There's traditionally always talk from the fans about wanting their teams to lose towards the end of the NFL season once mathematically locked out of the playoffs. We all know why, and it's a good reason. I can't say I was excited that the Bears pulled off two meaningless wins late in the season to cost themselves about five draft spots.
The NBA in recent years has seen massive tanking -- especially in the Greg Oden/Kevin Durant sweepstakes -- to the point that league officials started to voice concern.
You never really hear that talk in baseball because of the dynamics of the sport, the draft, and the farm systems. Usually you draft a guy and it takes him at least two -- and most of the time three -- years before he can help you. Even then you can't really be sure the impact he'll have.
Enter Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State phenom hurler who once punched out 23 Utes. That's right, Utes.
You're hearing the tank-talk now, and this is why:
"Put him behind Jake Peavy and Chris Young in Petco Park, you can come back in a hurry," a National League scout said.
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This actually reminds me of the Mark Prior fanfare before he exited USC. If you can put all your negativity on Prior aside, and just remember that in '03 he went 18-6 and finished third in the Cy Young voting while leading the Chicago Cubs to within five outs of the World Series ... and that was less than two years after the Cubs drafted him.
Strasburg apparently can make that kind of an impact as well, which begs the question ... isn't it time to shut Jake Peavy down with "back spasms?" Adrian Gonzalez should start experiencing some "migranes." Trevor Hoffman's probably old enough to become ailed with some sort of hip malady.
Hey, if you're gonna tank like the NBA, might as well go all out like they do.
Wouldn't baseball be the easiest sport to tank, bar none? Just swing and miss, throw it into the dugout on routine grounders, etc.
The ball is in your court, Fathers. Make a good choice.