Tag Archives: Stephen Strasburg

The Nationals could still make a run without Stephen Strasburg

GFBB Note:  It’s “always” about more than one guy. You go Nats!

Why the Washington Nationals Will Make the Playoffs in 2012

We’ve been following the Nats faithfully, especially since the return of Strasburg and with the addition of Jayson Werth and Mark DeRosa. I like the enthusiasm Bernie Olshansky has for the Nats and he just might be right!

 

MLB Reports

 

Thursday June 21st, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: The last time the city of Washington D.C. saw a World Series trophy was in 1924. That was the work of the Washington Senators with the help of Walter “Big Train” Johnson. Although this year’s version of the team doesn’t have a veteran baseball legend, they do have a couple budding superstars. First is Stephen Strasburg. The first-overall pick of the 2009 draft, Strasburg made an enormous impact in his first career start and most of the 2010 season, but ended up on Dr. Lewis Yocum’s table towards the end, and missed most of the 2011 season. Thankfully for the Nationals, Strasburg is back and better than ever, posting an 8-1 record and a 2.45 ERA (before Wednesday’s win versus Tampa Bay: 7IP 5H 2ER 10K and got the win). Unfortunately for the Nationals, Strasburg is on an innings limit this…

View original post 615 more words

“What’s up with those Washington Nationals?”

Who would have thought the team leading the National League this year would be those lowly Nationals?   This team started out as the Montreal Expo’s in 1969 and moved to Washington in 2005, much to the delight of  syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer.  I had no idea he was into baseball until I read a column he wrote back in September, 2011, about his beloved Nats.  Titled “The Best Game in Town“, here’s an excerpt:

“Now, when mortals throw a ball, they give it arc to gain distance. That’s how artillery works. Ankiel is better than artillery. He releases the ball at the top of his throwing motion, the ball rocketing out as if tracing a clothesline. It bounces five feet from third base, perfectly on-line, arriving a millisecond before the batter and maybe 20 inches above the bag. Quick tag. Batter out. Game saved. (Blown five innings later. But remember, it’s the Nats.)”

This is great stuff.  And then in December, 2010, we wrote this post “The Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, Miracle or Mistake?”  and, as predicted, Steven Strasburg has returned in great form after his Tommy John surgery.  In addition, the Nationals organization brought a few weapons on-board to help things along;  Jayson Werth and Mark DeRosa.  Shortly after I heard about the Jayson Werth acquisition it was rumored the Nats were in serious talks with Cliff Lee.  It was a heart-stopper and now I’m starting to pay really close attention to the 2012 Washington Nationals .  Cliff Lee didn’t end up a Nat, but with Jayson Werth and Stephen Strasburg on the roster, it seemed inevitable that good things were going to happen.  And they did.

Today the Nats are leading the National League in the Win-Loss record.  Okay, I know it’s still early in the season, but now that they’ve added the 8# Strasburger to the menu at Nationals Park anything can happen!

I can hardly wait to see what Krauthammer’s going to write next about all this.  Stay tuned  . . . . .

Best Food at the Ballpark in 2012? ~ You Decide!

"Strasburg: Last year's version with butterflied hotdog on top"

I found a great little ditty this morning at the Washington Post.  The Nationals are going to highlight special food from the visiting team’s home town each time they play in Washington.   I recommend you take advantage of  San Francisco’s special food “Garlic Fries” this year, especially since the Giants will be playing at Nationals Park on the 4th of July, and not just because they’re our namesake, but because they’re really, really good!

But for sure you gotta love the special food presented by the Washington Nationals this year, honoring their special pitcher, Stephen Strasburg.  I hear it includes 12 pickles, representing the twelve strike-outs the Stras got in his first outing.   Great article written by Dan Steinberg, from the Washington Post.

Nationals Park introduces 8-pound ‘StrasBurger’

By , Washington Post  Posted at 02:06 PM ET, 03/12/2012

 

The new 8 lb. Strasburger includes fries and a coke! Courtesy "Yardbarker"

(Marvin Joseph – TWP.) As the baseball season approaches, you know what that means on this here blog: lots of updates on the concessions available at Nationals Park.

