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Athletes shouldn’t make medical calls

Jan 7, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Stephen Strasburg wanted to keep pitching; the Nats wouldn't let him.

As Washington wakes up this morning feeling the sting of another agonizing postseason loss, the debate immediately shifts to a star local athlete's injury and how his team handled the situation.

The image of Robert Griffin III's right leg giving out on the chewed-up turf at FedEx Field, bent in a manner it was not meant to bend, will haunt Redskins fans all winter, spring and summer. As will the decision to leave the rookie quarterback in yesterday's NFC Wild Card Game deep into the fourth quarter despite the obvious pain he was in after taking several hits to his already injured knee.

And in the moments after Griffin went down, straight through to the end of the Redskins' 24-14 loss to the Seahawks, it was all too easy to make comparisons to the star athlete from the local ballclub who was prevented by his team from taking the field for the postseason out of concerns he might re-injure his previously injured right elbow.

Let's make this clear right up front: There is no real comparison between RG3 and Stephen Strasburg. One was trying to play hurt and was allowed to continue playing by his team. The other wasRead more »

159 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Great post, Mark. That's what I meant yesterday when I tweeted to Kilgores question on vindication for Rizzo. You can argue about how Stras's shutdown was implemented but their is no doubt, his innings had to be limited.And on another note. Since the Nats first scheduled ST game is only 47 days away in St. Lucie, it's time to reset your countdown clock, don't ya' think?

  2. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Shanahan should have made the change at half-time. It was clear to everyone watching that RG3 was not right, and was hurting the team's chances to win. Kirk would have been a better option at that point.Not to mention Shanahan was gambling with the franchise by sending him back out. The way it all ended made Rizzo look like a genius. I remember what happened to Gilbert Arenas' career after Gerald Wallace caved in his knee.Hope the young man heals, completely. He is the best QB the Skins have ever had, in my living memory.

  3. slidell2 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    The mindset at Redskins Park has long been different than at Nats Park. Never met the man, but Shanahan's demeanor from the get-go reflected a "win at all costs" mentality. I'm not surprised at the course of events. Mark- well written. Food for thought.

  4. Gus in Fairfax - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Excellent post and analysis. In the case of RG3, got a glimpse of what might have happened with SS had he been allowed to continue play into playoffs. RG3 was a shadow of himself and despite his obvious "guts", the team was unable to win with that level of performance. In the case of Nats, we got Lannen + Detweiler/E Jax in Playoffs (arguably replacing SS). The outcome with Lannen was a "wash" while Detweiler was also "wash" and EJax was negative (assuming SS could have maintained his pre-shutdown level". Of course, if SS pitched like RG3 played, it would have been even uglier.Regardless, Nats fans can look forward to the next 5 years with SS dominating while Skins fans now have RG3 image of leg buckling to file away next to their image of Theisman's leg breaking. I much prefer being a Nats fan.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Great piece, Mark. One of your best. As to the Redskins game, virtually every fan was saying, even before halftime,"Why aren't they taking him out?." I thought of the Strasburg/Rizzo/Johnson parallel during the game, but the mentality of a football coach, when it comes to injuries, is totally different then a baseball coach's. Shanahan will be second guessed, and worse, for this game for the rest of his career.

  6. alexva - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    then again, Zimm was allowed to get a shot and play through an injured shoulder, albeit at a much lower risk of further injury.

  7. Doc - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Good stuff, Mark.You have to give Rizzo credit for sticking to that which he felt was best for SS. It was hard to do.Retired pitchers in the media, unnamed GM's, and SS himself, to some extent, all heavily criticized the guy for shutting SS down.Given the increasing number of players that are going through TJ surgery again, caution is the better part of this whole affair.

  8. Unknown - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Even kids have the "code" of trying to play through pain – my son, not even out of elementary school yet, tried to go back into a basketball game after injuring his head. The coaches were going to do it, but my wife and I stepped in and said no. Our son was incredibly angry, but, as it turned out, he had a concussion and it took him a month before he was able to play again.Someone other than the athlete has to be an advocate for the player's health. Shanahan's bull-headedness not only cost the Redskins a playoff win — becuase Kirk Cousins could have done enough to sustain an eleven point lead at home — it may have cost the Redskins, their fans, and the NFL one of the most dynamic, exciting, wonderful players to come along in decades. Foolish to the extreme.Rizzo was right in doing what he did, even if the Nationals never make the playoffs again. He put the person over the organization. Rare today. And most refreshing.

  9. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Great post, Mark. As it played out*, I knew there would be comparisons made, particularly by the national media, who may never have met a controversy that they didn't like.(*Guilty confession: Although I'm not a pointy-ball type and didn't have any, er, skin in the game, I did watch some of it with my husband. So maybe y'all can hang the loss on me, for actually tuning in a pointy-ball game. My husband was chuckling at me and my pontifications throughout: "And that right there is why baseball is so much better than pointy-ball. If a baseball player grandstanded like that, he'd be knocked on his butt the next at-bat. Blah blah blah." But at least now I know what Dr. Andrews look like. "I'm not pointy-ball expert, but I do know that when a baseball player sees that dude it's not a good thing. Blah blah blah.")

  11. Don - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Zukcerman points out that these are apples and oranges situations in RG3 and Stras, but then he combines them into fruit salad at the end with talk that Nats fans should be grateful that management did not fall into the same trap — letting the player decide if he could play. As if an acutally hurt RG3 and a healthy Stras are in comparable situations. Stras's shutdown call is about the future, it is about trying to reduce the chances of him breaking down or losing effectiveness down the road, some day. The Nats were chasing a World Series and they played a very cautious game with Stras — MAYBE they made the right decision, but it was not some trap that we should all be grateful that they avoided by not throwing a healthy Stras out there for more innings, by not saving him for the post season, or what have you, because in some part he wanted to keep pitching. They made a hard decision and they looked to the long term over the short term, but that was a tough judgment call that is not without detractors that range far beyond Stephen Strasburg himself. The Stras shutdown does not fit all that well into Zuck's athlete who always thinks himself less hurt than he likely may be narrative.

  12. JamesFan - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    RGIII is a franchise player, a special athletic talent, just like Stras in that regard. As such, playing him while injured was a decision that could have negative franchise impact for years to come. For even a casual Skins fan (I'm a bandwagon Skins fan), RGIII was seriously damaged good by the end of the first quarter. Cousins would have been a better qb for the last three quarters. Rizzo made the right call on Stras and no serious Nats fan I know objected. Shanihan would have had the same reaction from the fan base if he had pulled RGIII after the first quarter.I fault the Doctor and Shanahan for poor judgment, and they will be to blame if this special talent has a shortened and limited career in the future.

  13. JaneB - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    This made me respect Rizzo, Davey and the Lerners even more. The person the player before the team for the good of the team.

