Stephen Strasburg speaks and he is ‘bored’
The man that was nicknamed “Jesus” is alive and well, and really bored but being bored is the key to a successful recovery. (You can listen to the entire interview here:
Strasburg Conference Call.mp3.)
“What they tell me is that the more boring it is, the better,” Strasburg said. “The first few months it’s all about just letting the new ligament heal and naturally recover. But at the same time, I’m eating healthy. I’m trying to do some sort of workout every single day, whether it’s core or just going on the elliptical. I’m doing everything in my power to get stronger while this thing heals.”
In his first interview since having season ending Tommy John surgery on September 3, Stephen Strasburg answered questions–mostly about rehab and the surgery–for about 11 minutes during a conference call with the local media. He sounded confident, positive he would return at 100 percent. It was a different tone than most of the interviews he has done. He has always down played his ability, often saying he was just “another guy in the clubhouse” but he sounded different today.
The most telling part of the interview was when he was asked, “Does the way the season ended overshadow what you’re able to accomplish… what you’re able to do?”
“You guys can decide that, but I’m chalking it up as a great season,” Strasburg said. “It’s unfortunate for this to happen, but I got up there and I stirred up the baseball world well enough to have more people becoming Nats fans, and I know they’re going to be there when I come back in a year. So I’m not too worried about it. I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to get back out there and show everybody what I have to bring to the table.”
Of course, Strasburg always knew how good he was and what he meant to the Nationals but he would never say it publicly. He kept to himself, walked with his head down and was as reserved as Drew Storen is socially connected. So to hear him say he had a “great season” and “stirred up the baseball world” almost felt like he was giving a half time speech to a bunch of high school football players–an impressive feat for a person who has never been known for reflecting on the past or talking about himself.
He has always said the right things, downplaying the hype when it was at an all-time high and always focusing on each start. He is still saying the right things and is focused on each day, but he no longer needs to down play the hype. He may even try to increase the hype but he probably won’t need to–he is still Stephen Strasburg.
“I miss my teammates, obviously,” Strasburg said. “Playing in the Big Leagues, it’s a whirlwind experience. But at the same time, when you’re sitting back at home, letting your body recover and catching up on your studies, it’s a little bit slower paced. I’m having some baseball withdrawals, that’s for sure. But I have a great support system and they’ll really help me through it.”
That’s right. He is working on getting closer to his degree and it’s not too far away, but the top priority is his rehab.
“They have my rehab plan all mapped out all the way up until when I throw your first professional pitch again,” Strasburg said. “So it’s kind of just going on what they’re telling me. If I’m doing well, everything could get sped up. I might have to take a couple steps back. You never know. There is a target date, but right now it’s way too early. We’re going to hopefully start the actual rehab process soon and see where that goes.”
Do you literally have that date marked on the calendar?
“Definitely not,” said Strasburg who isn’t even sure what he is doing tonight. “That’s a year from now. A lot of things can happen, so I’m just going to take it day-by-day.”
Maybe it is the same Strasburg.