Our first update concerns the Red Porch, and a brand-new menu item that will get lots of attention from media and fans: The StrasBurger. Via my favorite friends in Nats PR:

Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.

In case you missed the key phrase, this burger WEIGHS EIGHT POUNDS TOTAL, which is a lot of pounds. Even if some of them are onion pounds. Every TV station in this market will have hosts merrily attempting to grapple with the StrasBurger next month. At least, I hope so.The Red Porch will also feature special food and beer pairings that will spotlight area brews, including those from Dogfish Head and Flying Dog. Any time I get to type “Dogfish Head,” I consider that a win.

Also, the Taste of the Majors stand — which has spotlighted a few items from other MLB cities — will now feature a special dish from the city of each visiting opponent while they’re actually in D.C. Those items will all be limited time only offers, obviously.  The list:

Atlanta:   Smothered Fried Chicken Platter
Baltimore:  Pit Beef Sandwich Platter
Arizona:  Dog Platter
Chicago:  Dog Platter
Cincinnati:   5-Way Cincinnati Chili
Colorado:  Mile High Burger
Houston:  Houston Nacho
Los Angeles:  Dog Platter
Miami:   Cuban Dog
Milwaukee:   Beer Brat Platter
New York (Mets and Yankees):   Coney Dog Platter
Philadelphia:   Philly Chicken Cheese Steak Platter
Pittsburgh:   Pitts Burger Platter
St. Louis:   BBQ Rib Platter
San Diego:   Fish Taco Platter
San Francisco:   Garlic Fries and Shrimp Platter
Tampa Bay:  Salty Dog Platter

Geez, this is all making me hungry!  Only 23 Days to Opening Day ~  See you at the ballpark!

“Best Game in Town?” ….. Absolutely!

Whoa!   I don’t care what your political leanings are, this stuff is awesome.  I found it in, of all places, this morning’s editorial section and its pure poetry.  Whenever a writer can take an entire paragraph to describe a throw to first base and keep me hanging on to every word I’m hooked.

Such is the case in this article.  You might remember I wrote on the Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg last December and have been anxiously waiting for his return,which is  scheduled for this coming Thursday.

So here it is ~ from Thursday’s Washington Post.  See what you think!    

“BEST GAME IN TOWN” By Charles Krauthammer, Published: September 1

In that fleeting interval between natural disaster (earthquake, hurricane) and the president’s 57th (or so) major national address next Thursday, I can finally devote a summer column to the finest efflorescence of that season this city has to offer: the Washington Nationals.They are a baseball team. Not yet very good, mind you, but it matters not.


When you live in a town with a great team, you go to see them win. When you live in a town with a team that is passing rapidly through mediocrity on its way to contention — the Nats have an amazing crop of upcoming young players — you go for the moments. Continue reading

MLB Draft Begins Today ….. What Does it Mean?

Bobby Crocker, Cal Poly, 2011 Draft hopeful

Here’s an article plucked from the maze of blogs this morning I found interesting.  Just being picked first in the draft, or even in the first round for that matter, doesn’t really mean a lot when it comes to measuring the  future success of a major league ball player.  Take a look at this article published this morning by Shawn Anderson,  Hall of Very Good, a favorite blogger we’ve fancied before:

A year ago, the Washington Nationals made Bryce Harper one rich fella by taking the teenager number one overall in the MLB Draft.

Just a year prior…they did the same for Stephen Strasburg.

This year, however, the Nationals don’t have the first pick and, frankly, as deep as you’ve heard the draft is…there is not a clear-cut number one pick.  But let’s not kid each other, being drafted number one doesn’t necessarily mean success.

Consider this. Since the draft started in 1965, it has produced only 23 Hall of Famers.

That said…here are ten other things you might not have known about the Hall of Fame and the MLB Draft. 

510
Hall of Famer second baseman Ryne Sandberg (then, Spokane, Washington third baseman Ryne Sandberg) was taken in the 20th round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Of the 510 players taken before him…fellow Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., World Series hero and Arizona Diamondbacks skipper Kirk Gibson and one of my all-time favorites, Kent Hrbek.