  14. MicheleS - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    What was so funny yesterday was some national writers turned 180 when RG3 went down and acted like the DC Fans should now all of a sudden appreciate the Stras Shutdown. They all proceeded to get BOMBARDED by Nats fans REMINDING them that the Nats Fans in the Majority agreed with the shutdown.Look this is all water under the bridge with ALL of this stuff..Let's just hope that both men have long, HEALTHY, and successful careers in DC

  15. Don - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    A better Strasburg comparison might be the day he was injured to begin with. If you remember Strasburg wanted to keep pitching but was pulled and examined.This was also the time when our good friend Rob Dibble was fired for his Stras comment:"OK, you throw a pitch, it bothers your arm, and you immediately call out the manager and the trainer? Suck it up, kid. This is your profession. You chose to be a baseball player. You can't have the cavalry come in and save your butt every time you feel a little stiff shoulder, sore elbow. … Stop crying, go out there and pitch. Period."-The other Don

  16. Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Don 8:53 and Don 9:20 are different Don's?

  17. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Suppose Cousins had come in and won the game. Then RG3 would be playing in Atlanta next week. There is no end to this. I watched all the games after the initial injury, and each week RG3 came on the radio and said he was "better" than the previous week, and "feeling great." And each week I watched on TV and I could see it wasn't true, he wasn't any better.I'm going to disagree with the majority opinion on RG3 (not on Stas). Might as well let him play, let him lose the game and spend 9 months in rehab. Because if they didn't lose the game, they would still be risking RG3 in Atlanta. The defense broke their hearts trying to win the game for him. RG3 will bust his a** in rehab (and remember, he tore his ACL before and won the Heisman after). Also, again to disagree with Mark, at a certain point, it IS the athlete who is sacrificing his own body, and you have to give that some measure of respect. RG3 is not a stupid person. He knows the career in the NFL is "short and brutal" despite all attempts to protect quarterbacks. He doesn't put himself above joe-linebacker, who is also playing hurt. I would have taken RG3 out after the 2nd TD drive, or when he threw that pass when it was clear he could not only not run, but he could not plant and pass. But once Shanahan left him in for the 2nd quarter, you have to leave him in to lose the game (or win it 14-13).It's really, really NOT the same as Stras, which was a measured, researched, pre-planned decision.

  18. JSLSais - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    I always enjoy MZ's post. They are thoughtful and truthful unlike some other DC sportwriters who have a tendency to brown-nose certain individuals, however, this particular post while mostly accurate left out a major reason the Nats decided to shut Strasburg down. When MZ stated that SS didn't want to cut his "season short, especially when his surgically repaired elbow felt strong and his team needed him." MZ made it sound like SS was 100%. I watched every game SS pitched and the last 2 or 3 games you could tell that his arm, and by extension his elbow, were experiencing fatigue. So to say that his elbow was strong (based on what SS said) is far from accurate and contradicts the article's point which is allowing athletes to make decisions regarding their playing time. I think in the postgame Davey said that he noticed that SS was showing a degradation and that this is why they shut him down earlier than his scheduled date. I think a more accurate observation and comparison is that both players (who are the future of your franchise) were playing with diminished capacity due to previous injuries and so the decision to shut them down does not lie with the player but rather with the coach and management.To those who say that we would never know if the Nats would have gone to the WS if SS had not been shutdown–pls watch the last 2 or 3 games. SS was nowhere the dominant pitcher he was earlier and we did not lose game 5 cuz of SS, we lost it because of a host of reasons having nothing to do with SS.Finally, let's call a spade a spade. Rizzo made the decision to shutdown SS not Davey. Davey would have continued playing SS because like Shanahan Davey has allowed his players to play hurt. How many postgame interviews did we hear, "well he said he was not injured" or " well he said he felt good so I played him?" Exhibit A: Morese. Maybe the article should have been the similiarities between Shan and Davey.

  19. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    To the other Don: I understand what you are saying, but, BUT–Stras had never been injured before. RG3 was already injured, had already rehabbed from an ACL in his college career, and baseball is WAY WAY different from football. Stras could not judge his own injury, RG3–whether you like it or not–could. The firing of Dibble was absolutely justified. I would not fire Shanahan.

  20. Section 222 - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Well said Dons. I supported the Strasburg shutdown but to say that Rizzo and DJ "knew" that shutting him down was best for his long term health and the Nats' long term success is stretching it. They "believed" that to be the case based on the best medical advice they could get. That was, and is, good enough for me. What happened with RGIII is not vindication for them. The cases really are quite different.As for RGIII, he was clearly hurting by halftime and the Redskins' offense was suffering as well. Shanahan should have made the change not only to protect the player but to give the team a better chance to win.Did anyone else have a sinking feeling when the Seahawks got back to 14-10 that we were watching a replay of Game 5?

  21. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    JSLSais makes a good point. In baseball you have a the athlete, the GM and the manager, and the medical staff. Those are the parties to the decision.In football, Shanahan is in effect both GM and manager, so there is no check on his authority except the medical staff–and that is another disputed issue right there! In maybe thirty or forty years the records will be released and we will know the true role of Dr. Andrews in this.

  22. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    I wonder how much the Redskins have to pay Dr. James Andrews to have him stand on the sideline during the game so they can ignore his medical advice? Does he charge extra to wear the burgundy and gold hat with the big puffy ball on top?

  23. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    222, absolutely on the replay of Game 5. That's why I didn't get too excited after the 1st Quarter. Yes, I would have loved all the experts to be wrong and blase the Hawks in to smithereens because I didn't like their attitude of "the only way we are going to win is to knock out RG3," not to mention the late hit after the second TD. Hey, Seattle, how about winning by having the BETTER team????? The Twitter feed from Seattle writers and fans was disgusting, their clear intention was to get RG3 out of the game on cart. Ironically, I think they did have the better team, and probably deserved the win on merit but they left a very sour taste.Also, I saw the field conditions and I don't understand the whining by Seattle. Yes, the field was torn up–because, hey, they had played a game a week ago. But it wasn't raining, it wasn't muddy, it wasn't snowing. And both teams are playing on the same turf!!! Shut UP already.

  24. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Hey, a championship is something that could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You gotta let him play even if he isn't 100%. Because you might never get that chance again.No, I'm not talking about the Redskins and RGIII. I'm talking about all the asshats who were saying that about the Nats and Strasburg six months ago. Funny, you aren't hearing much of that kind of talk this morning.

