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Posted at 02:18 PM ET, 08/21/2012

Vincent Gray supports the Strasburg shutdown; Jack Evans does not


Gray, ever prudent, says he supports ending Strasburg’s season early. (Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)
After announcing a task force on flooding in the Bloomingdale and Ledroit Park neighborhoods Tuesday morning, Mayor Vincent C. Gray weighed in on the great civic issue of our day.

That is not, in fact, flooding in the Bloomingdale and Ledroit Park neighborhoods — more on that soon from the Post’s Robert Samuels — but rather whether it is prudent to end the season of Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg after a mere 160 to 180 innings, well ahead of an increasingly probable playoff appearance.

Hizzoner considers it prudent indeed. “Wise,” even.

“The young man has his entire career ahead of him,” Gray said, noting that the regret of not winning a pennant or championship this year would be equaled if not trumped by the regret of Strasburg re-injuring his Tommy John-ed elbow.

Gray, who knows something about regret on the baseball diamond, joins the views of such reasonable parties as Nats GM Mike Rizzo, Post columnist Thomas Boswell and the Washington Post editorial board.

For counterpoint, there’s Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Nationals season ticket holder and architect of the stadium deal that brought the Nats to town. He says Strasburg needs to pitch in the playoffs no matter what.

“I think Davey Johnson is a great manager, but he ought to factor in that we are going to make the playoffs,” Evans said. “Getting to the playoffs and a World Series is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we need to have our best players playing.”

At the risk of Strasburg’s health, though?

”I don’t know everything about baseball, but I know enough about it that you need to rest and play and rest and play,” Evans said. “I’m sure [Johnson] will tell me that’s not right, but hey.”

Treading the middle ground is D.C. Council member and Nats superfan Vincent Orange (D-At Large), who is generally pro-shutdown: “He should do what’s in the best interest of him and his health in the long term.”

”But I want to win,” he added, proposing instead an early shutdown to save some of those 180 innings for a few playoff starts.

Apologies to Steinberg for all of this.

By  |  02:18 PM ET, 08/21/2012

 
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