The SaniTERRYum XVII: That’s Why You Don’t Shutdown Your Ace

Posted: October 14, 2012 by Terry Carlton in Sports


Hey, baseball fans.

With both League Championship Series now underway, including Joe Buck and Tim McGarver narrating the unscripted plot lines of the NLCS and The World Series, we are greeted on one side with two crazy National League comeback stories and two game five wins in dominant fashion by American League aces to get where we are. One can’t help but wonder where the Washington Nationals would fit into all this had they not shut down Stephen Strasburg. Detroit’s reigning MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander shutout the Athletics on four hits en route to his most impressive complete game all year to advance to the ALCS. CC Sabathia went the distance in game five against the Orioles to ensure the Yankees would advance. Stephen Strasburg was nowhere to be found in Washington’s crushing game five loss to St. Louis. That’s why…you don’t shut down your ace.

How was Strasburg this year? He…did some wonderful things.

The Strasburg situation had been bothering me before it even became official. Shutting down your best pitcher at the outset of a playoff run? Come on! It bothered me just hearing that the shutdown possibility was even out there. I can’t wrap my head around it, no matter how I try. I understand it, albeit only from a business standpoint. You shut down your top prospects and future power arms late in meaningless seasons when your club is rebuilding for the future. The Washington Nationals’ future was supposed to be this season. I can see Washington’s hope that the team they’ve assembled will be competitive for awhile, allowing Strasburg to throw in plenty of meaningful games down the road, but for them to assume that will be the case is downright ignorant. What happens when you assume? What happens if and when your team’s development is arrested? Sorry Nationals fans, your team’s brass has made a huge mistake.

St. Louis fans have to be all into themselves right now: “Steve Holt!” As seems to be the case with the Cardinals over the last decade or so, they get hot/lucky at the right time of the year to find themselves in favorable situations come fall. Them? Think about it. That crucial “infield fly” call at a pivotal moment during the wild-card game against Atlanta coupled with the shutdown of Strasburg provides St. Louis fans with an unexpected opportunity to be optimistic in October. Plus, they’re getting ridiculous clutch contributions from previously unheard of minor leaguers. Well, that was a freebie…

I’m just going to dive in head first…like Pete Rose and stick with New York and San Francisco to make it to the Fall Classic. Yes, the Giants lost game one at home last night with Madison putting the “bum” in Bumgarner. Yes, the Yankees are down 0-2 heading back to Detroit with Jeter their leader out for the season due to a broken ankle. Yes, they have to face ace Verlander in the midst of another one of his tears, but there’s always money in the banana stand with the Yankees. They still have the most potent lineup of the teams alive. They still have solid pitching. They still have Yankee pride, and they’ll represent the American League in The Series. I don’t know what I’m saying!

What I do know is that October is the best part of the baseball season. After 162+, we earn the right every autumn to make postseason memories while legends and dynasties are born. This is where boys become men, men become legends, and we separate the strong from the…chickens.|0;d|HdQWFOitATbjWM:

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