  25. Shoshana - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Thank you for this column. I've been saying that comparing the two situations is like comparing apples to tomatoes. They are both fruit, both they are very different! One huge difference that no one seems to be mentioning is that in baseball, once you pull a pitcher in a game, you can't put him back in (and once you shut down a pitcher, you can't rev him back up). On the other hand, you can pull the quarterback for a play in the 2nd quarter and put him right back in on the next play. Everyone could see that Griffin needed to come out. To keep it connected to baseball, everyone's favorite baseball announcer (sarcasm intended), Joe Buck, commented early in the 1st quarter that Griffin looked to be really bothered by the knee. One more Nats-Redskins comparison, if you will allow me. The win over Dallas to win the division was like Werth's walk-off home run in Game 4. The loss yesterday was like Game 5. Except Game 5 was much more soul crushing (but with no injuries). People are still dealing with the pain of Game 5 (I still can't watch video from the top of the 9th inning). Redskins fans seem to be disappointed that they lost yesterday, but happy with the season and thankful that now Griffin's knee can heal properly.

  26. waddu eye no - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Hmmm. cornelius and kirschner? but seriously, great post from mark again as usual. and his basic point makes sense.i remember someone asking someone in the jack kent cooke family about how they felt when a player got hurt. the answer was something like, " bad, just like when something happens to one of our horses." hopefully we've come a long way since then. but if the business asset, franchise future, players's interest, and plain human decency all have to balanced, i'd always put a little more weight on the health of the player. what if bo jackson could have had a long career because of more caution? i know his case, medically, is very different, but he's the only name that comes to mind. i'd have rather seen him miss half a season hurt for the chance to see him running up and down a few more walls for a while. hope to see both the players we're discussing come back for long great careers.gyfng, httr, etc.

  27. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Candide–Last week, I went to get gas in Virginia. A young man came up to me, seeing my Nats gear, and said his son was being born in a few weeks and that the Nats would have won the WS if Stras had not been shut down. Then he said he hadn't been to any games but hoped to get to a game "next season." I encouraged him to go to games, but shrugged off the Stras comment. This is the level of thought you are getting from fans who are not–YET–involved enough to see the issue more fully.I'm a big RG3 fan. I'm not a big Potatoes fan, in fact, I'm more a fan of the Ravens. But the Potatoes are the team we have here, and I don't have a problem with Mark looking at the conservative approach the Nats took versus the aggressive approach the Potatoes took. But it would be more comparable if Stras were pitching in October and had gotten injured in the middle of a game then, and the injury was bad but not immediately a shutdown–THEN you could ask, should Stras finish out a game, etc.

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    So much for banning name calling. Way to go Candide.

  29. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Shoshana, I was thinking that, too. Why not put Cousins in for the 3rd quarter and see how he does? You don't have to declare that RG3 is unavailable, you can just say his return is "in question." But in the end, as I said above, it is probably better that the Potatoes lost the game and RG3 gets his MRI and starts his recovery.

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I love all the Johnny-come-latelys who now give their opinions after the fact. Say it upfront or don't bother saying it as if you did. Hindsight 20/20 thinkers are what's wrong with this world.I put all my thoughts on Strasburg back in Spring Training on this Blog and while my approach to his shutdown was a different route, I still believed in the innings limit.The comparisons between RGIII and Stras aren't too similar except as Mark says athletes aren't in the best position to make calls about their own health and this is a stark reminder of that going forward for coaches of all sports.I also put my thoughts down on a Redskins blog about RGIII. He was cleared to play but once he stumbled awkwardly out of bounds in the 1st Quarter that was enough for me. Of course moments later he threw the 2nd TD of the game to put the Skins up 14-0 so what do I know. Could Cousins have done the same? I don't know, there's no rewind button on life, is there?

  31. LoveDaNats - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    My husband mentioned how Shanahan was getting skewered in the media for not taking RG3 out. I told him, yeah, and that would have been Rizzo if he'd let Stras play and he got hurt.Great article, Mark.

  32. Don - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    @JoeSeamheadYes, we are different Dons…-The Other Don

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/13/dr-lewis-yocum-clarifies-his-comments-on-the-stephen-strasburg-shutdown/Who can forget Dr. Yocum backtracking on Rizzo and now Dr. Andrews said this before yesterday's game:“I’m the one that shut him down that day, finally,” Andrews said. “I’ve been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has. He’s doing a lot better this week, but he’s still recovering and I’m holding my breath because of it.“He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it’s been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you.”Now this:Dr. James Andrews told USA Today on Sunday that he never cleared Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to return to a game following a brutal collision in which he suffered a knee injury.Andrews’ comments directly contradict those made by head coach Mike Shanahan after the Redskins’ Dec. 9 game against the Baltimore. When asked by reporters the next day why he decided to let Griffin go back in the game, he said he only did so because Andrews cleared him.“He’s the one that gives me that information,” Shanahan said on Dec. 10. “It’s way over my head.”

  34. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    It's hard to take someone seriously as a medical professional when they're wearing a silly burgundy and gold hat with a puffy ball on top. Kind of like it was hard to take Dick Cheney seriously as a statesman when he showed up at a funeral wearing a big furry Russian hat and LL Bean boots. I wonder if Cheney and Dr. Andrews have the same wardrobe consultant?

  35. Doc - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Excellent post as usual Ghost!Maybe Shanahan needs a new head!!!Hey, I'll soon be able to forget that my Colts are finished for this year–only 41 Days, 21 Hours, 25 Minutes, and 10 Seconds until Pitchers and C's report!!!!GoooooooooooooooooooooNats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    By the way, RGIII played on Dec 23rd and Dec 30th and again yesterday.The difference as I wrote in the pre-game is I saw that RGIII ditched the bulky brace fortified with metal bracing for a less restrictive brace that looked like more like a compression sleeve.Anyone else see that?

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    In other news, Kristina Akra is working for Turner Sports and covering for them the Notre Dame – Alabama game tonight.Does anyone know if she is coming back to MASN?

  38. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Mark,With all due respect, this is the most unprofessional article I have ever seen written on this site. I would expect to read a hack job like this on TMZ or the National Enquirer. The situation with RGIII is completely different from the Strasburg shutdown…so why write the article? One player was injured. One player wasn't. I seem to recall Rizzo and Davey letting Ryan Zimmerman DECIDE to play through an injury that could have compromised his health last year, as well. If you want to compare two entirely different situations, then why don't you use Zimmerman as the focal point? I disagreed with the shutdown (I thought it was an absolute joke to be honest) and I was at the Redskins game last night screaming for Shanahan to take RGIII out, not just because of his injury, but because he was unproductive. This was just an awful article.

  39. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik, Mark makes the distinction. Its apples and oranges but like a good journalist Mark could see the public making suggestions in comparison is its good Mark made the only reference is that the "team" has to sometimes make the decision for the "athlete".Its also a discussion point and you are right, RGIII became unproductive and it was evident on the underthrow interception to Garcon.

