A Million Dollar Arm And A Two-Bit Organization
By tophatal 05/17/2012 …… 00:57:35 AM
So now we have the idiocy of a baseball franchise that’s riding on the crest of a wave but somehow management and the front office executives seem intent on protecting their starting ace . Far be it for me to suggest but if the Washington Nationals are so intent on chasing postseason glory by winning their first World Series title then most certainly they will have to ride Stephen Strasburg all the way to the ” promised land ” .
Slide show for your perusal .
GM Mike Rizzo in conjunction with manager Davey Johnson have pretty much stated that Strasburg won’t be overused this season . The young pitcher is the lynch-pin of this pitching rotation and one of the main draws of this ambitious team . The 2009 top pick in the MLB Draft along with his 2010 counterpart Bryce Harper are seen as the future of this baseball club , long and short-term. The options are said to have the ace go through his full season of approximately 25 starts or shut the player down , with him having to pitch no more than 175 innings for the entire Nationals’ regular season schedule . Now it is my belief if this team is said to be in the thick of things during the months of July and August , then the coaching staff will have to rethink this premise .
Strasburg leads an impressive pitching rotation that has been exemplary this season , with the team currently leading the NL East by a 1/2 game margin over the Atlanta Braves (23-14) . In truth while I am surprised at the play of the Nationals , it is still early days yet in this baseball season. Injuries will undoubtedly take its toll only not on the Washington Nationals but also to the other 29 teams within MLB .
If the Washington Nationals are to be taken as legitimate contenders and proving to their fans that they in this for the long haul then from a PR and image standpoint the front office will be in need of a completely new strategy . You can’t imply to your fans you’ll be shutting down “your ace” merely because you don’t want him to burn out . The last time I looked the game of baseball was one playing with heart and passion but it looks as if the Nationals simply have no wish to wish to compete . But then again Mike Rizzo , one minute , wants to come off looking all rough-and-tough in being vocal in protecting his young phenom , Bryce Harper and the next minute , he comes across as a kitten who simply wants to be caressed .
Each time a pitcher takes the mound then there’s always that risk of injury .and it will continue that way until there’s a change in the game and the likelihood of that happening seems remote. The Nationals hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Ballpark , in Washington, DC , on Wednesday . And taking the mound for the team would be Gio Gonzalez (4-1, 1.94 ERA) against Erik Bedard (2-4 ,2.57 ERA) . I would envisage that both pitchers will be looking to add to their tallies in terms of wins while at the same time looking to lower their respective ERA’s .
Teams may well feel that in practicing this maneuver. it in essence protects the arms of a young pitcher , . or that of a young slugging phenom as would be case also with Bryce Harper . However, this practice is now becoming more widespread , as a greater number of managers and general managers are using this exercise to protect what they deem to be a valuable asset . For the long-term this might appear to be a necessity for an organization but I would preface this by saying , how often is it that once the arbitration clock kicks in for these players, more often than not , unless their teams have the financial resources to meet the demands of these players , the likelihood is that they move on elsewhere as a free agent . Now it’d be remiss to suggest that the Washington Nationals won’t be able to retain Stephen Strasburg at the prerequisite time of his becoming a free agent . My stance has been , they have yet to convince me , that they have , and will show the determination to be ” considered winners “ ! You either want win or you don’t and while there are no real certainties in life , other than death and taxes . In the world of professional sports it is and will always be about being a winner . Who wants or tends to remember who finishes in second place ? Really , think about that for a moment ?
One of the long-term worries for the Washington Nationals may well be showing both of these young players the organization’s willingness to retain them. And the Nationals’ cause certainly won’t be helped with the fact that across the negotiating table from them will be one of the most despised agents in all of baseball . Scott Boras , represents both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper as well as several prominent and high-profiled players within the game of baseball . Truth be known , some of those players are amongst the highest paid within the game. And of the 25 highest paid players within baseball , this uber-agent (Boras) represents 15 of them . And Boras during his tenure as one of the top agents within the game has cajoled , coerced and perhaps black-mailed many of the game’s most respected general managers and team owners . So much so , that it wouldn’t surprise me if any of them have simply pissed in their pants the moment that Scott Boras’ name is mentioned when it comes to negotiating of a player’s contract .
If I’m now Arte Moreno , I would probably be shaking my head in disbelief concerning the woes of my team. At the same time GM Jerry Dipoto having spent in excess of $320 million to acquire both Albert Pujols and C J Wilson , he now has to be wondering whether or not his job might be in jeopardy . At the same time if you’re a Los Angeles Angels’ fan and you see that your team is firmly rooted at the bottom of the AL West then you have to be questioning the whole mindset of the front office as well as the organization as a whole . Now while much of the talk has been about the lackluster productivity of Albert Pujols and the mere fact that he went without a home-run for over 125 at-bats , it now begs the question what’s wrong with this prolific slugger .
