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Nationals will be selling an eight-pound ‘Strasburger’ at home games

Since moving over from Montreal, the Washington Nationals have not had a winning season. They have come close a couple times and are improving as of late, but they still leave a lot to be desired. Nationals fans are waiting on Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper to take over the franchise, but more often than not they leave the ballpark with an empty feeling in their stomachs. This season, they will have the opportunity to fill that emptiness with the Strasburger, an eight-pound monstrous entree that will be available at a concession stand in Nationals Park. Check out the description that D.C. Sports Bog passed along:

Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.

I think “large burger bun” could be the biggest understatement of the offseason. And what, no reward for eating it? I know ballpark food is expensive, but if someone polishes off an eight-pound burger I would think they’d get their name on the wall or something. If the amount of fans vomiting in Nationals Park increases drastically this season, don’t blame the booze.

H/T Hardball Talk

Nationals Want to Control Environment for Stephen Strasburg’s Rehab

Think about how careful teams try to be when their top players are rehabbing an injury.  Now think about Stephen Strasburg and how much he means to the Nationals organization.  With that in mind, it is no surprise that Washington is taking extreme precautions with Strasburg as he recovers from Tommy John surgery and looks to get back to the majors.

Having said that, someone will need to explain to me what the Nationals mean by wanting to “control the environment” during  Strasburg’s minor league rehab appearances.  Nationals G.M. Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the team continues to monitor strength and stamina, not results.  He also made it clear that the 23-year-old will only pitch at home.

“The most important thing is the team’s at home,” Rizzo explained. “Because we need to control the environment, and we have that capability when we’re at home.”

Curt Schilling will hate Strasburg even more when he hears this.  Am I the only one who has no clue what that means?  The Nationals’ minor league teams don’t play in a dome or enclosed stadium, so Rizzo can’t be talking about temperature.  Is it because he can go into the locker room after his work is done and receive treatment in a team-owned training room?  It may surprise you, but I’m honestly not even trying to be a wise ass.  Maybe I don’t understand how minor league rehab assignments work, but I have no idea what controlling the environment means so any help grasping that concept would that would be appreciated.

Curt Schilling Loved Stephen Strasburg, Now Hates Him

ESPN has been rolling out a a video of former pitcher Curt Schilling breaking down Stephen Strasburg and his mechanics over the past few days. There is quality analysis in the video and some excellent side-by-side comparisons of Strasburg against a similar pitcher, Josh Johnson. While I appreciated the analysis, this video was the prototypical “Monday Morning Quarterback” story.

It’s much easier to criticize the phenom after he’s hurt himself and after it’s likely he’ll need Tommy John surgery. After all, this is the same over-the-top Schilling who boldly declared that Strasburg might be the best pitcher in baseball upon being called up to the Major Leagues from the Minors. Better than Sabathia, better than Carpenter, better than Wainwright, better than all of them.

Clearly Schilling’s gushing and praise had no limits in May, and now his disparaging comments and criticism will be the most piercing. Schilling may have forgotten his words because this analysis fits today’s story much better, but we haven’t. If Strasburg’s so bad and has so many flaws in his delivery, then where was all this brilliant analysis in May when you were busy declaring him the best pitcher in baseball, Curt?

Feel free to disregard everything Schilling says from now on, if you weren’t already doing so. Here’s the video of Curt Schilling breaking down Stephen Strasburg in case you missed it:

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Tommy John Likely for Strasburg

For Washington Nationals fans, the news cannot get much worse regarding Stephen Strasburg.  About a month ago we pondered whether or not Nationals fans should be concerned about Strasburg’s shoulder.  We came to the conclusion that there was no need to panic just yet.  After watching the 22-year-old suffer an elbow injury that is likely going to require Tommy John surgery, Nats fans can feel free to freak out.

According to MLB.com, Strasburg has a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.  It was originally thought that he had a flexor strain before he underwent an arthrogram that revealed the bad news.  So what does this all mean for Washington and the future of its young phenom?

Remember the old Kerry Wood?  Tommy John surgery.  How about Erik Bedard and his abbreviated stretch of dominance?  Tommy John surgery.  Carl Pavano?  Tommy John.  B.J. Ryan?  Tommy John.

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Stephen Strasburg Hurts His Elbow and it Looks Serious

Stephen Strasburg has only made 11 starts in his career and already he is the face of the Washington Nationals. Unfortunately for the folks in D.C., and all around MLB for that matter, Strasburg is already facing some issues that could derail his career.

Strasburg was activated from the 15-day DL on August 10th after a shoulder injury sidelined him for almost three weeks. When we wondered if the shoulder injury was a concern for the Nats, we didn’t realize we would have the answer nearly a month later. No. His elbow is the concern.

LBS contributor Rey was watching the Nats/Phillies game Saturday night and alerted us to the news that Strasburg left in the middle of the 5th inning. Strasburg was described as being in a lot of pain, leading many observers to believe the injury could be very serious.

After seeing the replay, Strasburg was in pain but descriptions that he was “in agony” are overstated. Strasburg initially turned to the dugout and made a safe sign with his hands to wave off the trainers, but he was immediately removed after the pitch.

Between the shoulder and elbow problems, let’s just hope we’re not looking at the next Kerry Wood or Mark Prior. Maybe it’s the “inverted W” that’s caused the injuries.

Strasburg Throws Heat at Bryce Harper

Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper could easily become the faces of the Washington Nationals for many years to come if they live up to the hype that has surrounded them already.  Despite giving Nationals fans a slight scare with his shoulder problem this season, Strasburg has already exceeded expectations.  The 17-year-old Harper, on the other hand, has yet to sign with Washington while a deadline of midnight on Monday looms.

Considering Scott Boras represents both Strasburg and Harper, we might expect Strasburg to be supportive of Harper’s contract situation.  That doesn’t seem to be the case.  Here are the strong words Strasburg had for Harper when asked if he had any advice for the 17-year-old, courtesy of the Washington Post:

I don’t have any advice for him,” Strasburg said. “It’s his decision. If he wants to play here, he’s going to play here. He doesn’t need advice from anyone to confirm his views. If he doesn’t want to play here, then we don’t want him here. That’s the bottom line.”

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Should Nationals Fans Worry About Strasburg’s Shoulder?

Without Stephen Strasburg, there would be no optimism surrounding the Washington Nationals franchise. How many other pitchers can you remember that were somehow making a push to appear on an all-star roster following their first Major League start?  To date, it has seemed that if the Nationals had anything to worry about at all with their young phenom it’s that he may have tipped a few pitches at some point this season.  Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Nationals fans were forced to take a collective gasp when Strasburg was scratched from his start with what’s being called an inflamed right shoulder.

Tests revealed that although there was soreness and inflammation in the shoulder, there was no structural damage.  That’s obviously tremendous news for the 22-year-old, but is the discomfort something fans and members of the Nationals organization should be worried about, or is it a way of making sure he stays under his innings cap while also finishing the season?

It’s no secret that Strasburg throws hard.  Check that.  For a starting pitcher, he throws tremendously hard.  While it’s exciting to watch, part of me always wants to cringe a little when I see a young pitcher throwing heat like Strasburg does.  You’re looking at a guy who is going to be leaned on to be one of the top starters in Major League Baseball for a long, long time.  Is it physically possible to throw that hard with pitches that break that sharply over such a long span?  I’m sure Mark Prior would be able to shed a bit of light on that subject, so it’s obviously understandable that Washington fans would become uneasy.

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