Come to the Little League World Series - and watch the pitch count.
Kid tosses No. 85, and he must come out. He can't pitch for another four days, according to Little League rest rules.
Listen to some of the morning sports talk shows before visiting the Series and it's about one man's innings count. Ace Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals' season-long plan to shut him down after 160-180 innings as he recovers from Tommy John surgery is the hot topic for anyone not obsessed over the Phillies' off-year or the Pirates' surprise one.
Strasburg was at 145 1-3 innings through his last start on Tuesday, Aug. 21, so he doesn't figure to have more than 3-4 starts left in a season where he has a 15-5 record with a 2.85 ERA for a team with the best record in baseball at 77-46.
So, unless the Nationals change their minds, Strasburg will stop pitching by mid-September and the rest of the rotation will be on its own as the team prepares for what would be its first-ever playoff bid in Washington.
This already has been Strasburg's heaviest workload in the majors - he threw a combined 92 innings in 2010-11, his first two years in the majors.
It's easy to see both sides of the controversy. Strasburg only just turned 24, and obviously hopes a good 15 years await. But, you play pro sports to win and he might never get another chance this good at a playoff and World Series push.
The Nationals have quite a bit invested in Strasburg, a former No. 1 overall pick, along with teammate Bryce Harper.
Certainly Cal Ripken thought he'd win another World Series after 1983. Certainly Dan Marino thought he'd play in another Super Bowl after 1984. But they never did, and an inability to predict the future is one reason why the Nationals' move is drawing criticism.
In 25 starts this season, where the Nationals are 18-7, Strasburg has thrown 2,359 pitches, an average of 95 per start and 16 per inning. He's thrown at least 100 pitches 10 times. He's pitched a full seventh inning just three times this season, and usually is pulled after six.
Give Strasburg another 3-4 starts and he probably will max out a little past 2,700 pitches.
He also has never pitched on less than four days rest this season, and often has had 5-6 days between starts.
But what if there was another way? What if the Nationals could restrict Strasburg's workload to its projected 2012 level and extend his season into October without resting him until then?
One answer would be a more severe game-to-game limit enacted from the start of the season. The Nationals could limit Strasburg, such as a Little League team would, to 85 pitches per game with four days rest in between.
Consider this: If Strasburg were pulled after 85 pitches every game on his existing schedule, he'd be at around 2,125 pitches right now. That would leave him about 600 pitches between now and the rest of the season, if you wanted to equal pitches thrown to innings pitched.
If the Nationals were to keep him on an 85-pitch limit from here out, they probably could get another seven starts out of him before about 2,700 pitches.
That would be enough to let him finish the regular season, or to rest up for some starts in the playoffs should the Nationals keep their seven-game lead.
It's worth noting that Little League developed pitch count limits in the past decade because it felt they were more effective at protecting young arms than inning restrictions. After all, a pitch count is a more precise measurement of workload than innings, which can range from three to 30 pitches.
Tommy John surgeries, which are ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, were becoming too common among kids, according to noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Andrews, who said on ESPN this week he agrees with the Nationals' decision to limit Strasburg's season, also is on Little League's board of directors.
It's all well and good to put the welfare of one 12-year-old player ahead of the team at the Little League World Series. It's also harder to justify putting the welfare of one 24-year-old player ahead of the team in the pros, where fans pay admission to publicly financed stadiums and watch the product on pay cable TV and have the right to expect winning at almost any cost.
In the case of Stephen Strasburg, there could have been a unique solution between the two levels for a most unique talent.
Brigandi is the Sun-Gazette's sports editor and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.