Major League Baseball Hits The Home Stretch

The Washington Nationals’ World Series hero, Stephen Strasburg has announced his retirement; injuries and not Father Time have brought him to this fork in the road.  His last start was in June 2022.  Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2010 and worked his way back from that setback but in 2021 he suffered from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and underwent surgery to try to alleviate that condition.  It did not work, and Strasburg announced his retirement last week.

Also last week we learned that Shohei Otani tore his UCL and will not be able to pitch for the rest of the season.  Evidently, he can still swing a bat, so he will remain with the team, but Otani will be a free agent once this season is over and his need for surgery – – with the corresponding uncertainty of return to form that goes with every surgery – – will make his days on the “open market” very interesting.  One commentator said with authority that Otani’s injury cost him at least $100M and maybe $150M in the total value of his next contract.  We shall see …

In other MLB news, raise your hand if you saw this happening:

  • The calendar is about to flip to September setting up the stretch run for the MLB season.
  • The two NY teams spent the most money on player payroll by far for 2023.
  • As of this morning both the Yankees and the Mets are in last place in their divisions.

In the case of the Yankees, their possession of the basement slot in the AL East is rock solid; the Yankees are about 7 games behind the Red Sox in the standings.  The Mets are only two games behind the Nats in the NL East and could still escape that dungeon abode.

On a much more positive note, the race to watch over the balance of the season is in the AL West.  You can throw a hat over the records of the Mariners, the Rangers and the Astros.  Just so you know that there is some spice left to the pennant and playoff chases this year:

  • The Mariners’ last ten games on the regular season schedule are against the Astros and the Rangers.  The Mariners are on the road to the Rangers for 3 games; they are home to the Astros for 3 games and they are home to the Rangers for 4 games.
  • The Astros are at the Rangers for 3 games starting on Labor Day and then have 3 games at the Mariners home field.
  • The Rangers have 7 games against the Mariners and 3 against the Astros coming up.  In addition, the Rangers have a series with the Blue Jays who are lurking out there hoping to secure a wild card slot in the playoffs.

Switching gears – – and sports …  You must have read about the uproar in Spain caused by the President of the Spanish Soccer Federation kissing one of the star Spanish women’s soccer players on the mouth “unannounced” and “uninvited”.  FIFA says they will provisionally suspend him for 90 days.  The Spanish women want him removed from his job.  He remains unrepentant saying that he did nothing “inappropriate”.  At the risk of appearing to side with any party to this kerfuffle, let me say:

  • Should he have done this?  NO!
  • Is this the worst “assault” on the player he might have perpetrated?  No.
  • Should he have apologized immediately?  Of course, he should have.
  • Is it too late for an apology?  You bet.
  • Should he lose his job?  That is a decision for the members of the Spanish Soccer Federation to make.

There is one other question here that does not have such a short answer.  The Spanish Women’s National Team has threatened not to play again if this guy is not removed from his position of authority.  Is that a good idea?

It seems to me that these women would be cutting off their noses to spite their faces if they do this.  They are the reigning Women’s World Cup Champions; the Olympics will kick off in less than a year.  It seems to me that the opportunity to add an Olympic Gold Medal to the team’s accomplishments argues for them to regroup and play on.

Hey!  That’s just me …

Finally, I shall close today with these words from Laurence J. Peter:

“In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties. … Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “Major League Baseball Hits The Home Stretch”

  1. I don’t think it is confirmed Ohtani is having surgery. Masahiro Tanaka pitched for years with a partial tear.

    This is the latest in any season the Mets and Yankees were both in last. I think the last time the Yankees finished last (1966) was the year Leo Durocher went to Chicago, and proclaimed “This is not a ninth place club” and proceeded to finish 10th and last in the NL.

    1. Ed:

      Yet another storyline that can benefit from a tad of “benign neglect” to let it sort itself out.

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