it doesn't matter what explanation you give, what's done is done. Go forward, guys, and WIN!!!!

  13. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Speaking of Lannan – where will this put him in terms of rest since his last start? I am pulling for this guy to have a good few starts, for him, for the Nats organization and for the fans. He deserves this chance. I will be cheering for him all the way.

  14. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    How deep is this team? If Lannan falters, Wang can have a start, too. Keep it coming.

  15. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Let them play and have fun again … let the resentful Dibbles drown in their beer.

  16. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    How deep is this team? If Lannan falters, Wang can have a start, too. Keep it coming.Wang? No. That won't happen. I suspect you'd see Zach Duke first.

  17. NatsLady - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Absolutely I don't feel sorry for a multi-million dollar athlete who is immensely gifted. And the only reason Davey made the decision to cut him off one game sooner is because his "feelings" were getting in the way of his focus. He will come back tougher next year in every way. And if he hates Davey and Mike Rizzo, so be it. As you point out, so did John Lannan. Maybe Stras will send an email to the beat writers—OK, maybe not.

  18. Fear and Ignorance - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I hope he never throws another pitch for this organization. Putting him in this situation is all Rizzo's fault, and this is something he will never get over. Rizzo just took away a kid's dream. I sincerely hope he comes out and demands to be traded.

  19. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    So, now Stras, Meyer, and Karns all got shutdown with an innings limit. Joining Matt Purke … who is ostensibly injured and rehabbing. Solis starts again next season as Stras did. Stras won't be alone … albeit in the Nats case the rehabbing is going on in the minors.

  20. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    peric- again, serious depth, I suspect you are correct. By the way, before the SS news hit twitter, there was a tweet that Suzuki was scratched. Anyone know anything about that? Did he get hurt last night? That slide into him at the plate in the 9th didn't look too bad.

  21. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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  22. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    F and I – are you kidding? What is he – like 8 years old and you just told him he can't be an astronaut when he grows up? He IS a major league pitcher who has had a good season with a first place team. How many millions of people would trade places with that? If he can't adjust to this then he is a complete head case.

  23. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    By the way, before the SS news hit twitter, there was a tweet that Suzuki was scratched. Anyone know anything about that? Did he get hurt last night?That may be Davey again. First, Suzuki's former top pitcher gets a fractured skull … and now his current top pitcher? Suzuki really cares … Davey may think it may have been a bit too much drama for him all at once. Albeit Suzuki would never say that.

  24. NatsLady - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I doubt Stras is breathing a sigh of relief, but I bet the rest of the team is… Too much focus on one player. Not good. This is a TEAM sport, even though individual goals and honors do matter.

  25. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:05 PM

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  26. Dave - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. PChuck - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. Fear and Ignorance - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:07 PM

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  29. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM

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  30. Feel Wood - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Massive early crowd at the game today. Not sure why. They've handed out so many Zim bobbleheads over the years that they must be on page 493 of the Bobble Sutra by now trying to find a new pose.Also, TSA like security at the gates. Bag searches, emptying pockets, everything but the pat down and shoe removal. Something's going on…

  31. Dave - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Uh, Mark, I know you're busy, but could we get some moderation of these specific threats of physical violence?

  32. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Also, TSA like security at the gates. Bag searches, emptying pockets, everything but the pat down and shoe removal. Something's going on…Its campaign season. Someone may want to be seen … lots of hype surrounding the Nats with the shutdown and their place in the standings.

  33. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Dave – agreed on the over-the-top comments. By the way ,all adults out there on this post — raise you hand if someone has ever messed with your precious dreams. Multiple times. Give me a contract like that for what I do for a living and you can mess with my dreams and control my schedule all you want. Part of life. We aren't children.

  34. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Oh – and ask John Lannan about what his dreams for this season were. Guessing Syracuse wasn't on the list.

  35. Mark P - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Absolutely the right call.

  36. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Collective sighs of relief being heard all over natstown.

  37. Feel Wood - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    I was here the night Biden came out a few weeks ago. No extra security then. Also at RFK once when Bush came unannounced. Again, no extra security. So I don't think that's what it is.

  38. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Maybe F&I has threatened to blow up Nats park because they shut down Strasburg.

  39. Jim Webster - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    We did not experience any more security than usual at STH center field gate.

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    As stated by the knowledgeable posters to this site, absolutely the right move. Good job, Stephen. See you in Viera in early February.

  41. peric - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    He will come back tougher next year in every way. And if he hates Davey and Mike Rizzo, so be it. As you point out, so did John Lannan. Maybe Stras will send an email to the beat writers—OK, maybe not.Natslady, I think the first sign you'll see of that will be if he leaves Boras as EJax did, albeit for different reasons. Boras is completely on board and also knew this would happen 2 years ago.

  42. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Uhhh….is there still a game today?

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    NatsJack, Vieira? I expect to see him on the parade route.This is no big deal. We knew it was coming albeit one start early.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    That word "albeit" is getting lots of press time today.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Ghost…I'm talking about actually "seeing him" as in my pic with Jordan last February.

  46. Gonat - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    I am so over this Strasburg shutdown talk. Its now Breaking News everywhere.More games to play. Turn the page.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    NatsJack, love it! He needs your sage advice!

  48. baseballswami - Sep 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    No game story? We ALL really need to move on right now.

  49. SonnyG10 - Sep 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Thanks for a nice season, Stephen. Better days ahead next year.

  50. NatsJim - Sep 8, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    I applaud the Nats for doing what is best for both the player and the club – Stras has not been himself recently and I think if they pushed him into the playoffs he'd struggle even more as the innings continued to increase.And "Fear and Ignorance" – never has there been a more apropos moniker…

  51. Alex Howard - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    right decision, nats town is behind this team with or without stras, other fans of other teams keep calling rizzo an idiot and that he doesnt care about winning. This team will win, this team is fantastic, one pitcher doesnt win a championship, and the nationals will prove that in october.

