But look at the alternative: RGIII preseason predictions.

So anyhow, I was chatting with Kevin Millar, the co-host of MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk” on Wednesday afternoon. He was, not surprisingly, high on the Nats.

“First of all, they’re good,” he said. “They can match up with anybody [pitching], one through five. Then you add a few of these things that go on through a season that make it look like, you know what, maybe this is our year....They’re here to stay, because they’re so athletic offensively, and the pitching staff is just doing a remarkable job. “

A few minutes later, unprompted, Millar started talking about the Strasburg Shutdown Strategy.

“The only thing that scares me with the Nationals is this whole Strasburg pitching count,” he said. “They become a notch below [without Strasburg]. You’re talking about one of the top five pitchers in baseball. That’s the only thing that worries me.

“Hopefully they don’t shut him down. Hopefully they look him in the eyes, and ask how he feels, and he says I’m healthy, I’m strong. I mean, how do you say no to the kid? Just to keep him from a future injury we don’t know about?

“This team’s great as is. Take away Strasburg, this team’s good. I just don’t understand why it’s such a done deal, unless there are signs of fatigue. If he’s strong and he feels great, how do you shut down a Major League ballplayer when you’re paid to play? This isn’t a prospect any more; this is a big man, pitching in the big leagues, who’s dominated when he’s out there.”

And you know who agrees? Dick Vitale.

“I do have opinions about baseball and here is one of them,” the college basketball ring tone wrote on ESPN.com. “As a fan of the sport, I am surprised that the Washington Nationals are talking about shutting down pitcher Stephen Strasburg around the 160-inning mark....If I was a fan of the Nationals, I would be upset. They have the potential to contend for a world title this year. The people paying their hard-earned money this season deserve to see Strasburg on the mound in September as the team battles for a playoff berth.”

This led to a Big Lead item agreeing with Vitale.

“If there were any basis for shutting him down, I would understand,” Jason Lisk wrote. “If he was experiencing a drop off or decline, okay. I have severe doubts whether having a guy throw like normal, pitching full games, then arbitrarily shutting him down for a post season, then starting him back up again matters.”

This isn’t gonna go away, not with the Nats having MLB’s best record and the media hungry for August baseball storylines.


Jake Peavy on shutting down Strasburg

Mike Rizzo on shutting down Strasburg

Davey Johnson on shutting down Strasburg

Gio Gonzalez on shutting down Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg on shutting down Strasburg