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Two Silver Linings About The Strasburg Injury

Look, Washington National fans, I know you all must be feeling like absolute crap right now. And with reason. Stephen Strasburg going down, especially this late in the season, might have been the worst news a Nationals fan could’ve ever heard. In particular when considering how good he looked in only his first year in the majors.

However, here are two silver linings to cheer all of you up.

1) The worst news about Strasburg was that he will probably be getting Tommy John surgery. TJ is the great mystery in baseball today. It can either destroy a pitcher’s career, or it can lift them to new heights.

What do John Smoltz, Josh Johnson, David Wells, Chris Carpenter and Tim Hudson have in common? They all made it back from TJ surgery and enjoyed great careers. Look at Mariano Rivera. The young Yankee had it done in 1992 and then enjoyed a great career afterwards.

It can be done. 

Nobody will know how it will affect Strasburg until he pitches again post-op, but he had a million-dollar arm beforehand, so it’s better to be optimistic.

2) The Nationals weren’t going to be too competitive in 2011 anyway. Their big year is going to be 2012. Bryce Harper will be on the opening day roster and the rotation will be anchored by Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman (another TJ survivor).

2011 is going to be just another year for the Nationals. Harper needs at least a year of seasoning in the minors. If anything, Strasburg would just be an effective but unneeded talent for the Nats. 

That will be the big time for the youth movement, the young guys all together for the first time (plus Free Agent A). 

Well, it’s a rough time to be in Washington right now watching sports. At least savor the play of John Wall and Alex Ovechkin.

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MLB Predictions: Five Terrible Teams That Will Bounce Back in 2011

For most teams, the 2010 MLB season is pretty much done. But don’t fret. Here are some teams that will make a big impact in 2011.


Pittsburgh Pirates:

This one might be a little tricky, as “bouncing back” for them is maybe getting to .500 baseball.

However, Pittsburgh has a nice little youth movement going currently. Andre McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, and Lastings Milledge.

The most impressive, of course, has been McCutchen who has been one of the better young outfielders in the league since his arrival last season.

Alvarez is in the running for the NL Rookie of the Year; Milledge has been a long-time prospect that has bounced from several teams.


Baltimore Orioles:

The AL East is pretty much impossible right now, but Baltimore could put pressure onto the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays next season.

I’ll give you a name: Matt Wieters.

I’ll give you a question: Where the hell has he been this season?

Weiters was the best catching prospect since Joe Mauer, so hopefully he will live up to it next season.

Feliz Pie and Adam Jones are two good young players. Expect big things from Brian Matusz next season, as he will be making a David Price-like jump to becoming one of the AL elites.


Washington Nationals:

The Nationals could without a doubt have one of the better pitching rotations in the NL.

Stephen Strasberg and Jordan Zimmerman starting No. 1 and No. 2, plus Drew Storen as the closer.

This team will take a huge jump up to being the third best team in the NL East. Plus, with Harper coming up in a few teams, this is a team that could be one of the better squads in baseball. All-home grown too. . .you gotta love that.


Los Angeles Angels:

They would be battling with the Texas Rangers for the AL West right now if not for the Kendry Morales injury, and if Morales can come back to full health next season, there is no reason why this team shouldn’t win the division.

They have one of the better managers in the league, and will probably cash in their chips and spend a crazy amount for one of the top free agents that are going to be available this offseason. My guess is that they go after Cliff Lee to top their rotation.


Colorado Rockies:

This has been an off year for one of the most talented teams in the league.

Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are two sensational baseball players, and if Ubaldo Jiminez can keep up his 2010 success into 2011, then this team should contend into next year’s October.

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Who’s To Blame For the Chicago White Sox’s Unimpressive Season?

I’m not going to throw the towel in quite yet on the Chicago White Sox season, however, with each passing day, the playoff window is growing smaller and smaller.

Chicago currently stands four and a half games behind the impressive Minnesota Twins (7-3 over the past 10 games) for first place in the AL Central. 

This season had been a bumpy road so far.

As everybody knows, the White Sox started off the first couple months as an average baseball team, then surged ahead during a beautiful month-and-a-half stretch before All-Star weekend in which they rose ahead of Detroit and Minnesota to grab a slim hold on the division. Ever since then, it’s been a dog fight with Minnesota.

September, as it always is, will be a huge month. We only have one more tough series with Minnesota (about half-way through the month), but even with that, Chicago is going to have to go through some tough teams if they want to play into October; two series’ with Detroit book-end a three-gamer with Minnesota, and then the worst of it, a seven day stretch with the Angels and Red Sox (both teams probably out of contention, but nevertheless, always tough to play).

