Stupid Injuries [Wednesday Morning Quarterback]
Jul 28th, 2010 by Dan

Sliding Back to First

This is actually dangerous. Pies to the face are not.

So last night I went to Nationals Park explicitly to see Strasburg face off against Heyward and the Braves. Mere minutes before his start, they announce that Miguel Batista will make the start instead. This is as thousands of fans were still flowing into the park being duped into thinking the tickets they were buying were still for Strasburg. In this case, it wasn’t a injury whose genesis was stupid, just shoulder inflammation that Strasburg also battled when he pitched for San Diego State, but it was still a huge bummer.

An actual stupid injury came to my favorite Marlins player, Chris Coghlan, when he was celebrating a walk-off hit by Wes Helms. Cogz landed badly on his leg after jumping to shaving cream pie Helms in the face and managed a meniscus tear in his knee. We’re going to end up losing him 6-8 weeks and he may need surgery. Coghlan is a fantastic player and a key part of the Marlins team and this stupid freak accident caused us to lose him. It’s really frustrating.

Draft Time – Stephen Strasburg [Wednesday Morning Quarterback]
Jun 10th, 2009 by Dan

It’s time for Wednesday Morning Quarterback, your weekly sports round-up.

I wonder if I should change that to reflect that by sports I mostly mean baseball and college football…

Speaking of baseball, it’s time for the MLB Draft! Ah, the MLB Draft. It’s got everything the other drafts do…except people who are interested in it.

It’s a problem addressed briefly in the wiki page, but it mainly stems from the fact that drafted baseball players tend to not see action for sometimes two to three years. In extreme cases, they never make the Bigs at all. Here’s Rob Neyer with some more on that vein.

There are exceptions, but they don’t always turn out that well. One that some people are predicting would be the ascent of Stephen Strasburg. The over 100 MPH fastball pitching right-hander from the San Diego State Aztecs was selected, not surprisingly, in the first round by the Washington Nationals yesterday and some are speculating that the team could call him up in September to try and boost attendance and bring some new blood to the team.

This case, unfortunately, brings one giant caveat. Strasburg is represented by none other than Scott Boras, the roughest, toughest, most-hated negotiator west of the Mississippi (or anywhere in the US, for that matter). Boras is, unsurprisingly, looking for record numbers for his client who is lauded to be the greatest prospect since sliced bread (the bread comment doesn’t make sense…should I take it out? no…) which the Nationals might not be able to afford. Not to mention that it’s patently stupid to give the 50 million dollars that Boras wants to a kid who’s never pitched a ball in a major league game before.

That’s the sad tragedy behind all these “sure thing” prospects that get drafted. Baseball history is full of way more draft disappointments than success stories and it would be foolish of Washington to buy into the hype on untested merchandise (what’s with all the metaphors today?). It wouldn’t be the first terrible decision that the Nats have made this year, but, for the fan’s sake, let’s hope they pull of this signing without a hitch.

Oh, that reminds me that I should explain something in a little more detail for those not familiar with the MLB draft system. You see, a team can draft whomever they want (assuming they’re draft-eligible), but that doesn’t mean the player is guaranteed to play on that team. The collective bargaining agreement decided by the players and owners states that it’s then the team and player’s responsibility to agree on a contract for the player. That’s right, if they can’t agree to a contract, they miss out on that player. The player is penalized in that he can’t just go sign with another team. No, the player has to re-enter the draft the next year, assuming he is draft-eligible. At this point, if he’s allowed for re-selection the same team can try to nab him again. If he didn’t allow for that, another team can grab him and try to negotiate with him.

Washington failed to sign their last draft pick, so they’ve got a lot of pressure on them to get this one done. I, for one, hope they do what they can because I really want to see Strasburg pitch. Hopefully Boras doesn’t throw a wrench into the plans.

That’s your WMQ for the day. Savor Jeremy Hermida’s walk-off homer against St. Louis to give the Marlins a win today and you’ll surely have a smile on your face. In bed. What? It sounded like a fortune cookie!

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