It started because the Cardinals-Nats game is one of three Fox Saturday offerings next weekend. And because one of the network’s NFL producers is evidently a D.C. native, Joe Buck decreed that it was time for some Nats Talk.

Bearing in mind that every Strasburg argument immediately makes you believe the other side is indisputably correct, here are Buck, Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw, breaking things down.

Buck: We’re gonna talk about the Washington Nationals, who have the best record in baseball, their great team ERA. But that’s with Stephen Strasburg. Ad there’s been so much talk here in the second half of the baseball season about them shutting him down down the stretch to take the load off his arm.

Aikman: Yeah, where you at on that?

Buck: Well, I tend to side with the old-school baseball guys like my partner there, Tim McCarver.

Aikman: Yeah, what does Tim say?

Buck: He thinks it’s insane.

Aikman: I get it.

Bradshaw: Rest him now!

Aikman: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Rest him now. You know, I kind of get it. A young guy, and he’s got a bright future. You don’t want to ruin him. But on the other hand, I mean, how many more opportunities are you gonna get? I don’t know. I mean, I have a hard time hearing that they’re gonna just sit some guy down.

Bradshaw: Let me ask you this. He’s played all year. He had Tommy John surgery. The ligament is healthy. He’s fine. Who medically said not more than 180 innings? Who said that? Where’s the precedent that’s been set that said that’s as far as you can go? I think it’s nuts.

Buck: Well, they say there’s data with how many innings you add to a young pitcher’s work total from the year before. Thirty more innings, you go more than that, then you’re pushing it. But I’m with you, and it doesn’t guarantee that he doesn’t get hurt next year anyway. And if you’re his teammates — as Colin Kaepernick takes over — some of the veterans on that team have grumbled a little bit and it’s gotten out that they want to see Strasburg on the mound and not sitting in the dugout.

Bradshaw: Hey, I sympathize. I’d rest him now. That’s crazy.

Aikman: I think it’s interesting, though, that as coaches and organizations, they’re usually the ones who’ve been accused of not caring about the athlete. I find it pretty interesting.

Buck: Scott Boras, his agent, has a lot to do with it as well.

And then it was halftime, so they stopped. If you read it closely, Aikman actually has a fairly reasonable point of view, while Bradshaw no doubt believes someone deserves a wedgie. And no, I have no idea if the crew covering Saturday’s Travers Stakes talked Strasburg. Probably, though.

(Via @CuKelvin, @sportzak and @Jrlanger.)


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