Or, as McLain refers to him, “Stephen Strousburg,” but let’s just chalk that up to prison educational programs not being as strong as they should be:
Folks, you never see it coming, it takes one pitch, one bad wind-up, one bad anything, but who the hell can predict that someone is going to get hurt? If I am a fan in Washington, I want my money back if they sit this phenom down for the rest of the year, by the way, if they are afraid of him getting hurt, why pitch him at all? Maybe next year, 5 innings huh?
I’m sort of in an uncomfortable position here in that, very broadly speaking, I agree that Strasburg should pitch more, and I never ever like agreeing with a dude like Denny McLain.
But I’m also of the view that Denny McLain is perhaps the biggest idiot to ever wear a baseball uniform and I find the idea that he makes zero connection between the Tigers pitching him into the damn dirt when he was 20-25 years-old and him breaking down and being washed up at age 26 to be almost too delicious to be true.
Anyway, we have to be near the end of the list people who have an opinion on Strasburg. At least until it comes up in the presidential debates.
The Red Sox have some tough decisions to make in advance of the World Series next week; namely, what to do with some of their hottest-hitting players once the series shifts to a National League park — and National League rules. During a press conference on Saturday, manager Alex Cora said he’d be open to the idea of starting All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts at second base when the club’s regular DH, J.D. Martinez, is forced to play the outfield during away games.
The Red Sox carry home field advantage through the Fall Classic, so Games 1 and 2 will be played at Fenway Park — as well as Games 6 and 7, should those become necessary. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 7 later tonight, World Series Games 3 through 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium or Miller Park. That’s when Betts might take over the keystone from Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt, both of whom have shared second base duties over the course of the 2018 postseason.
The idea isn’t without merit. Betts and Martinez comprise two of the team’s top talents at the plate and, should the Red Sox need to stave off elimination in Games 4 and 5, sitting either of them doesn’t make sense. The 26-year-old Betts led the team with a staggering .346/.438/.640 batting line, 32 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and career-best 10.4 fWAR over 614 PA, while Martinez posted some career totals of his own, slashing .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs, a 1.031 OPS, and 5.9 fWAR in 649 PA. This wouldn’t be the first time Betts has taken reps at second, either, as he’s logged 15 games at the position over the course of his five-year career, most recently during a 4-1 win over the Yankees in August.
Whether or not Betts is considered a lock for all three games is another question, one to which Cora didn’t give a definite answer. “I don’t know, man,” the skipper told reporters Saturday. “[Betts] already played second during the regular season, so there’s always a chance, I guess.” He later added that while Betts would be taking ground balls at second, it’s part of the routine he’s maintained all year — so nothing should be read into it until a clear decision has been announced.