I’ve heard lots of things suggested about the Nats’ decision to limit Stephen Strasburg’s innings this season: that it’s wise, inarguable, excessively cautionary, arbitrary, and every adjective in between.
Here’s what I haven’t heard: that it signals a lack of desire from the front office to win. Until this week, anyhow, when ESPN columnist (and former Post staff writer) Howard Bryant just blistered the club over its Strasburg stance.
After calling the decision “stunningly nonsensical” and bemoaning “the deification of the general manager” in baseball and an overreliance on statistics, Bryant argues that the Nats could use a six-man rotation or furlough Strasburg for two weeks to make sure he’s available in September. And then he writes this:
If the Nationals actually go through a magical summer and the city of Washington has a chance to experience playoff baseball for the first time since the Dust Bowl, Strasburg the ace should pitch when needed. If he doesn’t, fans should line up and pay for something else (there’s this kid, Robert Griffin III, who will be in the area) and the city should demand a $611 million refund — in cash — from the Nationals for building a stadium for a team that isn’t trying to win, and especially for a front office that prefers looking smart to actually being smart.
Like I said, I hadn’t previously seen anyone call for the Nats to refund $611 million in cash because of Strasburg’s innings limit. And I don’t think Strasburg will have a much of an impact on RGIII excitement, innings limit or not.
(And here’s Mike Rizzo on limiting Strasburg’s work.)