Monday, September 10, 2012

Quick Sports Hits - 49ers, Rory, Strasburg

- I hate to risk jinxing them, but boy oh boy did the 49ers look impressive yesterday.  Take away the punt return for a TD that should have been called back on a penalty, and what you're left with is a dominant performance on the road against a team that hadn't lost in its home stadium since the season before last, a team that for good measure lines up the reigining NFL MVP under center.  The Niners' offense looked crisp and efficient, the defense looked ferocious, and for now the future looks almost impossibly bright.

- Even if Tiger manages to win the FedEx Championship next week, I think we can dispense with the debate over who is the best golfer in the world right now.  He went through a rough patch in the middle of the season, but Rory McIlroy's dominance in the last four weeks has been awesome.  And at age 23, the sky is the limit.  I'd hesitate to predict 14 majors, but it will be a major upset if he doesn't end up with at least 8 or 9 (barring injury, of course).

- The decision by the Washington Nationals to sit Stephen Strasburg for the remainder of the season - regardless of how far the Nationals make it into the postseason - is one of the most interesting sports stories in a long time.  Clearly, what Washington decided to do is unprecedented, and one has to wonder whether they would have managed him differently had they known that 2012 would turn out to be such a great season for them.  The bottom line here is that we will probably never know if this is the right decision.  It's certainly a courageous decision, as well as one made after a great deal of thought on the part of the Nationals' management.  But is it right?  Well, if Strasburg goes on to have a Hall of Fame career, then sure, it is probably right.  I suppose the same could be said if the Nationals win the World Series this year, which could easily happen.  Teams have won World Series without their best players before; the 1972 Oakland Athletics immediately come to mind.  But even if Strasburg blows out his arm next year and the Nationals get as close to the World Series as the last two incarnations of the Washington Senators did, I'm not sure you could argue that the decision was wrong.  Of course, that is how it will be interpreted.

Either way, I find the debate endlessly fascinating.

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