Bases empty, two outs, a 3-1 game, #8 hitter up. Nothing comes down to this.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Strasburg Out With Wisdom Arm Surgery, Expected to Miss 10 Months

WASHINGTON (Bottom of the Fourth) - Just weeks after Stephen Strasburg returned to the Washington Nationals' rotation following Tommy John surgery, the phenom is going under the knife again.

Nationals fans were distraught when the team announced in a press conference Tuesday that Strasburg will be undergoing more surgery. Reportedly, team doctors recently discovered a wisdom arm coming in, and it needs to be removed immediately.

Unlike wisdom teeth, which are frequently extracted for health reasons, a wisdom arm carries virtually no health risk. However, wisdom arms are against MLB's Extra Limb Policy. Rule 4.2 b) under section 7 states "no player shall be allowed to advantageously utilize any extra limb, appendage or member".

If Strasburg let his wisdom arm grow in, he'd have a huge advantage
Steve Stevenson, MLB's official Rules and Regulations Liaison, told Bottom of the Fourth that having an extra arm would give Strasburg an "unfair advantage" by allowing him to "throw two balls at once" and "trick the batter". Among the various tools up a "Three-Armer"'s sleeve are the Double-Fastball, the Curve-Change, and the Bean-Strike, in which one arm throws directly at the batter while the other throws a perfect strike, forcing the batter to cringe while strike three blows by them.

Stevenson says rule 4.2 b) was not always in place, but was implemented in 1968 when Willie Stargell showed up to spring training with an extra leg. The big slugger had stolen 47 bases through the first two months of the season before MLB realized it had a problem on its hands.

Other players to have lost limbs to the rule include Mark Fidrych, who had the same wisdom arm surgery Strasburg is about to have, and Rickey Henderson, who lost his first head (Rickey actually opted to keep the second, as he liked its tendency to speak in the third person). José Canseco, meanwhile, has never had to have his wisdom p**** removed, according to José Canseco.

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