  41. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said…The situation with RGIII is completely different from the Strasburg shutdown…so why write the article?Completely different? They both have the same overriding question: How much do you risk a star athlete's health and future for the chance to win a championship? And who makes that decision?Do you think the answers to those questions are the same for a star pitcher as for a star quarterback? Why or why not?And should the answers be the same for a star pitcher as for a star quarterback? Why or why not?

  42. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    With all due respect, the terms "unprofessional" and "hack" do not strike me as particularly respectful of this site's host. But maybe it's just me.

  43. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…there's no rewind button on life, is there?___________________________Truth but there are people with great foresight. Also agree about the know it all's that speak with such great smarts in hindsight.

  44. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Candide-Do you think Ryan Zimmerman should have been allowed to play through his injured shoulder (getting potentially harmful cortisone shots along the way), thus compromising his long-term health? If the Nationals were all about "putting the health of the player above winning," then he would have had his required surgery 5 months earlier. You can't have it both ways.

  45. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Wow. Just … wow.

  46. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Natsfan1a-I didn't call Mark either of those things…just the article.

  47. Tcostant - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I just hope everyone complaining about Shanny’s decision was saying it during the game. It easy to look back now and say what should have been done, but only those who where screaming at their TV during the game “Get RG3 out of there” really have the right to be critical to me.On other notes, Rizzo really blew it with the LH relief role(s) this season; I hope this doesn’t end up costing us a plus prospect at the trading deadline.And now for something complete different. Did everyone see the Nationals are trying to get curly W license plate into Virginia’s tag database? Who wouldn’t want a curly W tag out there? Info  http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/fan_forum/license_plate.jsp?partnerId=ed-6660887-512559800

  48. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said… Mark,With all due respect, this is the most unprofessional article I have ever seen written on this site. I would expect to read a hack job like this on TMZ or the National Enquirer. The situation with RGIII is completely different from the Strasburg shutdown…so why write the article?… This was just an awful article. If you want to read a truly awful article on this topic, read Kilgore. He hasn't produced something so cringe-worthy since he worked with Heidi Watney, albeit for different reasons.

  49. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Ewww, the Heidi Watney and Kilgore at his finest. Feelwood is a funny man.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Tcostant said… I just hope everyone complaining about Shanny’s decision was saying it during the game. It easy to look back now and say what should have been done, but only those who where screaming at their TV during the game “Get RG3 out of there” really have the right to be critical to me.That's the point I made at 10:16AM above.

  51. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Feel Wood-Agreed. Read that one by Kilgore last night and it was worse than this one. Both articles, disclaimers or not, had no business being written. What was the point? To start arguments? I came to this site this morning to escape the pain from last night's loss, not to read more about it.

  52. Section 222 - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    That's the point I made at 10:16AM above.If Tcostant agrees, he is welcome to owe you a drinkI do want to point out Ghost, that not everyone watches a game with a iPad at the ready to record every thought for posterity. I wasn't shouting at the TV, but I can assure you that by the end of the 1st half I thought that RGIII should be replaced, at least temporarily. I will also confess that I've never commented on a Redskins blog and don't even know where to find them. And I'm not asking anyone to post a link to one, believe me.

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik, knocking off Dallas twice and out of the playoffs is my takeaway of solice and to also read one Philly blogger write about Ovechkin/Storen/RGIII collapses while Philly watched from their out-houses.The Nats and Redskins above all odds won their respective Divsions and ahead of schedule. The future is bright and the glass is way more than 1/2 full.I can't stand the pity party. Its over for 2012 and 2013 is a new year. The future is bright!

  54. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said…Candide-Do you think Ryan Zimmerman should have been allowed to play through his injured shoulder (getting potentially harmful cortisone shots along the way), thus compromising his long-term health?ASE, please don't answer my several questions with another question. In any case, the question you pose here amounts to nothing more than a restatement of my question: How much do you risk a star athlete's health and future for the chance to win a championship? And who makes that decision?Do you think the answers to those questions are the same for a star pitcher as for a star quarterback? Why or why not?And should the answers be the same for a star pitcher as for a star quarterback? Why or why not? Please try to actually answer them this time., instead of simply giving a particular example of the question I was asking.BTW, "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer. I'm pretty sure that *I* don't know the answer to those questions.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Feel Wood, thanks for the link to Kilgore. I had to take out a dictionary on a few words. Cloying and funereal. I would throw those 2 words back at Kilgore.

  56. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Boswell in his chat today: The issue is "compromised player." Some would say he was compromised too much to continue after the late-first quarter injury. I wouldn't. You decided to play him. You've crossed that bridge. Its a playoff game . He's molre limited, the play book is shrinking, but Seattle comes back to 14-10 in a hurry. You don't have a world of time to say, "Oh, we're up 14-3. Lets go to Cousins." It's happening fast.Sounds like the real parallel with the decision Shanahan had to make on RG3 yesterday is the decision Davey had to make in the 9th inning of Game 5 when it became clear that Storen wasn't throwing his best stuff.

  57. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Ghost-Well said. My optimism might be on a little different timetable, but you are right. This city is so starved for a championship, I fear we put so much pressure on guys like Strasburg, Harper, Ovechkin and Griffin calling all of them "once in a lifetime" type players before they really accomplish anything. Hopefully they all will be one day, but the hype around here is borderline ridiculous.

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Section222, nobody wants to go to XtremeSkins right now. Its a blood bath as it is on sports radio.I am Dr. Hook. I pull 'em quicker as you probably know from my writings. As I have often said, while I pull 'em quicker we don't know how the futuristic replacement would have done in that situation.I would have pulled RGIII on the 6 yard line with 2nd down and Goal To Go. Could Cousins have delivered going forward in that 7-0 game. Who knows?Would the bullpen in Game 5 had delivered if they took over in the 4th inning from Gio in a 6-0 game rather than after 5 innings in a 6-3 game? Who knows?Like I said, no rewind buttons in life.

  59. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    To use RG3 playing injured to vindicate Rizzos decision to shutdown Strasburg is absurd. It is clear to me based on some of the comments that some have always supported the decision and will cling to whatever is out there whether justified or not.. If RG would have triumphed would we use that to show Rizzo erred? Of course not, that would be absurd.

  60. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Candide-Sorry. I read your original post with a somewhat cynical mindset so I thought they were rhetorical questions. My apologies. As for the questions, I don't think the answer is different for Strasburg or RGIII. I have always been of the belief that "when there is smoke, there is fire." RGIII was giving off enough smoke to make the whole stadium stop, drop and roll. If a player is hurt(regardless of sport) he probably isn't the best option anyways. I don't think long-term health should be put in jeopardy, but how does anyone know when that happens. Strasburg wasn't hurt-I would have pitched him (or at least found a way to limit innings another way). RGIII was hurt (pretty badly) so I would have taken him out if I thought long-term damage could have been done. I thought both Rizzo and Shanahan avoided common sense to a degree. Would I have done the same if RGIII was performing well…that… I do not know!!!

