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Mike Rizzo is no idiot

Jun 15, 2010, 4:12 PM EST

This passage from Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle is a couple of days old, but it’s still a head-scratcher:

Mike Rizzo kept saying Stephen Strasburg wasn’t ready for the majors, even when Strasburg tore through spring training like a hurricane and dazzled in the minor leagues.

Tuesday’s stunning debut should have been Strasburg’s 11th big-league start, not his first, and the Nats should be in the thick of the division race.

Talk about misreading the emotional makeup of the No. 1 draft pick.

Ostler may be the only person on the planet who doesn’t believe that keeping Strasburg down until June 8th was a service time move as opposed to a readiness move.  Which would normally be fine — sometimes ignorance of such things makes it easier to enjoy baseball — but in this case his ignorance is being used to criticize Mike Rizzo unfairly, and that’s not cool.

Rizzo may be fibbing about why Strasburg was on the farm so long, but the silly rules in place all but require that. And all of us, save Scott Ostler, seemed to know it.

  1. Jamie - Jun 15, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    So I dug through the Scott Ostler archive, just to see if maybe he usually writes about football or something, and I see that he has a column of “witty” little observations called “Deep Thoughts, Cheap Shots, and Bon Mots”. Don’t you hate it when you try to give someone the benefit of the doubt and they make you hate yourself for it?

  2. Jonny5 - Jun 15, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    Damn, you’d think the nats were north of Jersey with that type of Journalism. You know the kind that senslessly picks on all decisions when it comes to the game. “Joe G. picked his nose during tonights game throwing Jeter for a loop thinking it was a sign, therefore blowing the lead when jeter lined up in the wrong spot. Should he be fired?” Stuff like that.

  3. monkeyball - Jun 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Awesome to see Ostler getting some national-level humiliation. He’s only loosely a sports columnist (he got legacied over to the sports desk after a couple decades trying to replace Herb Caen), he’s only intermittently “funny,” and he knows jack-shit about baseball. The only reason he’s even been thinking about baseball lately is because the SF Chron, in a penny-wise/pound-foolish bout of cost-cutting, (a) had regular A’s beat writer Susan Slusser double-covering the Sharks and A’s, (b) bought Slusser cheap, non-refundable tickets to go and cover the Sharks’ deep march into the NHL playoffs, (c) lined up already-on-salary columnists (instead of stringers, who at least usually have familiarity with the team and sport) to cover the A’s in Slusser’s planned absence (and bought them cheap non-refundable airline tickets, too — though from Ostler’s dispatches from the Orioles series, you’d never know he got within 2000 miles of Camden Yards), and (d) refused to eat the cost of the tickets (or use their corporate muscle to get some sort of refund/credit) when the Sharks bowed out early, leaving Slusser sans portfolio for two weeks.
    The only thing I’d add is that the linkage from mlbtr (where I presume you found the Ostler link, Craig) is typical of the bad telephone-game of “so-and-so reports …” where the originating dreck is from some columnist opining beyond his expertise.

  4. Keith K. - Jun 15, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Setting aside Ostler’s apparent ignorance about service time, would the Nationals really be “in the thick of the division race” had Strasburg been promoted earlier? They are currently 31-33, in last place and 6 games out of first. Strasburg “missed” 10 starts by Ostler’s calculation. Even if the Nats had won 8 of those starts (a great percentage for a starting pitcher), that would likely be a net gain of around 4 wins, based on their winning percentage without him). They would still be hovering around .500 and in the middle of the pack.

  5. jwb - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    “Ostler may be the only person on the planet who doesn’t believe that keeping Strasburg down until June 8th was a service time move”
    Except it wasn’t. Strasburg is under contract through 2012, so the Super Two avoidance game is irrelevant here. The extra (almost) year before free agency deadline passed on April 14.

  6. JBerardi - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    “So I dug through the Scott Ostler archive, just to see if maybe he usually writes about football or something, and I see that he has a column of “witty” little observations called “Deep Thoughts, Cheap Shots, and Bon Mots”. Don’t you hate it when you try to give someone the benefit of the doubt and they make you hate yourself for it?

    Columns of “witty” little observations : Writing :: Amateur webcam pornography : Cinema. The lowest form of the craft and only appealing to true degenerates.

  7. KG - Jun 15, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Except it was.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031904323.html

  8. Charles Gates - Jun 15, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Amateur webcam pornography
    Only repeating because I hope this helps key in some words that will ‘improve’ the ads on the side of the page…
    recaptcha: the sweetie

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 16, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    A four-win swing from 31-33 would be to 35-29, which would put the Nationals 1 1/2 games out of first. It’s just a shame that the stupid “super-two” rules cost the Nationals a shot at being in first-place at this late a point in the season.

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