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updated: 8/24/2012 1:50 PM

Shutting down Strasburg doesn't make much sense

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  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who is in his first full season following elbow ligament replacement surgery, is 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA and a National League-leading 183 strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander has thrown 145 1/3 innings, and the Nationals want to hold him to a limit of 160-180 this season.

      Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who is in his first full season following elbow ligament replacement surgery, is 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA and a National League-leading 183 strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander has thrown 145 1/3 innings, and the Nationals want to hold him to a limit of 160-180 this season.
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Insider

The Washington Nationals have been making a lot more noise this season than anyone ever expected.

It got even louder, however, when general manager Mike Rizzo set the inning count of 160 for his phenom pitcher, Stephen Strasburg.

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Their reasoning is that any action beyond that would hurt him over the long run. Presently, he's at 145 innings so they are going to shut him down after few starts.

The Chicago White Sox's stud pitcher, Chris Sale, just upped his record to 15-4 after his recent win over the New York Yankees. Now imagine Robin Ventura and the Sox saying we are going to sit Sale for the playoffs because of some soreness and fatigue he experienced during the season. Fans would be going crazy with good reason!

But that's exactly what is occurring in Washington. ESPN's Tim Kurkjian said the Nationals told the fans at the beginning of the season their plan, so they knew it was coming.

Hey Tim, that doesn't mean they like or agree with it, or that it's the right thing to do.

And then Kurkjian said the mainstream media in Washington is behind Rizzo and Washington management.

Well, of course they are. If anyone stands up to Rizzo on this decision, they will definitely face issues down the line.

Strasburg makes $4 million a year, and there are veterans that want postseason play, so hopefully cooler heads will prevail and Strasburg will pitch when needed.

Remember, when the Nationals decided to make their declaration they did it without the benefit of knowing they would have the best record (77-47) in baseball.

Sitting your best player, who is injury free this season, is unprecedented in MLB history.

I have to believe he will pitch -- let's hope so.

One last question for Rizzo: if he knows what's best for his pitchers, like Jordan Zimmerman and Strasburg, then how did they get hurt to begin with? Just asking.

No Bears among to jerseys

Looking at NFL jersey sales you would think the Chicago Bears would have a player ranked higher than 20th.

Not the case.

According to the NFL, for sales from April 1 to July 31, here were the top jerseys sold:

1. Peyton Manning, Broncos

2. Robert Griffin III, Redskins

3. Tim Tebow, Jets

4. Andrew Luck, Colts

5. Eli Manning, Giants

By this time you might have thought Jay Cutler would be the top dog for the Bears, but not surprisingly, Brian Urlacher is still the peoples choice.

On Urlacher

Speaking of Brian Urlacher, I recently wrote that the Chicago Bears had a good chance of going far in the playoffs, but only if they stayed healthy. Well, let's hope Urlacher's injury issues go away. It will be tough to win without your main guy.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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