Good men (and women) go to Washington with all good intentions and then, seemingly within just a few years, lose their way on the political battleground.
Apparently, this lack of common sense goes beyond Capital Hill, the Senate and the White House. It also extends along the Potomac to Nationals Park.
The Nats find themselves in first place by a slim 3.5 games over the second place Atlanta Braves in the NL East. This is the highest they have been in the standings since moving down from Montreal eight years ago. Yet, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo intends to shut ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg down for the season after his 160th inning, which should occur sometime in August, precisely in the thick of the pennant race.
Rizzo did the same with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, last season, but at least the Nats were out of the race by that point.
Steve Blass told me time and again while we wrote his autobiography how a pitcher gains arm strength the more he throws. How a hot shower immediately after pitching helps the arm recover. And how running has become a lost art for pitchers. Pitchers actually pitch far more with their legs than arms.
Despite the "babying" of pitchers these days, more suffer injuries than ever before.
Remember the "Joba rules" (strict pitch count) for Joba Chamberlain? The Yankees should have made a movie called, "How to screw up a pitcher's career in 12 months or less."
Geez, Catfish Hunter used to complete 30 games a year. What the heck is going on with this generation of pitchers and, more precisely, in the minds of some of baseball's general managers?