Ross Stripling had hit 100 pitches with one out in the eighth inning. Normally, in the first two weeks of the season, this would be touted as a stellar performance. What was even more notable, was that Stripling was carrying a no-hitter. Only 2 years removed from Tommy John Surgery, Stripling had noticeably tired and had lost velocity on his fastball. So, the tough decision for a Manager, do you let your pitcher stay in and try to complete his no-hitter, or, do you take him out to protect his recently surgically repaired arm. What some may struggle with as a difficult decision, Dodger Manager, Dave Roberts made easy. Roberts promptly removed Stripling from the game, having thrown 7 1/3 of no hit baseball and 100 pitches. The Dodgers went on to lose the game in extra innings but many baseball people, Including former Dodger Manager, Don Mattingly, commended Roberts on making the right decision.
The best part of this story was that Stripling’s dad sought out Manager Dave Roberts in the lobby of the hotel and gave Roberts an emotional and heartfelt “thank you” from both he and his wife for protecting their son’s career.
The moral of the story…if it’s the right thing to do for a Major Leaguer…then it’s ever the righter decision for any youth player! Parents, please remember it’s only a game. And at the younger level, a game that has no bearing on a young player’s future career. But, the proper choice by a coach may have a profound and permanent ramification on their health. Our youth must be protected and we need more responsible baseball people like Dave Roberts coaching our youth
Kudos to Dave Roberts for making the right decision.
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