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said… Ghost-Well said. My optimism might be on a little different timetable, but you are right. This city is so starved for a championship, I fear we put so much pressure on guys like Strasburg, Harper, Ovechkin and Griffin calling all of them "once in a lifetime" type players before they really accomplish anything. Hopefully they all will be one day, but the hype around here is borderline ridiculous. January 07, 2013 12:07 PM I'm probably much older than you and I can go to my grave with having most of my Bucket List items checked off like being at a Redskins Super Bowl victory. It was the greatest thing ever (in sports) for me.I didn't have a Washington World Series on my original list because I didn't write my Bucket List until I was 20 and there was no team in Washington at the time.I am so excited for the youth of Washington to get what they got this year from both the Nats and Skins and hope the uphill climb produces more Super Bowl victories and a World Series win so people of all ages can live it.With anything worth waiting for is what it takes to get there and its usually adversity and its usually sweeter that way. Erik, both of these teams are on a good track towards the future in my opinion. Enjoy the journey!

  62. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    OK, so I read Kilgore's article. I'm not sure why it's getting trashed.This is the penultimate paragraph:When Rizzo made his decision, he took all competitive considerations out of play and made what he believed was a purely medical decision. When Shanahan made his decision, he placed victory above all and, if Dr. James Andrews’s quotes to USA Today tell the full story, may have willfully ignored medical opinion.I think that's true. And a lot of people here DO play victory–in a playoff game–over all. Myself, I think the situation was a little different. I think Shanahan didn't place "victory" over all, rather he placed his player's desire to play over what might be best for the game, the team, and the player. I don't like the result–no one does, game lost, player in major pain–but Shanahan treated his 22-year-old franchise player as an adult who knew what he was in for.

  63. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    SteveM at 12:21, you brought a tear to my eye. I think Rizzo knows the path isn't without potholes and Shanahan has been there before as gas Davey.There are elite athletes like Dan Marino who couldn't get the elusive ring and that's a testament on how elusive it is.

  64. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    5c3d… You are SO correct!!! In my opinion. RG3 and Strasburg were COMPLETELY different decisions. Even assuming Mark's VERY tenuous connection (player vs. medical opinion) they aren't comparable.The medical decision in Strasburg's case was based on the best history Rizzo could find, plus JZ's situation. Strasburg was left out of the decision==for better or worse. Shanahan let RG3 INTO the decision. I personally think Strasburg was RIGHTLY left out of a decision that was made months, maybe years, in advance. The question is, should Shanahan have let RG3 INTO a game-situation decision? Myself, I think, yes. Once you let him start the game, you can't shut him out. Either you tell him, in advance, before the game, "you're out" or "you're out if anything hampers your effectiveness" or you don't. If you don't then you have invited him into the decision. And so it (apparently) was.

  65. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Ghost-I am only in my 30's, but I remember those Redskin glory years like it was yesterday. Going to 4 Super Bowls in 9 years was really quite a feat. As a young kid, you came to expect that as the norm. Wow, was I wrong!!! Going to the NFC Championship game at RFK was probably still my biggest highlight, but hopefully we will both get to cross some more items off the bucket list in the near future. A World Series game in DC would be a nice start!!!;)

  66. Section 222 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    NL, I agree that Kilgore doesn't deserve to be trashed for his article. It explains the differences between the two situations better than Mark did and doesn't try to argue that there are real parallels to be drawn. I agree with that. Now that interview that Feel linked to: Uh, well, uh, that's another, uh story. :-)

  67. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    ASE -If I understand you correctly, you're saying that the player should grab some bench when he's clearly injured. I don't think anyone will disagree with that.What you have is a continuum.* There's the clearly injured player who is barely performing at replacement level and can't be helped during the course of the game. RGIII yesterday.Then there's the player who's barely performing at replacement level who has an injury that can be quickly mitigated without being actually immediately cured, with little or no risk to his career. Zimm and his cortisone shots.Then there's the player who's apparently healthy, performing at above replacement level, but who is not as good as he could be, and who may or may not be risking his career development if he continues to play. Stras last year.What I'm getting at is, there's no bright, shining line where you say go or no-go. It comes down to a judgment call, and that call has to be made by the boss. In Zimmerman's case, the judgment looks like it was the correct one (hey, isn't he supposed to have surgery?), as he improved markedly after the cortisone shots and appears to have suffered no further damage from either the procedure or the playing time. In Strasburg's case, there's really no way of knowing, because we can't rewind the tape and see what would have happened to him and his career if he had been allowed to continue.And in RGIII's case, the judgment was clearly wrong – nobody benefited from leaving him in, the team was possibly hurt (maybe Cousins could have continued the Skins' scoring, maybe not), and RGIII was definitely hurt in the short term, and quite possibly in the long term – knees can only take so much damage over a career.So the comparisons are apt, even though the amount of impairment to the players aren't the same. The question has to be, how much do we want to risk a player's career for the possibility that leaving him in will help the team win a Big Game?Again, I don't know the answer, and I don't think anyone really does. I think all anyone can say for sure is that we pretty much all agree that Shanahan came up with the wrong answer last night.* Since we're on a vocabulary kick today, I thought I'd throw that in there – one of only two words I know of that has two consecutive "u"s in it.

  68. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    I understand that I'm in a distinct minority, in that I agree with Rizzo's decision to shut Strasburg down in September, and yet I still also sympathize with Shanahan's decision to let RG3 play with a busted knee–once Shanahan allowed him to play AT ALL, or at all past the 1st quarter.

  69. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    NatsLady said… OK, so I read Kilgore's article. I'm not sure why it's getting trashed.The same reason every Kilgore article should get trashed. He's a terrible writer. He has two ways of obscuring whatever point he's trying to make – stammering incoherence like he exhibited with Heidi Watney, or lofty mangled over-the-top prose featuring big or obscure words designed to make it seem like he's making a grand philosophical pronouncement for the ages. There is no in between. Today's article was a prime example of the second method. The first paragraph, actually just one meandering run-on sentence, tells you everything you need to know in order to quit reading immediately.

  70. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    * Since we're on a vocabulary kick today, I thought I'd throw that in there – one of only two words I know of that has two consecutive "u"s in it.Also, the one word of those two that doesn't suck.

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Erik, glad you are old enough to remember it. The cyclicality of sports is cruel. Nobody stays on top forever unless you do what Tony LaRussa did and retire as World Series Champion.Right now I am savoring the small victories like being in the playoffs while the Phillies weren't and now the same for the Redskins over the Cowboys.I have a box of victory cigars waiting for the next parade!

