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The Nats have done exhaustive studies of statistics and medical opinions, which as a decision-making basis is much sounder than consulting the NL East standings.

As much as he hates the move, Strasburg gets it. “I think I’ve got some world renowned doctors, one of them Dr. [Lewis] Yocum,” he said. “He resurrected my career. I gotta listen to him, and I gotta trust him.”

The Nats have his best interests at heart, which are synonymous with the franchise’s in the long run, not just 2012. Yes, he can get hit by a bus, anyway. Or blow out his elbow on the next pitch. Or play for 10 seasons that never achieve this level of success. You can’t plan for those outcomes.

But judicious minds make the best plans they can. Strasburg’s long-range health trumps the two months he’ll miss, and it’s not even close. If the majority of national media and ex-players can’t get that through their skulls, at least the team’s brain trust understands.

“This decision was made well before the start of the year,” Strasburg said. “I play for the Washington Nationals. I play to help this team win games. And that’s the bottom line. I’m not the one making the calls.”

Thank goodness, because he might pitch ‘til his arm fell off.