Strasburg and baseball’s woes

The news has been out for less than 24 hours, and it’s already old. Strasburg’s elbow is a wreck, and he probably needs Tommy John surgery. When the Strasburg hype machine was cranking full tilt, many people foresaw this scenario. Many of those folks were just being nay-sayers. They may still be nay-sayers, but they were right nonetheless.

Baseball seemed so desperate when it was pumping up Strasburg earlier this year. I’m not sure how the established stars feel about all this coverage of rookies. Guys like Strasburg haven’t proven a thing, and yet they are the biggest thing going. Meanwhile Pujols hits his 400th homer with relatively little fanfare. A-Rod’s 600th got a bit more attention but was still anticlimactic. A-Rod was juiced, you say? Oh yeah, established baseball players have this whole PED problem.

PEDs have been a killer for baseball. A-Rod’s 600th homer should have been a huge event. Baseball loves its stats, and 600 HRs is a big number. With the drug issue, however, it’s hard to get excited. Why would people get pumped about Pujols’ 400th if 600 can’t raise eyebrows? Even worse, Clemens’ legal problems will make sure that nobody forgets about PEDs in baseball for many months to come. I honestly don’t know why guys like Jeter and Griffey get passes in this discussion. I mean if Pettitte was using HGH (just once, wink), you know that plenty of others were too.

With the past problems, I can understand why baseball wants to turn everyone’s eyes away from the old and to the new. This year it was Strasburg. Next year it will be someone else. Hyping individuals is a high-risk business, especially if those individuals are rookies. I hope Strasburg can make a strong comeback in 2012. Baseball needs him.

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