  72. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Apropos of nothing:Cunegonde, a native Texan, was about an inch away from getting on the Redskins bandwagon. She'd been saying, pretty much all season long, that she likes football less and less, knowing the damage players sustain to their bodies over the years.She has a cousin, lives in Texas, who was an all-star at Baylor and played 7 years for the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL. He was a regular all-pro (or whatever their equivalent is there), and was twice selected as the defensive lineman of the year. He went to law school on the off season (there's a family story about how his grandmother in Waco demanded to know why he wasn't working in the off-season and went around town trying to find jobs for him), became a lawyer and eventually a judge.He's the most bowlegged man I've ever met. Managed to keep himself physically healthy otherwise – regular workouts, didn't put on much weight after he retired. Then he had a stroke a couple of years ago at about age 62. No way of knowing if it was football-related, but Cunegonde strongly thinks there's a connection.Anyway, Cunegonde watched the game until RGIII came out, and then said, "I can't watch any more of this," and went upstairs.Boswell once wrote, "When a pitcher gets knocked out, he goes to the showers. When a quarterback gets knocked out, he goes for an MRI."

  73. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Feel Wood said…Also, the one word of those two that doesn't suck. :-)

  74. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Boswell once wrote, "When a pitcher gets knocked out, he goes to the showers. When a quarterback gets knocked out, he goes for an MRI."Typical Boswell B.S. – Before Strasburg.

  75. JamesFan - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    The Stras-RGIII are comparable decisions in this respect–both are franchise players who are injured. Rizzo decided that the long-term health of the player as a value to the franchise was more important than on game or the playoffs. I agree with that. Shanahan decided to risk the player for the game. Same situation, different calculation.

  76. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…The cyclicality of sports is cruel. Nobody stays on top forever unless you do what Tony LaRussa did and retire as World Series Champion.Trying to think of athletes who retired on, or near, the top. Ted Williams hit 29 HR and had a 1.096 OPS his last season.Gene Tunney retired as undefeated heavyweight champion, a year after beating Jack Dempsey for a second time.And Rocky Marciano never lost a fight.Any others?

  77. TheManBearPig - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Good call Feel Wood (at January 07, 2013 12:03 PM). The decision on Strasburg was entirely made to protect a player from injury and to preserve the benefit gained from reconstructive surgery and rehab and whether the decision changed the team's chances to win now was irrelevant. The decision to play or not play RGIII was made entirely to put the team in the best position to win now. RGIII's injury was important only because it prevented him from performing to his ability; the risk of further injury was clearly there but just as clearly wasn't considered as important as the game being played.

  78. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    There's was a great object lesson for the morons … yes its the only word I can think of for them … who still refuse to accept the possibility that Rizzo was right when he shut Strasburg down listening to sound medical advice.RG III injured that knee twice … the first time at the very end of the 1st quarter. He was never the same, it was at that point Shanahan should have let his competent backup quarterback come in and see if he could finish the game with a 14-0 lead. Instead Shanahan did what he did. One would hope it would make the audience here appreciate Mike Rizzo all the more. But somehow I doubt it.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Candide said… Boswell once wrote, "When a pitcher gets knocked out, he goes to the showers. When a quarterback gets knocked out, he goes for an MRI." Good quote and Jordan Zimmermann can tell you about really getting KO'd with a line drive to the mouth and the Brandon McCarthy line drive to the head was one of the scariest things I have ever seen.

  80. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Peric, I was under the impression that the vast majority here supported Strasburg's shutdown. Maybe I need to read more carefully.

  81. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Cloying and funereal. I would throw those 2 words back at Kilgore.Oh puhleeze? And everybody was all over Chico Harlan currently the Post's top journalist in the Far East, for the same thing? Has an article on North Korea's leader Kim Jung II or whatever his name is. Yes, Chico did more than imply that he hated his job as the Nat's beat writer. My god you have to crucify Kilgore too? Sheesh.

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Candide, Ray Lewis is hoping to join that elite group and hoping Davey Johnson follows what LaRussa did.

  83. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Peric, I was under the impression that the vast majority here supported Strasburg's shutdown. Maybe I need to read more carefully.I'm not saying they didn't Candide. But there is a certain minority who were adamant that Rizzo had screwed the season and should be fired. I aim my salvo directly at those "morons". And they know who they are.

  84. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Correction: Cunegonde's cousin went to SMU, where he played football. He went to Baylor for his law degree.

  85. Sholom90 - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  86. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Let's all pray that RG III instead of a potentially great HOF QB instead becomes the next Billy Kilmer when he lost his legs for good. Of course RGF III's arm is better than old Furnace Face's ever was … still …

  87. A DC Wonk - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    I just hope everyone complaining about Shanny’s decision was saying it during the game. It easy to look back now and say what should have been done, but only those who where screaming at their TV during the game “Get RG3 out of there” really have the right to be critical to me.I distinctly remember Troy Aikman saying, sometime during, perhaps the 3rd quarter was it, saying: "but nobody's seriously considering taking RG3 out".Anybody else remember that?(BTW, yet another *huge* difference between RG3 and Stras is that the RG3 decision had to be made in the heat of the battle.)

  88. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    (BTW, yet another *huge* difference between RG3 and Stras is that the RG3 decision had to be made in the heat of the battle.)RG III was completely ineffective in the 2nd quarter after re-injury to that knee. They had a comfortable 14-0 lead. Really, he should have sat down starting in the 2nd quarter. He could plant to throw a pass so every single pass was off. What more does it take to yank the guy? Seems to me Shanahan had a quick hook with previous QB's and this one had the legitimate excuse of a pretty serious injury to a leg on which he was wearing a brace?Shanahan isn't going to be fired but as he said he is going to 2nd guess himself and right now he looks like a huge idiot for not trotting out Kirk Cousins? That's the reason you drafted the guy instead of another OL Shanny? What the hell were you thinking?

  89. PFB - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Soooooooo… I hear the Yomiuri Giants signed Jose Lopez…

  90. A DC Wonk - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    If a player is hurt(regardless of sport) he probably isn't the best option anyways.Kirk Gibson might disagree. (I'll conceded that Kerry Strug and Willis Reed examples are probably not applicable).However:I recall that in college, Byron Leftwich had his left shin broken after a hit in the first quarter, but he stayed in the game to finish a touchdown drive. Then he went to the hospital, came back for the second half, going 14-of-24 in the second half.There's the time Philip Rivers tore his ACL, got it 'scoped, and played the very next Sunday.And there's that time Jack Youngblood broke his leg, got it taped, and played in the second half of a playoff game — even got a sack of Roger Staubach.All I'm saying is that: you don't always know. It's a tough call in the heat of the battle.

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    PFB said… Soooooooo… I hear the Yomiuri Giants signed Jose Lopez… January 07, 2013 1:40 PM Who is that?

