Stephen Strasburg got blown up by the Cardinals on Tuesday, with his fastball velocity dropping to alarming lows.
At one point during the outing, Strasburg went back into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse, and the Cardinals broadcast showed him sitting down rubbing the area between his neck and his shoulder:
Just before the 4th inning, the Cardinals broadcast picked up on Stephen Strasburg feeling around his shoulder/neck area. pic.twitter.com/kjeQxkqdDK
— Blake Finney (@FinneyBlake) April 14, 2021
With that feed available to them, the Cardinals’ broadcast showed the clip and commented on Strasburg seeming off, mechanically, during the outing. I don’t think they would’ve thought they were doing anything out of the ordinary there.
But the thing is, the Nationals say there isn’t supposed to be a video feed going down a team’s tunnel to the clubhouse. That’s part of where players go so they are out of camera view.
“Quite honestly, that shot shouldn’t have been shown, so I’m a little perturbed about that,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of the broadcast, per the New York Post. “It shouldn’t be there. Honestly, that camera, there are rules and regulations about that. It’s not supposed to go down in the tunnel. It’s in black and white.”
If it’s correct that there isn’t even supposed to be a camera facing down the tunnel, then you can be sure the Cardinals are going to get a phone call from the league this week.
For his part, Strasburg was even more ticked, as you can understand.
“I think it’s a joke, to be honest, that they shoot in the tunnel,” Strasburg said after the game. “There’s got to be some sort of safe place in the stadium. There have been plenty of other starts where something is not feeling right, and whether you treat yourself or you have a trainer come treat you, it’s just part of the business. I went out there and I gave it everything I had. It wasn’t good enough tonight. There should be some sort of privacy. People don’t watch the games on TV to watch some sort of spy camera watching what the player is doing in the tunnel.”
Strasburg isn’t wrong. It’d be easy enough to say, well, just go all the way back to the clubhouse, but that’s not always realistic during the course of the game. So if you want an area to do a little work out of the view of fans and the other team(!), the tunnel seems a pretty reasonable place to expect you’ll be alone.