Sunday, May 05, 2013


## Last year, the Washington Nationals stood up to public pressure and shut down one of the most talented arms in baseball, one that belonged to Stephen Strasburg. Taking the 'Pitch Limit' belief one step further, the Nats imposed an 'Innings Limit.' Critics argued that they might just cost the team a trip to the World Series or even the championship. It turns out that may have done just that. Washington argued that the future potential was more important.
A few years ago, the Yankees instituted the now-famous "Joba Rules," limiting Joba to a certain number of pitches, appearances and how many games in a row he could work. All this to protect that wonderful arm - or perhaps to save him from Joe Torre, who was known to ride effective relievers into an early grave.

So how has all this protection worked? This year Strasburg has suffered from a series of mysterious injuries and has not been the overpowering monster he was last year. Between the Joba Rules and the constant switching between starting and relieving, the Yankees screwed up Chamberlain so bad, it's taken him three years and Tommy John surgery to regain his old form, the freak ankle injury notwithstanding.

In contrast, I give you Bob Feller, who broke in with Cleveland at age 17. in the next five years, his inning count was 148, 277, 296, 320 and 343. So, by age 22, Rapid Robert had thrown 1384 innings. He spent the next three years in the military, but came back to pitch, effectively, for eight more years, winning 133 games over that span..
Walter Johnson broke in with the Washington Senators in 1907 at age 19. The Big Train, thought by many to be the hardest throwing pitcher ever, proceeded to pitch over 200 innings per year for the next 19 years, and over 300 innings in nine of those years.

The point is, you really can't tell how a pitcher will do throughout his career, how prone he is to injuries and how well he takes care of himself. A pitcher like Mariano Rivera, pitched for 17 years without any significant injury, only to be felled while working out by a knee injury at age 42.
So pitch these guys while they're going good and let the pitching gods decide their fate. Because we sure can't.

## The Yanks won again behind a superb performance by Phil Hughes and some timely hitting by the Stopgaps, Overbay , Stewart and Hafner. The most recent addition, Chris Nelson, failed to impress, going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Actually, the injuries to the pitching staff is probably a more serious problem, especially in the bullpen. Right now, it's just Mo' and there ain't no mo'.

## Toronto, picked by many to win the AL East, can't get out of it's own way. Tampa is still struggling and the Dodgers seem to have no chemistry, just a bunch of big names.
Buster Olney writes that Miguel Cabrera is on a pace for 201 RBIs and 256 hits. Conversely, the Astros are on a pace for 120 losses and 1600+ strikeouts. Interesting, but let's not forget there is still 84% of the season ahead of us.

We'll start off with the parting shot of John Saunders from today's Sports Reporters: (copy and paste into your browser)
" The Daily Telegraph reports "religious police" forcibly removed three men attending a Saudi culture festival because "women would find the men irresistible." RJ Currie was encouraged to stay."  -- RJ Currie

"A new survey says the U.S. city having the most sex per capita is Los Angeles, averaging 135 times a year. Or 12 times a year if you exclude the Lakers and Clippers."  -- RJ Currie
"Previously unbeaten Kentucky Derby favorite Verrazano, whose owner is from New Jersey,  ended up 14th in the race.   If he doesn’t perform better next race, he’s been threatened with retirement to Jersey."  -- Janice Hough
"Husker football players have been utilizing combat military training. The whole thing peaked after a workout last week when the team successfully invaded the Falkland Islands."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Phillies-Mets game was delayed 14 minutes because the home plate umpire was throwing up after swallowing his chaw. This is potentially the best anti-tobacco campaign of the modern era."  -- Brad Dickson
"Recently retired umpire Tim Tschida is now an assistant baseball coach at Cumberland (Minn.) High School. Tschida wears uniform No. 44 and coaches first base.  No word on whether he disputes umpires' calls."  -- Charley Walters
"Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts threatened to move the team from Wrigley Field if he's blocked from erecting a 6,000-square-foot video screen behind the left-field bleachers. Or to put it in layman's terms, half the size of Mel Kiper's big board."  -- Dwight Perry
"A new study claims that certain fish use sign language to communicate: Apparently they have a sign for everything — except for 'big metal hook.' "  -- Jimmy Fallon


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