  92. Gorse Hackage, still waiting - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    But I was going to ask, before I vote for Bryce Harper, is there a curse, like the SI cover curse, associated with being on the cover of MLB '13 The Show?

  93. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Gorse, I owe you a drink. Will add it in when I get back from the gym.

  94. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Gorse, I know who "that" Jose Lopez is and who the Yomiuri Giants are but outside of Jose Lopez once playing for the Marlins and more recently for the White Sox, I just found the reference odd. There are dozens of ex-MLBers going to Japan and BTW, no posting fee!

  95. Gorse Hackage, still waiting - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    And apparently, the Rangers signed Lance Berkman over the weekend, which probably makes them less interested in LaRoche, yes?

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Gorse, I would say there is probably no interest any more between Texas and LaRoche.I think LaRoche is looking at the Red Sox which is formally the team that traded him after 9 days.

  97. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Young fella by the name of Cassius Clay was on the SI cover, people thought he was cursed, too. Turned out to have a pretty decent career, IIRC.

  98. Gorse Hackage, still waiting - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Just my way of noting the lack of baseball topics, Ghost. We have so little to discuss that's Nats-related we're reduced to schadenfreude about football, and barking at each other.

  99. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    If that was Felipe Lopez going to the Yomiuri Giants I would say that would be interesting news.Brian LaHair was the most interesting player to head there recently.If you haven't seen the Tom Selleck movie on Japan baseball, it's worth the rental!

  100. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Gorse, I will drink to that. This is what happens when you have a stacked team. Rizzo has to wait for the non-tendered pitchers to get some AAAA types to Syracuse.I hope he gets Javier Vasquez for depth.

  101. Gorse Hackage, still waiting - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Indeed he did, Candide. Some people have a way of rising above even a well-established curse.

  102. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    The better analogy is to Gilbert Arenas, not to Strasburg. Arenas suffered a knee injury during a game and was never, ever the same. He was the Wiz's franchise player, and they were leading the Eastern Conference in wins and were on their way to a big run in the playoffs. That was the high point of both Arenas' career and the fortunes of the Wiz under Grunfeld.That franchise has not yet recovered from that injury and its aftermath. They are so bad I cannot even watch them, any more, and basketball used to be my favorite sport. To send a kid out there with an already damaged knee, with no mobility, to risk a serious injury was irresponsible, in my opinion, especially when they had Captain Kirk as a backup. The Vikings refused to send out Ponder against the Pack and were blown out, but they did the right thing, even though their backup QB was pathetic. Kirk won both games he played in during the Skins 7-game winning streak, including the most dramatic come-from-behind win of the year against the Ravens, after RGIII's initial injury, and then cruised to victory in his only start the very next week.The Skins had a very good option and did not take it. I saw Shanahan's remarks after the game and he basically left it up to RG3. That is not RG3's decision. Shanahan is the one paid to be the decision-maker on the field.

  103. Gorse Hackage, still waiting - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Vasquez was quoted as saying he was interested, but I'm guessing he doesn't want John Lannan's old job. Still, like LaRoche, he'll take it and like it if that's all he's offered.

  104. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Lavar Arrington is on his soapbox aka his 106.7 radio show.

  105. Gorse Hackage, still waiting - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Has anybody asked Dibble what he thinks about GR3 sucking it up?

  106. A DC Wonk - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    The better analogy is to Gilbert Arenas, not to Strasburg. Arenas suffered a knee injury during a game and was never, ever the same. Are you saying Griffin will never be the same? If not, then it's not necessarily a better analogy.Nov. 19, 2002, Donovan McNab broke his ankle on the third play of the game, and hid it and fooled the coaching staff. He ended up 20-of-25 for 255 yards and four TDs — first game in his career he had no running attempts.He had a decent career after that.Unless you have medical information about RG3's condition that we don't have — none of us really know.

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    I guess Fred Smoot says his sources (outside of Redskins Park) say its a torn ACL/PCL.

  108. sjm308 - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Candide: You can add Sandy Kofax to the list of those who retired on top

  109. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    sjm308 said… Candide: You can add Sandy Kofax to the list of those who retired on topThere are those who choose retirement and those who have retirement thrust upon them. Like Joe Theismann, Koufax probably falls into the second category. He was certainly on top at the time, though.

  110. sjm308 - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    My comments will not concern who was right or who was wrong. I have seen very little written about the condition of the field. Can you imagine playing a world series game on a field like that? What I do not understand is that they play what, 10 to 12 games tops on that field. It is left along during the week and yet, it looked like divots were going everywhere and that most of the "grass" was not really grass but paint.The field at Lambeau Field was almost pristine, like I imagine a field should be. I would have to think they might have temps a little colder than what we experience here. In my opinion, RGIII hurt himself when he tried to plant and the turf gave way. No one touched him on that play and for a man with as much money as Snyder has, to let the field go like he has is a shame.Go Nats!

  111. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Much as people around here hate him, you need to include Chipper Jones on that list. He put up a .287/.377/.455 batting line and hit 14 home runs in 448 plate appearances last year, as well as being an All-Star. MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that several teams have unsuccessfully tried to get him to come back in 2013.

  112. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    sjm308 said… My comments will not concern who was right or who was wrong. I have seen very little written about the condition of the field. Can you imagine playing a world series game on a field like that? What I do not understand is that they play what, 10 to 12 games tops on that field. It is left along during the week and yet, it looked like divots were going everywhere and that most of the "grass" was not really grass but paint.From Boswell's chat re the condition of the field:Field conditionsBoz, In watching both the Redskins and Ravens games yesterday, it was hard not to notice how different the fields looked. The field at M&T Bank stadium was greeen and plush and the field at FedEx was brown and worn. Can you add any insight?– January 07, 2013 8:04 AM PermalinkA.Thomas Boswell :By NFL standards, M&T Bank has always been a model, top to bottom, all aspects. FedEx has often been a pit __in different ways at different times. This year it was the field that reached "F."

  113. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    And apparently, the Rangers signed Lance Berkman over the weekend, which probably makes them less interested in LaRoche, yes?Far better hitter … elite level hitter. Perfect DH. Older than LaRoche but still capable in the field. And a switch hitter.Honestly, I suspect the Nats probably would have gone after him if LaRoche hadn't had the season he did. Much better choice.

  114. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Rizzo has to wait for the non-tendered pitchers to get some AAAA types to Syracuse.Rizzo already has a pretty decent rotation in Syracuse even after losing Danny Rosenbaum to rule V. They do appear to be short relief/bullpen in the high minors though. That's where Peralta and Duke got their starts toward resurrecting their careers. It doesn't pay to be worried.

  115. Meher Baba - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    It doesn't pay to be worried. Good point. I am on record as having said that first.

  116. baseballswami - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    And yet we keep doing it. A lot.