381
In 1966, Reggie Jackson was taken second overall by the Kansas City Athletics. With the first pick, the New York Mets opted to take Steven Chilcott. The catcher from Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, California bounced around for seven seasons, playing in 331 minor league games, managing a career .248 batting average and 39 home runs. 

19
As previous stated, being drafted first overall might not always guarantee success, but for Cal Ripken Jr., being selected 48th overall was just what the doctor ordered. The “Iron Man” went on to appear in 19 All-Star Games…the most by any Hall of Famer drafted since 1965.

18 years, 6 months and 19 days
After a brief 64 game stint in the minors, 1973’s number three overall pick Robin Yount was six months shy of 19 when he made his debut as the Milwaukee Brewers starting shortstop on April 5, 1974

12
The pride of Alvin, Texas, Nolan Ryan, was selected by the New York Mets in the inaugural draft in 1965. He’d end up compiling more strikeouts than anyone else who ever took the bump (5714) and pitching well past his 46th birthday. 

7
Of the 23 Hall of Famers selected in the MLB Draft, only seven (Carlton Fisk, Reggie Jackson, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett, Jim Rice, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount) were taken in the first round. And of those seven selected in the first round all but one was taken in the top ten. Who didn’t go top ten? Rice was taken 15th overall in 1971.

6’6”
At 6’6”, Dave Winfield (selected fourth overall in 1973) is built more like a basketball or football player than a Major Leaguer. Well…following college, Winfield was drafted by four teams in three different sports. Not only did the San Diego Padres select him, but both the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) and the Utah Stars (ABA) selected him. And even though he never played college football, the Minnesota Vikings (NFL) selected the future baseball Hall of Famer.

3
Sure, the MLB Draft has produced 23 Hall of Famers, but, since the draft was implemented in 1965, 26 players have been enshrined. Of those 26…three (Tom Seaver in 1966, Bruce Sutter in 1971 and Roberto Alomar in 1985) were left undrafted. Thankfully, they did find themselves on the receiving end of a free agent contract just after the draft.

3
Since its not a guarantee that winning multiple MVP or Cy Young Awards (I’m looking your way Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens) can ensure you a ticket to Cooperstown, Mike Schmidt and Tom Seaver know that three is enough. Schmidt has more MVP Awards than anyone else drafted since 1965 and Seaver, well, drafted or not, he has more Cy Young Awards.

0
So, yeah, 23 Hall of Famers were taken in the MLB Draft since it began in 1965, but of those 23…did you know that not one was taken number one overall? Reggie Jackson was selected the highest (second overall in 1966) and Ryne Sandberg was selected the lowest (in the 20th round in 1978). So the big question…when will this drought end? It’s pretty safe to say that when Ken Griffey Jr. takes the stage in July of 2016, he’ll be the first number one overall pick to do so. Following in his footsteps will be Chipper Jones. 

2010 Sports Illustrated “Year in Sports”

I thought this article was interesting probably because I’d already blogged on several of  the top 10 items as they happened( See my previous blogs on the Giants, Jim JoyceStephen Strasburg, the Managers and the players salaries).   This article from Sports Illustrated was well written and I wanted to share it with you.   GFBB
Written by:  Al Tielemans, Sports Illustrated December 22, 2010

1. A title for San Francisco. The Giants won their first World Series since 1954, but their first since moving from New York to San Francisco for the 1958 season. After torturous World Series defeats in 1962 (losing Game 7 to the Yankees with the winning run on base), 1989 (when an earthquake struck before Game 3) and 2002 (losing a potential Game 6 clincher after holding a five-run lead with nine outs to go), San Francisco rolled through the postseason on the strength of dominant homegrown pitching and a sprinkling of long-awaited good fortune. The Giants secured six of their 11 postseason wins without scoring more than three runs. Six games out of first place as late as Aug. 22, the Giants’ 32-15 run to the title Continue reading

The Nationals Stephen Strasburg ~ Miracle or Mistake?

