It's been a long time since Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon truly had their pulse on D.C. They're national media figures now, and at this point, their association with the city in which they cut their teeth is minimal. So normally, it's not newsworthy when they decide to actually discuss something that happened in their "home" city.
That said, their commentary on the local media coverage surrounding Stephen Strasburg's Tommy John surgery is particularly absurd. Let there be no doubt that Strasburg's injury is a problem that sets back hopes of him becoming the dominating pitcher we all expect. But it's also not a death sentence, especially now when so many pitchers actually have the surgery. Most of the articles written both locally and nationally about Strasburg were fair, balanced and insightful.
And apparently, to Wilbon and Kornheiser, this is problematic.
Let's dissect their remarks below the jump. Hat tip to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post for transcribing the exchange.
Kornheiser: In Washington, this is being spun as no problem at all.
Erm, no it's not. Just that it could be worse.
In fact, in Washington, people point to the fact that so many current Cy Young-caliber pitchers have had the same surgery without a problem.
Yes, what a silly, irresponsible thing for those people to do. How dare they try to spin things by pointing out silly things like "facts." What could be more irrelevant that pointing out all the players who have actually overcome Tommy John surgery?
Wilbon: This optimism that I hear expressed at times is insane. It's irresponsible, when you do it in this profession.
Wow, I could not agree more. We really need more people in media to jump to conclusions and act as if the sky is falling all the time. I really don't think we have enough of that.
When you are reporting and even analyzing and you act like this is no big deal, that's junk. This is a big deal. Otherwise we ought to go around yanking our sons arms out of the socket and just sort of have this surgery be mandatory so they can all come back later.
When you are on television and you act like it's no big deal to trash reasonable, fair analysis, that's junk. It is a big deal. Otherwise, we ought to go around teaching our sons how to yell and scream at the top of the lungs and just sort of have that be mandatory so they can all eventually get a TV job at ESPN.
It's not the death sentence it once was, but any phony optimism here, he still has to come back from this surgery.
Correct. Just like Grant Balfour, Chris Carpenter, A.J. Burnett, Frank Francisco, Jaime Garcia, Mike Hampton, Tim Hudson, Josh Johnson, Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano, Arthur Rhodes, Kenny Rogers, Anibal Sanchez, John Smoltz, Joakim Soria, Rafael Soriano, Billy Wagner, Jake Westbrook, C.J. Wilson, Randy Wolf and Kerry Wood did. (List via SB Nation's Jeff Sullivan).
Kornheiser: It's so Pollyanna-ish, isn't it, to think that this is an automatic, that a year from now he's gonna be Walter Johnson? I don't get that.
Wilbon: It's irresponsible.
It's also irresponsible to think that a year from now, he's going to be [INSERT PITCHER X WHO BLEW OUT HIS ARM]. Oh wait, I forgot - you guys think panicking is a better course of action.
Just in case anyone who writes anywhere is actually swayed by TK and Wilbon's argument here, don't be. The analysis by everyone writing about this story has been outstanding. Keep up the great work.