Boston Red Sox Carl Crawford slaps hands with a teammate after scoring a run against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of American League MLB baseball action at Fenway Park in Boston

Carl Crawford, Red Sox disagree on whether he needs Tommy John surgery

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Bobby Valentine announced yesterday that the Red Sox are going to put Carl Crawford on “a four-day program” to help his bum elbow. Meaning that Crawford can’t play more than four games in a row.

Crawford, however, is not happy with it and insisted again that at some point he’s going to need surgery:

“That’s what the doctor told me,” Crawford said of needing surgery. “I’ll try not to even think about it. I go out and play, try not to think about it. I figure one day it’ll blow out, and when that happens, time to go. “The later I wait to get it done, the more time I’m going to miss. I guess you guys can do the calculation on that and see how that works. I definitely know that at some point of my career I can’t keep playing with this ligament in my elbow like that.”

Then, after that Valentine chimed in:

“I heard what Carl said,” Valentine said. “I’ve never been told that he needs an operation. I don’t think that’s a definitive situation.”

It’s never easy in Boston.

In other news, I love that we have a left fielder and a manager discussing medical prognosis as if there weren’t some doctors around with greater insight on the manner.

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.

Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.

The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.

Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.

Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.