Tag:Jim Bowden
Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: September 8, 2011 10:48 am

Bowden correctly fires off on Strasburg critics

By Matt Snyder

In case you've completely ignored baseball this week, we'll inform you that Stephen Strasburg made it back to the majors -- and dazzled. It had been just a few days over a year since he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) elbow.

I guess you could call the return at least slightly controversial, because there are some who believe the Nationals should not allow Strasburg to pitch this month. Former Nationals GM Jim Bowden had some pretty serious words for those against Strasburg pitching this season. On his radio show, he was reacting to a poll as to whether or not Strasburg should pitch this season -- and he didn't hold back (via Washington Post):
“This is a really dumb poll and a really dumb question, and it infuriates me,” Bowden said. “And it’s probably just because I’m a former GM, but how anybody can criticize the way the Washington Nationals have brought Stephen Strasburg back?

“[Critics] know nothing about baseball, nothing about rehab, nothing about the history of the surgery, and have NO respect for the medical profession. They followed this to the t. This is Dr. James Andrews, who is one of the best in the country; this is his exact plan, TO THE DAY. It’s 12 months and 3 days from the surgery, and he never had a setback, and they carried about the exact program. His velocity’s up to 98, 99 with no pain, and they’re doing absolutely everything they’re supposed to from a medical perspective, from a baseball perspective and for the future of Strasburg.

“He’s not on the mound tonight to sell tickets. He’s on the mound because this is the program that you do when you come back from Tommy John, and you want to build up Major League innings as part of this program at the end, so that next year if they’re in a pennant race, they’re gonna be prepared to have Strasburg pitching important games in September. This is nothing that can be debated. Nobody can sit here and say that this is wrong and have any medical or baseball reason for that....

“C’mon. Give me a freaking break. I don’t even want to be discussing this. KUDOS to Mike Rizzo and the Nationals, KUDOS to Jim Andrews, KUDOS to Stephen Strasburg, KUDOS to the training staff of the Nationals, to Dr. Wiemi Duoguih, to Dr. Andrews, everybody that was involved in this process did their job, and he’s on the mound tonight BECAUSE of that.

“God Bless the Nationals, God Bless Strasburg, and God Bless the United States of America.”


Thank you, Jim. Allow me to supplement.

From a personal standpoint, every time I post anything about Strasburg, there's bound to be someone in the comments section or on Twitter saying the Nationals are "rushing" Strasburg back. Publicly, there have been a few critics, too. Rob Dibble, for example, has been critical of the return -- which is ridiculous, because Dibble told Strasburg last season to "suck it up" and keep pitching. Curt Schilling also said there was no reason to bring Strasburg back this year.

Nevermind that Tommy John surgery carries a 10-14 month recovery period nowadays and that Strasburg came back well within that frame. Nevermind that freaking Dr. James Andrews -- easily the most respected sports surgeon around -- has cleared him. Nevermind that the Nationals have handled Jordan Zimmermann as perfectly as possible in his recovery from the exact same procedure.

Nah, none of that matters when it comes to Strasburg for some. Since the Nationals are out of the race, they should just shut him down for the season ... seemingly just for the sake of shutting him down. Really?

What I find most hilarious/maddening is that we'll often get comments complaining about players not playing through pain. You know, because if it was a real job they'd have to show up for work everyday. Since they are millionaires, they should just show up for work no matter what. Sometimes it's completely fair (if an injury doesn't affect performance and can't get worse through playing, I'd agree whole-heartedly players should play through pain).

Strasburg is ready, willing and able to show up for work now. His doctor says his injury is healed enough for him to pitch. He's throwing nearly 100 miles per hour. And people still complain. It's amazing.

In response to the fair question of what can be gained by Strasburg pitching this month, I'll reply with the following: He's building arm strength at the absolute ideal time in his rehab process to do so. In the process, he's getting more experience working against major-league hitters for a few starts, which will only speed the process in his development as an ace. Remember, he's still only 23 years old and only has 13 big-league starts under his belt.

Now, I have two questions for the naysayers:

1. Are you smarter than Dr. Andrews when it comes to surgical recovery?
2. Do you know how Strasburg physically feels?

If you answered no to both of the above, stop complaining and enjoy watching Strasburg's immense talent. If you answered yes to either, you're delusional and need to find a different kind of doctor.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:06 am

Pepper: Down to two races?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

With just more than a month to go, we're down to just two races in baseball -- the National League West and the American League Central.

The rest? Done. Decided.

