You probably were not sitting at home today, wondering what Bill James thought about the Washington Nationals' decision to shut Stephen Strasburg down before the end of the season. But now that you know James has weighed in, you're kind of curious, right?
What does Bill James think? Pretty much what most of the non-frothing crowd thinks: He probably would have done it differently, but he understands why it's being done.
If it was me, I’d err on the side of caution. I don’t know that I would have done it exactly the way the Nationals did. Maybe I would have limited him to 80 pitches a start for the first half of the year, and then cut him loose late in the year, rather than the other way. But I think I would have erred on the side of caution, rather than risking another injury.
There's also a bit about some kid getting hosed by his dorm situation at a state school, but let's stick with Strasburg. As more and more people get used to the ideas that, no, the Nationals aren't messing around with the innings limit, and, yes, they'll even keep him out of the playoffs, this is probably going to be the majority view.
Maybe Strasburg starting his season in June would have been the best-case scenario, with the benefit of hindsight. But there aren't a lot of flags-fly-forever articles these days. Add James to the ledger of people who think the Nationals are being (mostly) reasonable.