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Stephen Strasburg 'not too happy' about shutdown

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By Tom Schad

Stephen Strasburg spoke to reporters about his shutdown following the Nationals’ 7-6 victory over the Miami Marlins Saturday. Here’s what he had to say about the decision…

On his initial thoughts
“I thought I had another start. It was pretty shocking. Honestly, I’m not too happy about it. I want to keep pitching out there. But as of right now, I think I’ve got some world renowned doctors, one of them Dr. (Lewis) Yocum, he resurrected my career. I gotta listen to him and I gotta trust him.”

On whether he tried to get out of it 
“You know, I talked to [manager Davey Johnson and general manager Mike Rizzo] about it, and they seemed pretty firm. It’s not just about me. It’s not about one player. The best I can do right now is move forward and be the best teammate I can.”

On whether he’s accepted the shutdown
“I don’t know if I’m ever going to accept it, to be honest with you. It’s something that I’m not happy about at all. That’s not why I play the game. I play the game to obviously be a good teammate and to win. You don’t grow up dreaming of playing in the big leagues to get shut down when the games start to matter. It’s going to be a tough one to swallow, but like I said, all I can do is be the best teammate possible to these guys. I think everybody overlooks all the other great contributions that we’ve had this year. I know they’re just going to keep going that way, and I’m going to do everything in my power to support them.”

On whether he’s seen MLB analyst Jim Kaat’s letter regarding the decision
“Who cares about that? Everybody’s got something to say.”

On how long the decision has bothered him 
“You know what, it bothered me a lot longer than that. But you know what, when everybody talks about it and that’s all that you hear, it’s hard not to let it bother you. I was doing everything in my power the whole year to try to help this team win some games, and I felt like for the most part I accomplished that. Like I said, it is what it is. It sucks. I’ve just got to move forward. I’ve got to be here for this team now.”

On his assessment of the season
“You tell me. Does that sound pretty good?” Yeah. “OK.”

On how he feels physically
“I feel physically great. That’s the thing. But like I said, it’s not just about one player. They want me to be here for many years to come. It’s an unfortunate situation, and it’s a lot harder decision because we won this year. I don’t think anybody would be talking about it if we were just finishing out the year in September. But I want to be here for the long haul, and I want to be a part of this for many years to come.”

On how tough it’s been to grasp the decision
“Yeah, I think the easiest way of dealing with it is that I just looked the other way. I didn’t really worry about it. I was always thinking things were going to change, there was going to be something that would change and I would get the opportunity. But this decision, they made well before the start of the year. I play for the Washington Nationals. I play to help this team win games. And that’s the bottom line. I’m not the one making the calls.”

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About the Author
Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.

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