Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call: Calling off sick in baseball

In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

Here at Pirates Breakdown, we keep tabs on not only the Pittsburgh Pirates, but other major stories around baseball. That’s especially true during this postseason.

It has been an exciting one. Two excellent wild card games begat some exciting matchups. One of those was the Washington Nationals versus the Chicago Cubs, a contest between two very capable, talented teams.

And now, it’s full of even more drama.

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY — a very seasoned reporter held in high regard — has reported that Stephen Strasburg has “declined” to take the ball in game four against the Cubs with the Nats down in the series 2-1. From Nightengale’s report:

“He informed the Nationals’ staff that he ran a half-mile Tuesday afternoon, was wheezing during his run and simply isn’t prepared to start Wednesday, even though he’d be on regular rest, according to a person with direct knowledge of the Nationals’ pitching plans.”

In essence, Strasburg called off sick from his job.

Having lived in Washington D.C. for several years, covering the Nats for several online outlets along the way, I can tell you that Strasburg is an extreme creature of comfort. If his routine is thrown off even in the most mundane minutiae, he loses a great deal of effectiveness.

Regardless, it is disappointing to see one of the game’s best pitchers shrink from one of the game’s hottest platforms.

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Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)