Give credit to Thom Loverro, who may have been the first D.C. writer to predict the current insanity.
Lovey wrote in early July that before this season was over, the Nats would cause a “deafening roar” and “be the biggest story in baseball” by deploying their Strasburg strategy, which Loverro claimed would “have the attention of the nation.”
At the time, that sounded a tad extreme.
But there was Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC last week, using the final minute of a six-minute segment on Paul Ryan and Medicare to ask the New York Times’s David Leonhardt “about what really matters, which is what you wrote about [last week] in the New York Times, which is your magic solution for preserving Strasburg for the playoffs.”
Mitchell is a Nats fan. So, I gather, is Leonhardt. I’ve gone over this ground before, but here is the Times’s D.C. bureau chief, on a national news program, as Ezra Klein sat mute, talking about what really matters.
“Yeah, so if there’s one topic that’s being talked about almost as much in Washington as Paul Ryan, it’s Stephen Strasburg,” Leonhardt began. “The Washington Nationals have announced that they’re going to shut him down and probably not use him in the playoffs. They’re worried about his arm strength, his arm condition, which is in many ways a welcome change. For far too long, baseball teams didn’t care at all about their pitchers’ health.
“But there are a lot of people who just don’t think the Nats are being sufficiently creative,” he continued. “There would be ways to limit Strasburg’s innings now. Nothing radical. Just use him less. Maybe have him take a couple weeks off, which pitchers do all the time, and still be available for the playoffs.
“If they don’t, we’re gonna end up in a situation that’s gonna be really remarkable. One of the best teams in baseball is gonna go to the playoffs [and] voluntarily bench their best pitcher. It’s gonna have echoes of 1965, when Sandy Koufax didn’t pitch Game 1 of the World Series because of Yom Kippur. And we are going to be talking A LOT about the Stephen Strasburg thing in the months to come, if the Nats follow through on what they’ve said.”
Like, more than we’ve already talked about it? Because we’ve already talked about it enough to make me consider several career changes.
“I think we’re talking about this more in Washington, frankly, than Medicare or Paul Ryan,” Mitchell said. Which. You know.
(CBS News national correspondent Chip Reid also did a piece on the issue. Obviously.)
Rick Sutcliffe has a plan for Strasburg
Dennis Eckersley says the Nats have to pitch Strasburg
Stephen A. Smith says it’s disgraceful
Kevin Millar asks the Nats to look Strasburg in the eyes
Jake Peavy says it blows his mind
Scott Boras on possible legal ramifications
Rob Dibble blasts Strasburg and Rizzo