The National League East? The Phillies lead the Braves by 8 1/2 games. Done.

The National League Central? The Brewers are up on the Cardinals by seven, winning 19 of their last 21 and watching as the Cardinals take another September siesta. Done.

The National League wild card? It's the Braves to not just lose, but to give away in spectacular Cubian fashion. That's not happening. Done.

The American League East? Boston trails by a half-game, so the division is up in the air, but with Boston leading the Wild Card by eight games, both teams are playing in October, all that's left is figuring out seeding, the important stuff? Done.

The American League West? Texas has won its last six, including the last three in Anaheim against the Angels. Done.

At least we have the NL West and the AL Central -- those will at least be interesting for a while.

Looking back at last year at the same time, the Braves led the Phillies in the NL East, but both ended up in the playoffs. In the AL East, The Yankees and Rays were deadlocked atop the division, but again, both went to the playoffs. Sound familiar?

Minnesota had a four-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central, a lead they'd hold, while the Rangers were running away from the Angels with an eight-game lead. Deja vu.

As for the NL Central? Cincinnati was leading the Cardinals by just two games, but St. Louis would fade down the stretch. And in the NL West, the Giants trailed the surprising Padres by five games.

Basically, it looks like we've seen this all before. But you know what? It was pretty fun to watch last year and it will be again this year.

Brewers confident: After Tuesday's win, Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan said the team has to "try to catch Philly," according to the Associated Press. "That's our goal, since we have nobody to really chase in our division, let's go chase Philly." After Wednesday's win, Zack Greinke said, "It's definitely not locked up now, but it's on us mainly," according to the Journal Sentinel. And he added, "it is ours to lose." It is indeed.

Giants' road to repeat: The Giants have the easiest remaining schedule among contenders, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes as he breaks down the remaining schedules for the contenders (and the Cardinals, Rays and Angels). Passan also gives the Brewers more reason to be confident -- the third-easiest remaining schedule, plus the most off days and more home games than road games remaining. As for the AL Central, the Tigers have the best remaining schedule among the contenders. And not only are the Rays well behind both the Red Sox and Yankees in both the division and the wild card, they also have the toughest remaining schedule -- 10 against Boston, six against New York, six against Texas and four against Detroit.

Some people are just jerks: And online, they all have a voice. Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has proof -- sharing the emails he's gotten from people against the proposed statue of Shannon Stone and his son.

Logic may prevail: Although there were reports this weekend that Cubs general manager Jim Hendry's job was safe, but Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman says that's not so certain. What you can blow $251.5 million on Carlos Zambrano, Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome and have to worry about your job? Say it ain't so.

Five tool players: Every year I look forward to Baseball America's Tools issue -- and I got it in the mail yesterday. It's fascinating reading and also allows you to geek out about minor league players and what they could become. Over at FanGraphs, they feel the same way, but Carson Cistulli decided to find out which big leaguers have displayed five tools through the "nerdiest possible" numbers. It's great stuff. And if you didn't know, Chase Utley, Troy Tulowitzki and David Wright are good.

Speaking of tools: Former Reds and Nationals GM Jim Bowden never saw a tools-y player he didn't like. He has five players you should give up on -- starting with the Pirates' Pedro Alvarez. [ESPN.com]

CC's history lesson: Yankees starter CC Sabathia spent Tuesday morning at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, saying he drew inspiration from the visit for his start on Thursday in Minnesota. If you're ever in Kansas City, make sure you make it to the museum either before or after you go to Arthur Bryant's. [New York Times]

Tony Plush's kitty kat: Good for Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who adopted a new cat from the Wisconsin Humane Society. [Twitter]

Dim your jacket: Tuesday night the umpires working the A's-O's game had to ask two men with LED equipped clothing behind the plate to dim their wares. [Yahoo!'s Big League Stew]

Extending Ichiro?: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times makes the argument against the Mariners extending Ichiro's contract.

Passport problems: Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur will use his off day on Monday to get a new passport -- his old one expired after 10 years and he forgot about it. The Royals are scheduled to go to Toronto later that day. [Kansas City Star]

Hat flap: The National wanted to wear military hats in Tuesday's game, but Major League Baseball denied their request. Instead, the Nationals wore the hats during batting practice. The main reason? Well, ignore the jibber-jabber from MLB, it's that there was no money to be made, so they didn't want to do it. MLB told the Washington Post that it prefers to for teams to use patches or batting practice for such displays. [Washington Post's DC Sports Bog]

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