  52. mick - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Alex Howard…. right onI know we should not care what national baseball pundits think, but it is tough to listen to all the johnny come lately's following the Nats acting as if their opinion is the gospel.On another note, Jim Kaat was a great pitcher but he sounds like an ignoramous horses ass about Strass

  53. Dave - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    Kaat's "open letter" to Stras was unfortunate indeed. All of this blathering comes from people OUTSIDE the whole story, people who have no interest at all in the future of the Nationals or Steven Strasburg. Jim Kaat included.

  54. mick - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    exactly Dave

  55. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    They just keep on stirring the pot. He is 23, exhausted and mad. No need to pile on. However – I will give him a couple of days to settle down and whine, then it stops. Lannan whined pretty good and then did his job. Just like all the rest of us have to do. If I want to hear a gen-X-er whine about his job and how his boss is unfair, I will call one of my sons.

  56. mick - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    swami….. good post, lol

  57. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Sorry if I don't sound sympathetic. I am kind of tired of people feeling sorry for someone who is 23, has this kind of talent, makes ridiculous money to play a game, and is on a first place team. Real tough life.

  58. Dave - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    swami, that is a brilliant pair of posts. My wife points out that if he had had a terrific outing last night, we probably would not be hearing this tantrum from him today. Instead, he was pretty awful. Lots of different emotions are going into this stew of frustration today.

  59. mick - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    On a positive…. 86 wins, Sept 1969 was the last DC team with that many wins, Ted Williams was AL manager of the year, Hondo finished tied with Harmon Kilabrew with 48 homers, Dick Bosman led AL in ERA, Mike Epstein hit 30 HR, Eddie Brinkman batted 280, Kenny McMullen had 30 HR's also. A young 2b with the O's was part of the a 109 win club and best DP combo's in baseball, his name Davey Johnson. Yes, this young lad was excited for the future, only to have Bob Short destroy this and many other young fans dreams. As the character on one of the many famous Seinfeld episodes said so well…. "Your a very bad man"lol

  60. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    The Katt letter to Stras made me sick to my stomach. To think a man 70 years old actually thinks a 24 year old EMPLOYEE of an organization that has invested MILLIONS of dollars on him is at the mercy of HIS decision indicates dillusional thinkingMaybe MLB network should rethink who speaks for them.

  61. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    NatsJack – hear, hear! As you can see in my previous posts, I have trouble dealing with a 24 year old multi-millionaire with boss issues. Because, well – we all know what great judgment 24 year old young men have.

  62. mick - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    NatsJack you just touched on the problem…. unfortunately Kaat is the voice and part of the MLB network's narrative to bash Rizzo and Davey and create a controversy. What really should have us all enraged is that when the national networks cover the Nats playoffs games, they will focus on this nonsense until the season ends. I am hoping there is way that MASN can allow Bobby C and FP to cover the playoffs. I really do not want to listen to MLB networks buffoons' nonsense. DC does not deserve this, we have waited a long time for this and now it appears it will be soiled by the loud mouths of MLB network. I hope I am wrong.

  63. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Did I mention that I have 2 sons in their 20's? Oh, yeah, I did. There are a few phone conversations I have recently had that I would be glad to have with him. They start with realizing how lucky you are with this economy to even have a job at all and end with the world not being about you. Any other parents out there who would like to join in?

  64. baseballswami - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Because it's really all about being "happy". Right? Ok – I'll stop now. Struck a nerve.

  65. mick - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    swami…. I have two sons in there 20's as well and what is amazing is that they claim to know more about life and, oh everything else than either my wife or me, lol.

  66. Dave - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    You know, as I read Strasburg's complete comments in fuller context–instead of just the sound-bite versions we saw previously–I think this is less of a tantrum than I thought it was.He acknowledged that he's got to listen to Dr. Yocum, who "resurrected" his career via TJ surgery, and he said, "I just have to move forward and I have to be here for this team."So I'm now a little sorry I judged his reaction as harshly as I did. Probably a bit unfair.

  67. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Mick, if they were in their teens … the fact that they are in their 20's and still think that sounds too familiar … uncomfortably familiar. Rest assured in the certainty that they won't stay that numb forever. Just don't die soon.

  68. Bzl. - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Who else noticed how excited SS was about Werth's HR? He'll be absolutely fine! And, despite the "anger" he said the right things about Slocum and being with the team for the long haul. Everything he's said seems quite normal to me.

  69. peric - Sep 9, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Maybe they'll let him pinch hit. I noted that this time, when asked about the possibility in this game, Davey did not seem adverse to the idea. I kind of figured that might happen months ago … keeps him involved.

  70. rabbit34 - Sep 9, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Get over it 'Burg, or go cry in your soup with another team.

  71. waddu eye no - Sep 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    i keep hearing my father's voice saying, "someday you'll thank me for this."

  72. natsfan1a - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Read about the shutdown in the local AM paper. Some great posts by swami here. I'll let them speak for me. On another note, lots of bile in the local AM paper for an owner who moved his pointy ball team and died this week. Also talk about how the local baseball team is not spending enough and that their skipper, while not a bad guy, may have to take the fall this season. Can you guess where I am? :-)

  73. NatsFanJim - Sep 9, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    If Straa wasn't so immature, I would call his comments classless and ill-timed and a Dis to Rizzo.Stras: Dont you have a head on your country shoulders? Have esteemed medical experts not explained to you why your'e being shut down? Don't act like your pissed now — take it and Shut TFU. Collect your millions like a good boy. Now, with your closed mouth, go support your teammates!!

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