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Stephen Strasburg's arm, not conventions, is talk of Washington

September 03, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg delivers during the second inning of a recent game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington.
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg delivers during… (Alex Brandon / AP Photo )

TOLEDO, Ohio — There are many questions plaguing the powerful in Washington these days. Will either party see a convention bump? Will the president recapture grass-roots enthusiasm of 2008? Will Bill Clinton stick to the script in Charlotte? And should the Washington Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg?

The star pitcher is approaching his innings limit – a cap the team imposed early in the season in an effort to try to preserve his famous, but still healing, arm. But now the team is first in the National League East, on the strength of its pitching. It’s getting harder and harder to stick to the well-meaning limit and contemplate a postseason without the team's star.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Sunday weighed in on the Strasburg predicament  – almost — when asked whether the sports-obsessed president had an opinion.

“He certainly appreciates the conundrum that Nationals management faces, as well Nationals fans, including myself,” Carney told reporters flying on Air Force One for a campaign trip to Ohio.
 
But Carney did not have “a firm opinion to state” from the president. Well, he did have one firm opinion to state.

While the president has been caught up in the fun of the Washington Nationals' unlikely success, Carney said, “he is first and foremost a die-hard Chicago White Sox fan. That hasn’t changed.”

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kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

Twitter: @khennessey

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