Baseball is the sport that cackles back at can’t-miss kids. Baseball humbles every player sooner or later. Baseball confers greatness stingily, in its own sweet time. At least that’s what the bow-tied essayists and sandlot scouts solemnly tell us.” – Johnette Howard in Sports Illustrated
 
Stephen Strasburg’s been on my mind a lot lately.   For some  reason I’ve been paying attention to the negotiations this year and was surprised when the Washington Nationals were able to secure Jason Werth.   This is huge!  When the Phillies were playing the Giants in the playoffs, my anxiety would surface when Werth was at the plate.  Not so anxious about their pitching staff, but definitely  Jason Werth.   He was that good.  So I’m happy Werth’s going to a team that really “needs” him and will appreciate his talents.  The Nationals finished last place in 2010 for the 3rd year in a row.    So when the scuttlebutt started this week about the Nationals being in the race to acquire Cliff Lee, after acquiring Werth, it was almost a heart-stopper!   All of this brought back a reminder of  my annual physical this year when I told my doctor I was taking an organized baseball tour and the first thing he asked was “Will you get to see the Nationals play?”   It was an odd question because who cares anything about the Nationals anyway?   But his daughter lives in Washington DC and she’d been talking about the new young pitcher who was causing a wave of near hysteria .   It didn’t take me long to figure out what all the fuss was about.   His name was Stephen Strasburg.
The Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg  as  the first pick in the 2009 MLB Draft for a record $15.1 Million, 4

Stephen Strasburg

year contract.  Strasburg was a 21 year old rookie who ESPN referred to as the most hyped pick in draft history and was the only college player selected for the 2008 Summer Olympic US Baseball team in Beijing.   On May 8, 2010, Stephen Strasburg made his much anticipated major-league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates.    Sports Illustrated coined it the most hyped pitching debut the game had ever seen.   In the game, the young pitcher pitched 7 innings, struck out 14, walked -0- and allowed only two runs, earning him his first major league win.  In games two and three he struck out another 8 and 10 batters, respectively, setting a major league record for 32 strikeouts, the most  in any  pitcher’s first three  games.   And after only his second start, Sports Illustrated featured him in their cover story. I and thousands of others became an instant fan of the young Stephen Strasburg, the savior of those poor, downtrodden Washington Nationals.   But it was not to be. 

Strasburg’s Major league Debut

On August 27, 2010,  Stephen Strasburg was placed on the disabled list.  The Nationals announced Strasburg had a torn ulmar collateral ligament, requiring Tommy John surgery  and 12 to 18 months of rehabilitation.   He had been placed on the disabled list in July, 2010, with an inflamed right shoulder and returned to play, but was removed again with an apparent injury before being placed again on the disabled list, this time requiring the major surgery.   How did this happen?  Or more to the point, why did this have to happen?  

I keep reflecting on the number of times this year when rookie pitcher Madison Bumgarner was prematurely pulled from the game  for no apparent reason and how ticked off it made me.  After all, we were ahead and he was pitching superbly and then for no reason, the powers that be  bench him and go to the bullpen.  Ye gods man!  Let the kid pitch. 

Then Mike Krukow, one of  the best of the best, would announce and explain in detail why the kid was pulled, and it was usually because of the pitch count. Young kid, young arm.   Needed time to develop, to mature.  Makes sense to me.   

It doesn’t seeem possible to me this could be the reason for Strasburg’s predicament.  After all, these major league baseball teams have the best resources available to them and wouldn’t you think for sure they’d want to protect, not only the kid’s best interests, but the interests of their $15 Million investment?   Strasburg would most likely have been up front in the running for the Rookie of the Year, and even possibly the MVP and who knows how it would have affected the Nationals standing?   I don’t know, I’m just saying.   I read a lot of baseball stuff and I’ve never seen this in print.  No one’s talking about it. 

But if young Strasburg is in rehab, recovering from surgery because he was “overexposed” (34 strikeouts in 3 games with each pitch at or over 100 mph?) shame on the Washington Nationals and shame on major league baseball for allowing it to happen.  It could have been avoided.  

Miracle or mistake?   Does it matter?  Geez, I sure want to believe it was a freak of nature and not just a mistake in judgment by an overzealous manager, so I’ll cross my fingers and say a prayer that  hopefully Stephen Strasburg will return soon,  breaking new records and performing a few miracles with some really good guidance from the powers that be.   Hope to see you back on the mound soon kid!