They got the call right.
I hate the fact that a World Series game ended with a controversial call by the umpires, but the important thing is that the correct call was made.
The issue last night, and this morning, and going forward, should be that Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a poor decision to throw down to third after the initial out at the plate, and also made a poor throw.
If he holds the ball in that situation, we get a Koji Uehara-Pete Kozma matchup with two outs and runners at the corners. Edge goes to the Red Sox in a big way there. Instead, Saltalamacchia tried to make a tough throw, and he got burned.
I’ll add that I really appreciated the fact that Major League Baseball brought in the umpires for a postgame press conference to talk about the play. Letting the umpiring crew fully explain the rule and how it was put into action was a smart move.
Full transparency is always good in situations like this, and MLB did well to provide that in this case.
Strasburg had bone chips in his right elbow removed, Harper had the bursa in his left knee repaired and LaRoche had loose bodies in his left elbow removed.
The Nationals announced that all three players are expected to be ready for spring training, which obviously is a good thing.
But just because Strasburg, Harper and LaRoche will be “ready for spring training,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be limited when workouts begin, or that they’ll be 100 percent when spring games get under way.
Drew Storen had the same procedure as Strasburg last spring; he got bone chips removed from his right elbow back in April 2012. Storen didn’t come back and pitch in major league games until mid-July, more than three months after the surgery.
Every medical situation is obviously different, and we can’t assume that just because Storen came back at a certain time, that Strasburg’s timetable will be the same. Three months for Strasburg would leave him coming back in late February, but if he takes a little longer than that, his spring throwing regimen could be thrown off.
As pointed out by some people on Twitter yesterday, Ryan Zimmerman was technically ready for spring training last spring after having offseason surgery to clean out the AC joint in his shoulder, but he wasn’t even making full throws across the diamond until midway through spring. The effects of his surgery also lingered deep into the season, and played a part in his shaky defensive play in the first few months of the 2013 campaign.
The hope, obviously, is that Strasburg, Harper and LaRoche will be able to take care of most of their rehab over the next couple months, work out the kinks early in spring and then be fully ready for spring training games. But that’s not a certainty.