Since everybody is talking about Stephen Strasburg, and since Stephen Strasburg plays for the Nationals, and since the Cubs are currently in a series with the Nationals, I suppose now is as good a time as any to further pollute the internet with my opinion of the Strasburg situation.
The facts are these:
1. Washington is currently perched neatly atop the National League standings.
2. Mr. Strasburg is the treasure of their starting rotation.
3. They do not want to break their treasure, therefore…
4. They intend to shut him down before the season is finished.
That’s it in a nutshell, and everyone from here to Honolulu has something to say about it. Some feel that deactivating Mr. Strasburg is a sound move, and respect the Nationals for not backing down from the intentions that have been known since before the season started. Others feel it is madness to take the ball away from one of the best and brightest young pitchers in the game.
Yada, yada, yada.
My thoughts on the matter are very simple.
First, I completely understand why Nats had planned early on to shut Stephen Strasburg down. They want to protect him. Starting pitchers are not like they used to be… I’m pretty sure they’re all made out of K’Nex these days. Keeping Stephen’s arm young and healthy and magical is important to this organization. I get that.
Here’s the thing, though. Reaching the play-offs is the goal of every good baseball player and franchise. Playing in the postseason and hopefully getting to the World Series and winning a championship is kind of what it’s all about. So pulling one of your best players off the table when the glory of October baseball is within your grasp just doesn’t make sense to me.
What is the purpose of Stephen Strasburg, or of any player, if it is not to help your team get as far as they can? What is the point of having a star pitcher if you’re just going to pull him out when it counts the most? Is it really worth it to try and save him for the future when you have such a good chance now? The Nationals obviously believe that it is. Maybe it’s just because I’m a fan who has so much experience watching teams that have failed, but I disagree. When you have an opportunity to do something special, it’s not the time to play it safe. Which is why if I were in charge of Mr. Strasburg’s fate, I’d take the risk and keep throwing him out there. Carpe Diem and Que Sera Sera.
And, really, that is all I have to say about that.