We never got a chance to discuss the pros and cons of the Washington Nationals shutting down their ace Stephen Strasburg who they opted not to include on their post season roster. It was a bold move to say the least by Nats GM Mike Rizzo, but was it the right call?
Bob Nightengale of USA Today asked some rival GM’s what their thoughts were, and not only did all of them call it a bad move, but there was a lot of resentment and anger in what they had to say.
After yesterday’s embarrassing 8-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Nats find themselves on the brink of elimination and trail 2-1 in the National League Division Series. But there was no pity for them from rival GM’s who all say the Nationals got what they deserve.
“If we don’t win the World Series, I don’t care who does,” one general manager told USA TODAY Sports, “as long as it’s not those guys.
“They don’t deserve to win it. Not after what they did.”
Said a National League GM: “I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That’s how strongly I feel about it.”
Wow, I guess people are willing to say anything as long as it’s done anonymously, I’d love to know who these GM’s were?
Better yet, I wonder how sandy Alderson would play this if he were in the same situation…
Lets assume “Hell Freezes Over”, “Pigs Fly”, and “Bears Didn’t Shit In The Woods”. Lets assume the Mets clinched a wild card spot next season. Lets further assume Alderson shut’s down an utterly dominating Zack Wheeler who was 17-2 with a 1.76 ERA because he reached his innings limit. Would you be okay with that?
What really pissed other GM’s off was when Rizzo said no matter what happens, “We’ll be back, we’ll be doing this a couple more times.”
Nightengale said it was the quote “heard round the baseball world”, with general managers and executives making sure everyone saw it.
Who do they think they are, the Yankees? Are the Philadelphia Phillies going to defect from the NL East? Are the Atlanta Braves retiring with Chipper Jones?
What if the Nationals don’t get back during Strasburg’s stay in Washington? What if this is their best chance to ever get to the Series? How do you live with that?
We haven’t heard the last of this as Nightengale also warns that Nationals players, particularly veterans, have grumbled and might sound off more once they depart.
As for my thoughts on all of this?
I’m with that general manager who hopes they go down in flames. I hope they don’t see the post season for the rest of this century and that their drought will forever be known as “The Strasburg Curse”. I have very little tolerance for any general manager who takes competing, winning, and especially the post season for granted. That’s why I’m always keeping both eyes on Alderson. Until he starts using words like “wild card”, “world series”, and “championships” as part of his regular vocabulary. Those are the only words that will grab my attention.