I’m not saying Chicago is out, but it will be a very tough road. And because of recent play (losing two of three to Minnesota, and then two straight to Kansas City) it looks like there will be an early exit.

At the beginning of the season, if someone told me that Paul Konerko would be batting .300+ with 30 home runs, Alex Rios would be our MVP, and Juan Pierre would have 50 stolen bases, I would be ecstatic.

That’s where we are currently and still the White Sox are not where they should be.

Who’s to blame?


Kenny Williams

Grabbing Alex Rios turned out to be a fantastic move, as his play this season has been terrific. He’s been the five-tool player that he was in the past. However, Williams made a huge mistake this trade deadline by not making moves to get a left-hand bat, a reliever, or a good starting pitcher.

Trading Daniel Hudson for Edwin Jackson was odd, considering that Hudson is a young pitcher with potential and Jackson is a young pitcher without potential who’s been pretty terrible this season.


Ozzie Guillen

Guillen is a good manager and the White Sox are lucky to have him, but he should know by now to shut his mouth when the media comes rolling in. He has been a huge distraction this season with his talk about Latino players. What he said was unnecessary, especially during such an important time of the season.


Jake Peavy’s Injury

Boom! Just like that Chicago lost its ace.

With the success that Danks, Floyd and Buehrle have had recently, Peavy could have made this team not only a division winner, but also a dangerous team if they did reach the postseason.

During the season a team can win with three good starters and then junk for their fourth and fifth man, but if a team survives in the playoffs it’s because they have that excellent fourth starter. Rolling out Danks, Floyd, Peavy and, Buehlre in a seven-game series would have been tremendous.


The Bullpen

For lack of the better word, the bullpen is shit.

We’re reaching the point in Bobby Jenks career where he needs to be taken out to the shed and shot like a horse with a broken leg. It’s been a goddamn joke so far, and Chicago has no chance of getting through September unless Jenks, Matt Thorton and JJ Putz get their heads back into the game.


Like mentioned above, Chicago’s schedule is very tough for the next month. They have the talent to win this division, but they haven’t been showing it as of late. I think Ozzie can get this team going. We need to start playing like we did in June and July, when we were sweeping Milwaukee, Texas and Atlanta.

The AL Central is arguably the worst division in the majors, and with the players on this team, there isn’t any excuse if the White Sox don’t take it.

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Alex Rodriguez: The Soulless Baseball Machine

One thing that ESPN does well is take good athletes and promote them until they become huge superstars. Granted, if an athlete plays baseball in Seattle or basketball in Charlotte, then he or she is not going to get the same amount of press as his or her rivals in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Most athletes are able to run with it and make millions upon millions. That is why it is so sad to see that these athletes are just frauds-they are people who have built their careers on lies. 

There has never been an athlete that I have despised more than Alex Rodriguez. I am exaggerating for effect, but there really are no redeemable qualities about this guy. He is not a man with any love for the game or respect for his teammates or opponents, but instead is an intensely wired athlete who, like a machine, breaks down at just the moment that you need him. He is like a computer with hitting skills: cold, distant, mechanical.

Coming up as a prospect through the minor league levels, and then finally in the major league, Rodriguez has proceeded to break almost every record in front of him. And with a few more years of his prime remaining, America finds out that he is no different than any other self-obsessed celebrity. 

Steroids! The big scandal of this century, and all the more disappointing considering the careers it has improved: Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens. Four of the most outstanding ballplayers of the last 25 years who have nothing to show for it other than increased health problems and a bunch of bitter sportswriters who will make sure these athletes never live to see their names in Cooperstown.

The sad thing is that the American public does not even seem that sorry that steroids were the cause of baseball’s popularity over the past decade, or that it is probably pretty likely that pretty boy Lance Armstrong’s several Tour de France’s were just the result of timely juicing and luck on the drug tests. 

This is America though. We have apple pie, freedom, the 4th of July, democracy and baseball. And baseball takes the cake as the premier U.S. sporting event. In order to be a “Gaddang Good American,” one must go to the ballpark and eat hot dogs, cut out box scores, collect baseball cards, and cry and scream with excitement when his or her team comes out on top. And with this love for the game, there also comes a love for drugs, for cheating and for betting on games. 

In America, baseball is synonymous with everything that is wrong with our country. And there, sitting in the middle of it all, is Mr. Rodriguez, smiling like a fat king with too much money and no way to spend it.

You can hire as many public relations people as you want, Mr. Rodriguez, but when the heads start to roll you will not be able to hide for much longer. We will all find you, and when that day comes, you can spend all the money you want and it will not clean your name from the mud. 

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