(Sad Mike Pineda is sad. Courtesy of the AP)
The news of the Washington Nationals' decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg for the season caused major waves in the baseball world this past weekend, and with good reason. It's not every day that a team willingly shuts down its best pitcher during a playoff race. In fact, I can't think of any day where that's happened. The arguments for and against the move both have strong cases for being "right." Strasburg is the cornerstone of the franchise and the Nats have a lot riding on him. To risk his and the franchise's future at the expense of one year could be dangerous. On the other hand, many a baseball purist will argue that opportunities to reach and win a World Series are precious and few, and are never guaranteed. The Nats' chances of capitalizing on that opportunity this season are considerably diminished without Strasburg in the rotation.
The Yankees, while in no way directly affected by Washington's decision this season (unless they meet the Nats in the World Series), should be taking notes on how Washington handled Strasburg this season. They'll be looking at a similar situation next year with Michael Pineda.