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Nationals GM explains Stephen Strasburg’s remarkable recovery

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Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo just held a press conference explaining the whole Stephen Strasburg drama. Or, at the very least, trying to give it some sort of internal uniformity so people will stop saying that the Nationals are all over the place with this.

The high points from Rizzo:

  • Strasburg had fevers, chills, and acute sinusitis yesterday. He was on antibiotics and anti inflammatories, as well as an IV;
  • Strasburg’s antibiotics were switched last night;
  • Strasburg called pitching coach Mike Maddux this morning and said he felt better. When he came to the stadium he told Dusty Baker he wanted to pitch today and everyone agreed that he seemed better.
  • Teammates did not pressure Strasburg into starting, nor did the media coverage. Rizzo said “I don’t think Stephen Strasburg cares” what the media says.

Some may be skeptical about the antibiotic switch doing something in such a short time. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that. Old-timers at this site will remember this story, but I got super sick at the 2012 World Series and got some hella drugs that actually helped me out a lot in a really short period of time. If you’re getting weapons-grade antibiotics and not the “take for seven days” stuff most people get, it can make a difference.

So there we have it. If Strasburg goes out and pitches well, all of this will likely be forgotten. If he’s shelled, well, then I imagine some people will say he wasn’t mentally prepared to pitch because of all of the back and forth and some others might say that he was still too sick and probably shouldn’t have pitched. Many of these people will have said something contradictory to that stance no more than 24 hours earlier, of course, because that’s how that works.

No matter what happens, I presume that a more in depth story about all of this will come out some time this winter contradicting Rizzo to. Because that’s how all of that works too.

Angels fire back at Rob Manfred’s comments re: Mike Trout

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout‘s marketability has been a topic of conversation in recent days as the best players in baseball converged upon Washington, D.C. for the All-Star Game. We learned that, according to one firm that measures consumer appeal of personalities, Trout is as recognizable to the average American as Brooklyn Nets reserve forward Kenneth Faried, despite being far and away the best player in baseball and one of the greatest players ever to play the game.

Commissioner Rob Manfred also addressed Trout’s marketability, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reported. Manfred said, “Mike has made decisions on what he wants to do, doesn’t want to do, how he wants to spend his free time or not spend his free time. I think we could help him make his brand very bug. But he has to make a decision to engage. It takes time and effort.”

The Angels fired back on Wednesday, releasing a statement that said:

On behalf of the Angels Organization and baseball fans everywhere, congratulations to Mike Trout on another outstanding All-Star Game performance.

Mike Trout is an exceptional ambassador for the game. Combined with his talent, his solid character creates a perfect role model for young people everywhere. Each year, Mike devotes a tremendous amount of his time and effort contributing to our Organization, and marketing Major League Baseball. He continually chooses to participate in the community, visiting hospitals, schools, and countless other charities. One of Mike’s traits that people admire most is his humility. His brand is built upon generously spending his time engaging with fans, both at home and on the road, while remaining a remarkable baseball player and teammate.

In addition, Mike spends quality time as a husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. We applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion. That is rare in today’s society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent.

It’s not on Trout to build a brand that appeals to MLB’s marketing department, so the Angels are right to back Trout’s decision to stay out of the limelight. The Angels’ motivation likely isn’t entirely selfless, however, as supporting him in this situation may make it more enticing for him to sign a contract extension before his current contract expires after the 2020 season.