While we’re on the subject of the Strasburg Plan, it might be wise to hark back to past young guns whose careers—or, more accurately, the lack thereof, for most—may or may not have factored into the Washington Nationals’ thinking. (Manager Davey Johnson, who’s absolutely on board with the Strasburg Plan, happens to know about at least one of those guns directly.) They didn’t all have fractured comebacks from Tommy John surgery (though a few of them could have used it, if the procedure had been around), but they did have work use or other physical issues in one or another way that turned them from brilliant or burgeoning youth to gone, or at least nothing near what they first seemed they’d be, before they should have been in prime.
Roger Clemens gets off the hook on a perjury rap because either the House Committee for the Sending of Swell Messages to Kids, the actual prosecution, or the original Mitchell Report bungled its way across the sticky wickets of actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances. It induces something of a giant sucking yawn, with only an occasional bleat against putting the Rocket into the Hall of Fame.
The early morning-after speculation proved true. Suicide. And those with direct and indirect interest, his actual and his baseball family alike, must wonder. What drove Mike Flanagan–once a tenacious but abundantly-humourous Baltimore Orioles pitcher, eventually a team coach, broadcaster, and executive who withstood the heat in and for Peter Angelos’s chameleonic kitchen–to leave himself with a bullet in his head, to be found dead on a trail of his property at 59.