Stephen Strasburg: Once Upon A Whiz Kid


Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Ecclesiastes 7:8, RSV

Stephen Strasburg, pitcher for the Washington Nationals Baseball team, was once a whiz kid. He came in with high hopes and a hot arm. Now, he’s got the highest ERA (Earned Run Average) of his career, and tonight’s outing against the Marlins on the road in South Beach should be a good test for the one-time fan favorite phenom who has since fallen on hard times.

Stephen Strasburg has the tools and the talent to succeed; the question is, “does he have the tenacity?” Having potential is one thing; having totals is something else. At the end of the day, athletes are judged by what they do, and pitchers especially are judged by wins and losses. Period. That’s it. Strasburg is currently 7-8. That’s a barely respectable sub-par, sub-superstar, sub-500 record for the supposed ace of the staff who was once thought to be a shoe-in to win multiple Cy-Young Awards . . . – oh well.

Stephen Strasburg is a microcosm of some of us and the rest of us. He has much promise but also has much to prove. We wish him the best, but we also realize that his success may be a slugfest.

Stephen Strasburg is at a crossroads in his career. He’s gone from wonder-boy whiz kid and rookie sensation to a one hit wonder wannabe. Yes, at the tender, young age 26, in his fifth year, his best years seem to be behind him. In his best year, he went 15-6, with an ERA of 3.16. Now, with an ERA of 3.67, his future with the Nationals and with major league baseball could go either way.

And so his future is now, and it starts tonight in Miami. That’s just the same for the rest of us. What happens tomorrow is dictated and predicated by what we do today. And some of the weeds we’re now reaping are from the sour seeds we were heaping yesteryear. Likewise, some of the fruit we’re enjoying now is from the root someone labored to plant heretofore; like the root of a praying mother and the foundation of a Godly father. I know good and well that’s the case for me.

So start over. Start over now. As for Strasburg, the jury is still out. So stay tuned. His ship may still come in. As for me and you, we can call in the jury, because we can declare the verdict now. We can declare our best is yet to come. We can declare that God’s tomorrow is better than today. We can declare “better is the end of a thing.” Amen to that. Remember, your tomorrow starts today. So, if need be, sow in tears so that you can reap in joy.

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