Ever since Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed that their ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg, a recent Tommy John Surgery patient, will be shut down by the end of September – despite the fact that the team finds themselves very much in playoff contention – many local sports personalities have been condemning the move.
You can add Sean Salisbury to that list.
True, he’s spent more time as a pro athlete in the state of Washington, and not so much Washington, D.C. But on his weekly spot on 106.7 The Fan’s “Lavar & Dukes” program, Salisbury – who also co-hosts a daily radio show on Sacramento-based Internet radio station TheCDNetworks – was asked by host Chad Dukes, after hitting on various NFL topics, to comment on this questionable plan by the Nats to prematurely end Strasburg’s season – before even getting a sniff of the postseason.
After commending Rizzo for “a great job building this team” that currently leads the NL East division, Salisbury let him have it.
“I’m gonna tell you what, I think it’s a wuss move,” said Salisbury of Rizzo’s decision to shut Strasburg down. “Forget the money; you’re telling me it’s all about the money? Because if it’s not about the money, you know what you’re telling me? That Strasburg’s bigger than the organization… I don’t like it. I just don’t.” He argued that the Nationals’ move would be akin to the Broncos, “vying for a playoff, got the best record,” shutting down their new quarterback Peyton Manning halfway through the regular season “because they’re afraid his neck’s a little stiff, and we’re gonna start the backup in the playoffs. No. No. Absolutely not.”
Indeed, Salisbury thinks the Nationals have no chance of winning it all without their star arm.
“You don’t take Rudolph out of your lineup, and expect the rest of your reindeer to… deliver,” he said. “They had absolutely no clue they’d be sitting in this position, and you and I both know it.”
Salisbury is not the only sports mouth criticizing the Nationals ending Strasburg’s season, playoffs be damned. Rob Dibble, the former ESPN personality who at one time was a color analyst for Nationals games on MASN (until Strasburg’s own dad was instrumental in getting him dismissed from that gig) has been taking potshots at the organization this week via his current position as host of Fox Sports Radio’s “FSR Tonight” program.
Yet what Dibble said over the course of a couple of evenings, Salisbury summed up perfectly in three words: “A wuss move.”
That would be “wuss” with a curly W.