The issues it appears , are not only with Angels’ offense but also with the team’s pitching and the fact that they have been very out of character. OK , so we had Jered Weaver…… pitch a “no-hitter” perhaps the highlight of the Angels’ season so far but beyond that , there has been very little to write home about .
The Angels have been doing themselves no favors with their lack of consistency , as can be borne out in their record (17-12) and the fact that they currently sit 7 game behind the division leading Texas Rangers (24-12) who at present possess the second best record in baseball behind the surprising Baltimore Orioles (25-14) managed by Buck Showalter . Not one to exaggerate but it’s still early days yet , and given what we have all witnessed over the years with the Orioles , it is good for them to make hay while the sun shines. Because the moment a downpour begins , their asses will heading for the hills seeking high ground , simply looking to save themselves ! . I mean, it is not as if Peter Angelos’ ….. organization has been an omnipresent within the postseason as a perennial contender to begin with . Try to remember the last time if you can that this ball-club was part of baseball’s postseason showcase ? Answer as quickly as you can when you’re indeed ready ?
Now while Albert Pujols is said to be struggling offensively then it will be incumbent upon Howie Kendrick , Vernon Wells , Kendry Morales , Eric Aybar and Mike Trout to get the team over the hump and lead by example . If not , then the season will be a long and arduous one for the Los Angeles Angels that will be filled with a great deal of soul-searching .
For Mike Sciocsia and his staff there has to be a great deal of trepidation when one considers it has been several years since the organization last won a World Series . That triumph in essence lifted the Angels out of the shadows of their more celebrated rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers . And with their NL counterparts now having seen their profile raised once again with team’s exhilarating play , a change in ownership from the beleaguered Frank McCourt to the more high profiled consortium led by Magic Johnson , Stan Kasten , Peter Guber , Todd Boehly and Mark Walter of the venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC . The thought is with a resurgent Dodgers led by Matt Kemp , Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw , things are once again looking up for this once renowned franchise .
Matt Kemp within the NL and Josh Hamilton within the AL have literally been shredding the pitching within (MLB) baseball this season . And we’re liable to see a great deal more offense and certainly more rarefied pitching feats . However , inasmuch as the excitement of the regular season comes more into focus it is undoubtedly the postseason that gives the fans their greatest joy. That notwithstanding , the mid-season showcase event of the All Star Game brings the fans closer to their favorite players and provides the league hierarchy with a grander stage to espouse the popularity of baseball on the global stage. The event itself will staged at Kauffman Stadium , home to the Kansas City Royals . The economic impact provided for Kansas City will be immense with an estimated $500 million to $ 1 billion in revenue for the municipality and the businesses therein.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
As I alluded to earlier , a team either has the desire to win or it simply does not ! There are no ifs and , or buts about it , either you want to win but ______ you don’t play the part of a wannabe , unless that’s the premise you want to create and portray for the fans ! Because that is exactly what Mike Rizzo and it appears the entire organization seems intent on selling masses , merely for the sake of giving the fans an appetizer of what might be , rather than what should be . In large part you can simply see what an organization is said to be about by the demeanor portrayed of the ownership group. What thoughts if any do you have concerning the apparent stance now being taken by the Washington Nationals ? And do you believe that it will be ultimately beneficial for Stephen Strasburg and the team at large ? By all means do leave a comment on the subject matter and anything else you believe to be pertinent .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 17 : Bryce Harper (34) of the Washington Nationals waits for his hat and glove between innings of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park on May 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images …
(2) Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jose Tabata (31) looks to first after sliding beneath Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa on a fielder’s choice hit by Neil Walker during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Thursday, May 17, 2012, in Washington. Tabata was out at second and Josh Harrison scored on the play as the Pirates defeated the Nationals 5-3 . AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari …
(3) Ryan Zimmerman (11) of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammates after scoring in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park on May 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ….
(4) Ian Desmond (20) of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out to end the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park on May 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images …
(5) Stephen Strasburg (37) of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on May 10, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images …
(6) Stephen Strasburg (R), the overall first pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft , arrives for a press conference where he was introduced at Nationals Park August 21, 2009 in Washington, DC. Strasburg, a right-handed pitcher from San Diego State University , signed with the Nationals earlier this week with a record contract for an amateur player . Also pictured (L-R) are Nationals Team President Stan Kasten , Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras . Getty Images North America /Win McNamee ….
(7) Albert Pujols (R) speaks with Angels owner Arturo Moreno at a public press conference introducing newly signed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players Pujols and C.J. Wilson at Angels Stadium on December 10, 2011 in Anaheim, California. …..
(8) Los Angeles Angels owner Arturo Moreno, left, talks with team president John Carpino , and general manager Jerry Dipoto, right , during spring training baseball practice Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….
MLB Standings 17th May 2012
Hot chic pic of the day . Model Jesikah Maximus . One hot Latina whose “biscuits “ need to be buttered !