Did we just witness the entirety of Stephen Strasburg’s professional baseball career in the span of mere months? I doubt it, given that the success rate of Tommy John’s surgery is over 90%, but it is a possibility.
Strasburg is one of the most hyped players in professional sports in recent memory and he was living up to the buzz in his first season. Not only was he delivering on the mound, with 98-100 MPH fastballs and dirty curveballs, but he was generating more television viewers, ballpark visitors, and straight cash for the game of baseball, a sport which is still struggling somewhat from the Steroids Era.
Many have called Strasburg’s injury a “sad day for baseball.” And it is. But let’s forget about the game for a moment and think about the individual. What a potentially awful day for Stephen Strasburg.
Considering that significant injuries happen all the time in sports (St. Louis Rams’ wide receiver Donny Avery tore his ACL last week, for example, and is out for the season), and that we live in a time where personal branding has become so important, is it foolish for any professional athlete, Stephen Strasburg or not, to not be focusing on building their brand off the field? [More…]