In a Washington Post piece showcasing the differences and similarities between the Nationals’ decision to sit Stephen Strasburg at the end of last season and Redskins’ choice to play Robert Griffin III yesterday, Adam Kilgore writes:
The choices say more about the mores of the respective sports than the men making them. Football is brutal and vicious, and players are pumped with all manner of painkillers and drugs to get them through Sunday. You wonder if ANY coach would have pulled Griffin if he thought Griffin gave them the best chance to win. Baseball keeps counts on the number of pitches thrown. Baseball players are tough, but they can also walk when they are 60.
Both Griffin and Strasburg faced their dilemma with the same rub-dirt-on-it ethos. [Skins coach Mike] Shanahan said he based his decision on what Griffin told him — that he was “hurt” and not “injured.” Strasburg raged at the decision to shut him down and repeatedly told Nationals brass he felt fine. Players always want to play.
When [Nats general manager] Rizzo made his decision, he took all competitive considerations out of play and made what he believed was a purely medical decision. When Shanahan made his decision, he placed victory above all and, if Dr. James Andrews’s quotes to USA Today tell the full story, may have willfully ignored medical opinion.