Stephen Strasburg should only throw home games for the rest of the year

I am actually dead serious when I say that.

It makes all the sense in the world for the Nats in 2010. Strasburg is the face of the franchise. He’s the only reason anyone gives a damn about the Nationals.

Oh yeah they are doing better than they were last year and the year before… but those were years they lost 103 and 102 games. They were able to draft Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg because they were monumentally dreadful.

And yeah they are the best team in the Beltway, but that’s because the Orioles are on pace to go 43-119.

People watch the Nats because of Strasburg and that’s it!
So the Nationals are understandably going to be cautious to not wreck their prized arm (see Prior, Mark.) So they will probably set him on an innings limit.

But while the Nationals don’t want to kill the Golden Goose, they also want to cash in some of those golden eggs!

Today there were nearly 40,000 on a Wednesday afternoon to see him pitch. The team normally draws about 20,000 to a game, often less. But they just about double that number when Strasburg is on the bump.

And I bet that most of the fans left Nationals Park happy today even though their team lost.

They saw Strasburg pitch beautifully again. 6 strong innings, 9 strikeouts and 0 walks for the tough luck loss.

The fans were buzzing and a park that last year would be lucky to draw 12,000 on a weekday afternoon pulled in 3 times that.

Which brings me to my original thought.

When the Nationals go on the road… don’t pitch Strasburg!

Shut him down then. You limit his innings. He gets 6 or 7 days off.
In one stretch between July 16th and July 25th, he will have 10 games where he has off.

Then, right now, you announce that he will pitch the first game of every homestand.

And watch the advance ticket sales go up.
People want to see him live. People know this is an extraordinary pitcher and so far he has been delivering the goods better than anyone thought he would… and people are clearly going to pay to see him.

So why have Baltimore, or the Mets, or the Marlins, or the Braves or the Diamondbacks make dough off of this.

If 40,000 are going to pay, have them pay in DC!
If 40,000 are going to buy a pretzel, some dogs, chili at Ben’s and $8 beers, then buy them at Nationals Park.

The Nationals can build up a fan base this way… going to the games can become an event and something that the fans can share.

I know it sounds like I am joking, but how does this not make sense?

Innings limited? Check.
Profits maximized? Check.
Fan base pleased? Check.

It makes sense to me!
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5 of the 6 homers Papelbon has alowed this year have been devastating

Jonathan Papelbon has coughed up 6 homers this year.

One he let up on June 2 to Oakland pinch hitter Kevin Kouzmanoff. It was a solo shot that made a 6-3 Red Sox lead 6-4, which was the final score. No harm done.

His other 5 homers he’s let up have staggering punches to the gut that spoiled games that would have otherwise been highlights of the season.

Don’t believe me?

On April 7th he let up a 10th inning, tie breaking home run to Curtis Granderson in a game where the Sox had a chance to win the opening series against the Yankees.

On May 17th, the Sox were down 5-0 in the first and 6-1 in the second to the Yankees when they came all the way back and handed Papelbon a 9-7 lead in the 9th. He allowed a game tying shot to A-Rod and a walk off shot to Marcus Thames.

And then came tonight… a game that could have been the highlight of the entire season. Facing Ubaldo Jimenez… falling behind to Ubaldo Jimenez… rallying to beat Ubaldo Jimenez (including a double from John Lackey!)

Daniel Nava was going to be the hero. The Red Sox were going to basically say “We fear no pitcher!”

And 2 pitches into the 9th, Papelbon lets up a homer to Ian Stewart… and a walk off to Jason Giambi.

GIAMBI! I still have to worry about f—ing Giambi???

A night of glory was turned into a teeth grinder of the grandest level.


April 4 – 9-7 win against Yankees (On Opening Night, the Red Sox overcome a 5-1 Yankee lead with a game tying HR by Pedroia and a go ahead passed ball.)
April 10 – 8-3 win against Kansas City (Beckett out pitches Zack Greinke and nearly gets decapitated by a line drive.)
April 14 – 6-3 win in Minnesota. (Okajima gets Morneau to pop up with the bases loaded in the 7th and Papelbon wiggled out of a 9th inning jam.)
April 20 – 7-6 win against Texas. (Darnell McDonald introduces himself to Boston with an 8th inning game tying homer and a walk off hit in the 9th.)
April 21 – 8-7 win against Texas. (The Red Sox were down 4-0 early only to win it on Youk’s 2 out 11th inning double.)
April 23 – 4-3 win against Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 3-0 lead but win it on Adrian Beltre’s bases loaded walk.)
April 24 – 7-6 win against Baltimore. (The Red Sox score 6 in the 7th and hold off a late Baltimore comeback attempt.)
April 26 – 13-12 win at Toronto. (The Sox blow an early 5-0 lead but hang on for dear life in a slugfest.)
April 27 – 2-1 win at Toronto. (Buchholz holds the Jays down for 8 but it takes a bases loaded walk in the 8th to go ahead.)
April 28 – 2-0 win at Toronto. (Daniel Bard wiggles out of trouble in the 8th to help Lester shut down the Blue Jays and finish the sweep.)
May 4 – 5-1 win against the Angels. (Juan Rivera misplays Jeremy Hermedia’s 2 out flyball into a 3 run game winning double)
May 5 – 3-1 win against the Angels. (Papi and Beltre homer and the Sox hang on despite squandering many potential rallies.)
May 6 – 11-6 win against the Angels. (Dice-K puts the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole before they even bat. The Sox bats respond.)
May 10 – 7-6 win against the Blue Jays. (Sox blow an early 2-0 lead, take advantage of some errors and hang on.)
May 18 – 7-5 win in New York. (Sox climb back from a 5-1 hole. A day after hitting a walk off homer, Marcus Thames drops a fly ball to start the winning rally for the Sox.)
May 25 – 2-0 win in Tampa. (Big Papi supplies all the offense as Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam.)
May 29 – 1-0 win against Kansas City. (Zack Greinke holds the Sox to one run, but they make it stick)
June 1 – 9-4 win against Oakland. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 4-0 hole but Victor Martinez goes 5-5 and the Sox score 9 runs late.)
June 2 – 6-4 win against Oakland. (Dice-K puts the Sox in a 3-0 hole before they come to bat, but come back thanks to Papi’s homer.)
June 8 – 3-2 win at Cleveland. (With Papelbon unavailable, Okajima, Ramirez and Bard hang on to make a winner out of Wakefield.)
June 19 – 5-4 win against the Dodgers. (Sox make 4 errors, blow a late lead and let Manny homer, but they win it in the bottom of the 9th on a Pedroia single.)
June 20 – 2-0 win against the Dodgers. (Dodgers blow an early bases loaded scoring opportunity and allow Buchholz to settle down for the win.)


