The Wussification of our pro athletes


This blog may anger off some of you and believe me when I say, that is not my intention. And my blog doesn’t necessarily include any St. Louis Cardinal players but, you’ll see later, there are many Cardinal players that are the opposite of wussification. For those who aren’t clear what I mean by wussification, it’s a term used to imply a person, male or female, who is extremely sensitive to pain or adverse circumstances. There is another term used but, since this is a “family” blog, I’ll refrain from using that term.

Now before I get into the subject that prompted this, let me explain a little further. If you are a working person and are feeling a little “under the weather”, you usually don’t stay home. Unless it’s contagious or you want to “burn” a sick day, to tough it out and go to work. And if you do take a sick day or two or three, you probably deserve it for busting your butt other times during the course of working at your job. And yes, that includes, taking sick days for mental fatigue and I totally understand that.

Now, imagine, you and your company are working on a huge deal that will impact your company in a very positive way, and you’re not quite feeling 100%. Do you take of some days and wait until you feel better? Do you take off of work for the rest of the year until you feel better? NO!! You go to work and do the best you can to finish the huge deal and then rest afterwards. You figure out a way to help your company; despite feeling terrible and you do the best you can to help in any way you can. There are many pro athletes who feel that if they aren’t 100%, they should be allowed to sit. Sometimes, this is practical and feasible. Other times, it’s that player or athlete being a wussy.

Now, let’s talk about major league baseball. In my opinion, the wussification started with pitching when the pitch count was used as a gauge of a pitcher’s effectiveness. There are at least two teams in the National League that have decided to “shut down” two of their starting pitchers for the rest of the season. That means, they won’t pitch again until spring training; which is approximately 6-7 months away. Oh, in case you didn’t know it, the current season hasn’t ended yet. What’s even more surprising is, one of the teams is in a pennant race. Now, before I go any further, all indications are that the players’ involved aren’t happy about this shut down. And I don’t blame them. They are both being payed millions of dollars a year to play a sport. And all they want to do is do their job and play the game. But, their lame brain personnel in the front office think they’re protecting an investment (I guess). Even more baffling is the fact that one pitcher has pitched 159 innings and the other 165 innings. Physical and mental fatigue??? Please, remember sports fans, this is a game, where the most stress you’ll have if you win or lose the game you’re pitching in that day; or if you’re giving your team a quality start. And back in the day, Bob Gibson pitched as many as 314 innings one year and averaged 262 innings over his career! And please, don’t give me that crap about it being a different era because when it comes to this particular position, you throw a baseball to prevent a batter from hitting it and getting on base. No, what has changed is many of our pro athletes, not just baseball, are wussies. The majority are not but, there are many. And this blog isn’t being written to explain how this happens but, if you want a hint, it starts when they are children and usually caused by over ambitious parents. Although, this is a little different, it happens nonetheless.

Again, in this instance, it appears the front office is contributing to this wussification by insisting the players be shut down. Where is the player’s union now? Isn’t this a player’s union issue since neither player wants this to happen? The players by the way are Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals and Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs. And if I were a Nats or Cubs fan, I would be very angry.

In the meantime, the Cardinals have a pitcher in Chris Carpenter, who may be returning to the starting rotation early; as it was indicated earlier, he would be out for the year. He is the epitome of what a professional athlete should strive to be when it comes to returning to the team to help your team. So, hats off to the Cardinals front office in helping him and supporting him in this endeavor. While no date has been set yet, when it is announced, you’ll be able to read it here at Redbird Rants and I’ll be sure to tweet it. In closing, the front office has every right to protect what it sees as an investment. But, when there is no reason for shutting a player down other than conjecture, and the player would rather play, the player should be allowed to play. I hope the Cardinals never stoop to doing this and let the player have some input as to their future as a member of the ball club.

I welcome your feedback or comments. Have a good weekend and thanks for reading. Go Cards!

Tags: Chris Carpenter Featured Popular Spring Training

  • http://twitter.com/DolphRudager Dolph Rudager

    Two words: Dusty Baker. How many young pitchers has he ruined? Two
    more words: Billy Beane. Nobody rode young pitchers harder & threw
    them to the curb once free agency hit. Now a ghost: Billy Martin. That
    asshole flat-out hated pitchers.

    Not all pitchers are created
    equal, nor are they freaks like Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson. The human
    body is not made to throw a baseball like in today’s modern game.
    Strasburg was based on history after Tommy John surgery so there’s some
    precedence. Samardzija I don’t give a shit about because it’s the Cubs.
    But if you respect pitching, you should take care of your pitching
    staff, not manage on ignorance & hope for the best.

    I see
    two young 23 year old pitchers on the White Sox staff in Sale &
    Quintana, and they’re way past career highs in innings (98 IP & 68
    IP) & running on fumes. I would put them on extra rest & screw
    this “win at all costs” mentality that goes on in sports. I’m also
    against the DH & think the season needs to be shortened to 156 to
    144 games.

    Don’t tell me pitchers don’t need pitch counts
    because it does add up on wear & tear. This isn’t 1960 where batters
    are all David Eckstein sized, 15″ mounds & Buick-sized strike zones
    where starters pitched many complete games. You got a bunch of
    juiced-up gym rats in a Selig world of selling seats & ESPN dictated
    playoffs (that’s why there’s a 2nd Wild Card, so their precious Red
    Sox, Yankees, Phillies & other big market assholes shore up the
    advertising dollars).

    It is a different era. Deal with it. My dad brings up Bob Gibson too & he doesn’t know shit about baseball.