Thom Loverro: Nationals' shutdown of Strasburg a questionable decision

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What will the shutdown of Stephen Strasburg actually be like?

Will the Washington Nationals tell us in advance he's about to pitch his final few innings?

Will it be an away game or a home game?

If it takes place at home, will there be a pilgrimage to Nationals Park similar to the one when Strasburg made his debut more than two years ago?

Will it be on national TV? Will Bob Costas come to town to give it his blessing or to curse it?

Will there be protestors outside the park chanting "Pitch, Stephen, pitch. Pitch, Stephen, pitch"?

Will Leo Mazzone -- the former Atlanta Braves pitching coach who called the Strasburg shutdown plan "pathetic" -- be among the protestors? Will Orel Hershiser and Rick Sutcliffe join him?

Will Tommy John -- who also opposes the Strasburg shutdown -- serve the young pitcher with papers, suing him for bringing shame to Tommy John surgery?

Will agent Scott Boras, in a show of gratitude for the Nationals protecting his prize pitcher, publicly pledge that Strasburg will finish his career with Washington?

Will Rob Dibble rush the MASN broadcast booth, grab the microphone and call Strasburg names on the air -- the same sort of insight he offered when Peter Angelos paid Dibble for his dimwit analysis?

Will Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo break into the MASN booth and give Dibble the beating he so richly deserves?

Will members of Congress speak out on the floor about the Strasburg shutdown? Is the shutdown a Democratic or Republican strategy?

Will the Nationals have T-shirts made that say "I was there for the last day of Stephen Strasburg's 2012 season"?

Will angry Nationals fans have their own T-shirts made that say "I was there the day the Washington Nationals raised the white flag on their 2012 championship season"?

Will Dr. Lewis Yocum, the man who performed the Tommy John surgery two years ago, throw out the ceremonial first pitch?

Will Strasburg's medical file, along with the last ball he throws, be sent to Cooperstown to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame?

Will the Nationals, upon Strasburg's final pitch of the game, unfurl a banner from the parking garages with his innings count -- with John Tesh music playing?

Will players on the opposing team stand up in the dugout and turn their backs in shame?

Will they retire his number? Will they give him a car?

Will Strasburg be listed for the rest of the season like Andray Blatche -- NWT -- not with team? And instead of conditioning, will the reason for his absence be fear?

What will it be like when the most talented pitcher in baseball is benched by his team during the final weeks of a pennant race to protect him from what might happen?

Since we've never seen it before, anything's possible.

Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at tloverro@washingtonexaminer.com.

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Thom Loverro

Sports columnist
The Washington Examiner