April 6 – 6-4 loss against the Yankees. (Scutaro’s error leads to the winning run.)
April 7 – 3-1 loss against the Yankees. (Sox leave the winning run on in the 9th only to lose on Granderson’s 10th inning homer)
April 9 – 4-3 loss in Kansas City. (Bard coughs up the lead, denying Wakefield a win.)
April 17 – 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Sox can’t score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th… lost it in the 12th.)
April 17 – 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox comeback falls a run short, leaving two on in the 8th)
April 25 – 7-6 loss to Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 4-1 lead, leave the winning run on second in the 9th, let up 3 in the 10th and could only score 2 in the bottom of the 10th)
April 30 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (Tejada ties the game with a 2 out 8th inning homer and wins it with a bloop in the 10th)
May 1 – 12-9 loss in Baltimore. (Dice-K and Wakes get pounded, wasting 2 homers from Ortiz and an early 4-1 lead.)
May 2 – 3-2 loss in Baltimore. (Varitek is thrown at home trying to score with 2 outs in the 8th. Sox get swept in the 10th.
May 12 – 3-2 loss against the Blue Jays. (The Sox rally in the 9th comes up a run short and Kevin Gregg gets an ugly save.)
May 15 – 7-6 loss in Detroit. (The Sox blow a 6-1 lead and lose it on a 2 out bases loaded walk in the 12th.)
May 17 – 11-9 loss in New York. (The Sox come all the way back from a 5-0 first inning hole to take a 9-7 lead in the 9th… but Papelbon lets up a 2 run game tying shot to A-Rod and a 2 run walk off shot to Marcus Thames.)
May 21 – 5-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Big Papi’s bid for a game tying 9th inning grand slam is caught at the warning track.)
May 274-3 loss to Kansas City. (Dice-K walks the go ahead run in and lets another score on a wild pitch as the Royals no name bullpen shut down the Hot Sox.)
May 28 – 12-5 loss to Kansas City. (Sox blow a 3-0 first inning lead to be blown out in Fenway.)
June 3 – 9-8 loss to Oakland. (Sox lose a slugfest where two Boston runners are thrown out at home.)

June 6 – 4-3 loss in Baltimore. (Sox rally to tie the game in the 9th only to lose it on a small ball rally in the 11th.)

June 10 – 8-7 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow an early 5-0 lead and then after rallying in the 9th to take the lead coughed it up with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th)
June 13 – 5-3 loss to Philadelphia. (Sox 9th inning rally comes up short)
June 22 – 2-1 loss in Colorado. (The Sox waste a solid Lester start and twice leave the bases loaded.)
June 23 – 8-6 loss in Colorado. (The Sox batter Ubaldo Jimenez around but Papelbon lets up 2 homers in the 9th to lose it.)

Down to +1.
Maybe the Sox can avoid the sweep tomorrow… either way this one HURT!

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Fredi Gonzalez couldn’t win with a $45 million payroll? FIRE HIM!

I seriously… he only won 87 games last year with a payroll lower than the Cubs paid for Milton Bradley, Kosuke Fukodome and Ted Lilly last year.

In 2008 he put a winning product on the field for less than Jason Giambi’s salary.

But enough is enough! It’s been 7 years since the Marlins have had a champion. There are 6 year old Marlin fans who are grumbling “Will the Marlins EVER win in my lifetime?”

Clearly Gonzalez was given the horses!
They have one of the 26 highest payrolls in baseball.

So that underachiever Gonzalez is gone. In comes Edwin Rodriguez… aka the next Earl Weaver… is in charge.

And appropriately enough hemade his debut in Baltimore (always a nice way to pick up and easy W which he did.)

Better keep up those winning ways, Edwin. They expect nothing but the best in Miami!

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