  117. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Looks like the actual time is up … way down to 35 days. One short month. With John Wall out for at least 2 months. Redskins done. No hockey? Looks like its 'beisbal' from here on out.

  118. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/13/dr-lewis-yocum-clarifies-his-comments-on-the-stephen-strasburg-shutdown/Who can forget Dr. Yocum backtracking on Rizzo and now Dr. Andrews said this before yesterday's game:____________________________Dr. Andrews now backs up what Shanahan said saying that moment was a month ago. Sound familiar to Yocum?Then the apology from Dr. Andrews: "I feel bad because this miscommunication put Redskins coaches in a bad spot".The cold weather froze his brain. Go south James, go south!

  119. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    NIDO spreadsheet updated to reflect drink owed to Gorse.

  120. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/01/07/tom-joyner-on-rgiii-mike-shanahan-and-django/?wprss=rss_dc-sports-bogTom Joyner on Black America Web goes over the top and racist now on the Shanahan-RGIII injury.Shanahan is now akin to a white slave owner. This is nuts.

  121. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Shanahan is racist? Joyner's the one who called RGIII "boy."That’s Mike Shanahan. He’s gonna get the boy killed.Honestly, I get so tired of this stupid crap.

  122. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Candide, sad that it had to take a turn into this.

  123. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze can we have a baseball game??Can we get Desmond and Zim and anybody else who lives in the area to choose up sides in a pickup game? Anything?

  124. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Seconded. Or at least a baseball discussion.Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring said… Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze can we have a baseball game??

  125. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Bob Costas just $***ed all over the Strasburg situation on Hot Stove.He suggested that he should have been put on the 15 days disabled list to save 3 starts and some 4 to 5 inning starts and his comments on EJax Game 4 start, whoa! I think Costas won't be on EJax 2013 Xmas Card list.

  126. Tcostant - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    ALR mentioned in this –>http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/madden-new-mlb-free-agency-rules-boras-waterloo-article-1.1233788#ixzz2HKLe4Jm2But I did see one thing incorrect, as he thought a team losing a FA gets the team's pick, which should have been a sandwich pick…But worth a read.

  127. peric - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Sorry Gorse Sofa you'll just have to wait the requisite 35 days and hope that Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos both drop 20 by then … easy enough to do if they try … :)

  128. Don - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Gonat — Costas has some good points on the shutdown decision. It is not without controversy.– Not the other Don.

  129. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Don, the 15 day DL idea makes little sense as he would have to keep throwing on the side to stay sharp. Its as if you don't count side sessions. Those count too.

  130. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Mark, please get a new post up. We're reduced to talking about football and rehashing the Strasburg shutdown.* Please, a new post. It can be about ANYTHING, even Kim Kardashian.Okay, maybe not Kim Kardashian…* Some British guy supposedly once said, "Gentlemen, I believe we all know the difference between a live horse and a dead one; pray, can we cease beating the latter?"

  131. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Can we get Desmond and Zim and anybody else who lives in the area to choose up sides in a pickup game? Anything?Desi lives in Florida in the offseason. He just came up here for the Dallas game and went right back. AFAIK he was not at the game yesterday.

  132. Gonat - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Candide, I agree. Painful to keep rehashing all this. Isn't re-Hashing like SPAM. We need to ban all discussion of RGKnee

  133. Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    OK, I'll take the bait. Where is this BS coming from that Werth needs to drop 20 lbs?

  134. Candide - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    FW – Desi may live in Florida, but he tweeted this earlier today: Ian Desmond ‏@IanDesmond20Need to rent a house about 20 min from stadium in DC. Needs to have a fenced yard, 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 car garage. #lemmeknow Damn. Have a neighbor who's moving back to SC end of the month – been renting the house for 19 years. But no garage.Of course, Desi doesn't actually say HE wants to live there, just that he needs to rent it.

  135. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Desi was at home. Tweeted a pic of him in a Redskins hat with his son in a Nats hat just before kickoff.

  136. Steady Eddie - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Joe S. — I assume it was this picture at Nats Enquirer: http://www.natsenquirer.com/2012/12/ian-desmond-and-jayson-werth-at-the-redskins-game-last-night.htmlIt looks to me as likely to be bad posture as real extra weight.

  137. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Desi's probably looking for housing for the season. He'll need it in 90 days or so.

  138. Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    That's what the comments are based on? Steady Eddie, I had already seen that picture, and I tend to agree with you.

  139. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Which brings us full circle."Is there anything a man don't stand to lose when the Devil wants to take it all away?"

  140. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Exactly how did Costas puke on Jackson? I really want to know. (At least he was right on one count.)

  141. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Paging Mr. Applegate. Mr. Applegate to the white courtesy phone, please.

  142. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Here you go, Gorse. Oh, wait, that was a dead horse. Back to the drawing board.

  143. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Okay, now it's dead government horses and dead British parrots…God, ST can't happen fast enough.

  144. UnkyD - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    "He is no more…… He has ceased to be…. This…is an EX- parrot…"classic….

  145. SonnyG10 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Hey, only 19 more days until Natsfest.

  146. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Can you believe there hasn't been one mention of the lack of that left handed relief specialist today?

  147. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    NatsJack— shhhhhh- don't wake the angry trolls.

  148. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    And Rizzo still has 35 days to decide what to do about LaRoche, Moore, Lombardozzi, and possibly Morse. There are still quite a number of trade scenarios that might still work themselves out. My guess its going to surprise …

  149. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Meanwhile, in real somewhat meaningful baseball games Carlos Rivero hit a homerun in a playoff game in Venzuela.Looks like Rivero starting to get some power and pop in his bat. There's your utility guy next season (since he has no options left) if they decide to trade Lombardozzi.Again, with Brown, Rivero and possibly Erik Komatsu Bernadina as well as Lombardozzi become interesting trade bait along with Tyler Moore.

  150. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  151. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  152. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Let's try that again.(ahem)Lefty? Did someone ask for a lefty?

  153. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    But the Nats are close to the end of the waiver wire this time Gorse Hackage Sofa … he'll likely get picked up by someone else unfortunately but he sounds like a perfect Rizzo move.

  154. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    I could be mistaken, but I don't think waivers are required for a trade in the off-season, so if they were to work out a trade, I think they could do so. Hypothetically.

  155. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    so if they were to work out a trade, I think they could do so. If a team expresses interest they could pull him back and then try to work out a deal. But I believe most other teams that have first dibs on that.

  156. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Oh, boy. From SI:"Shanahan admitted Monday that the MRI had left the team worried about Griffin’s status for next season. A torn ACL typically requires a rehabilitation period of nine to 12 months."RG3 appears to have both a partially torn ACL and a partially torn MCL.

  157. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    New, baseball-related, post up. Yay.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 76 57 --
ATLANTA 71 64 6.0
MIAMI 65 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 73 15.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
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