Nationals Draft Pick UnFail
I think I owe them one or two of these, especially after the franchise decided to wildly succeed on my birthday, no less. And now, 15.1 observations about the signing.
1) Around 10:45 I became convinced that there was no way this wouldn't happen and went to sleep feeling very proud of myself. Then I woke up at 4 a.m, checked my computer, saw that I was right, went back to sleep, and had a dream I found a great Arizona newspaper story about how some chef prepared a massive 1.5 pound burrito stuffed with seasoned meat and valuable cash for Strasburg in honor of his contract. No, I'm not making that up. That was going to be my first link of the day. Very disappointing to realize it wasn't so.
3) I was feeling good about this whole thing until I saw this Jim Bowden Tweet: "Congrats to the Nationals, Scott Boras and Stephen Strasburg for a fair and equitable deal for all parties!!!" That makes me think something's wrong here.
4) On the other hand, Drew Storen had this sweet note about his future teammate: "Great night for the Nats. Congrats out to Stephen. Pretty cool seeing the nights excitement fall into place. Can't wait to see him throw"
5) It's been suggested that whether the signing deadline was one day or 100 days or 1,000 days after the draft, deals like this would go down to the final 90 seconds. That being the case, can I cast a vote for a signing deadline 90 seconds after the draft?
6) What a day in D.C.'s HBCUs, huh? Howard AD Dwight Datcher resigns, and Jeff Ruland is hired to coach UDC's men's basketball team, within a few hours of each other. Something tells me these stories might not get maximum exposure today.
7) A few hours before the signing, Phil Wood convinced me that it wasn't even that important, writing "So many have written that, somehow, the future of the franchise is based on whether or not Strasburg signs tonight. Complete hyperbole. Does a major college football or basketball program shut down if they miss out on a blue chip recruit? Of course not." Maybe that's why his post-signing remarks were among the most sober I've seen. "Sign Here, Kid," was about the cheeriest bit.
8) For more unrestrained joy, I'd send you in the direction of The Nationals Enquirer, which observed: "Holy F**king S**t! They did it!"
9) Five swell observations from @imissrfk: "Teh Plan!" followed by "Now the nats only need three more starting pitchers." followed by "Does this count as a defining moment?" followed by "Just hope the NL East has worse hitters than UVA" followed by "nats only 22 back in the WC race."
10) Yeah, there are differences in their experience, and differences in their guaranteed dollars, and differences in their sports, and differences in their likelihood of injury, Strasburg still got a tiny fraction of Haynesworth money. So if they go out to dinner together, Haynesworth is still on the hook for the bill. In other words, for all the drama about his greed and brattiness, No. 37 is not the biggest hitter in town, not by a long shot.
11) If I'm the mayor of Strasburg, Virginia, I definitely hold a parade in Stephen's honor sometime next spring.
12) I agreed with almost everything Mike Rizzo said after the signing was announced, but I'd take issue with this: "The easiest thing in the world was to stick to more of a slotted type of system and try and hold the line, staying a little ahead of last year's No. 1 pick." The Lerners would have been mauled in the court of public opinion had they tried to hold that line; without even a credible offer, season tickets would certain have dropped. Holding that line would not have been the easiest thing in the world.
13) I noticed that Fox Sports's Ken Rosenthal also reported the signing. If I were him, I would have added an addendum: "At some point in the next 20 years, sources have told me, Stephen Strasburg will no longer be a member of the Washington Nationals organization."
14) If that greedy brat had just settled for $14 million, I'd be done with this list by now.
15) There were dozens of these predictions of black skies and hail the size of 100 mph fastballs, but I'll choose just one: Sports Illustrated, second week of June: "Everyone involved understands now what's coming next is the amateur Armageddon." But the world didn't end. Like, I didn't even see any buildings shudder and fall. Anticlimax makes my skin clammy.
[And now, Bob Nightengale is reporting that Team Boras was originally seeking a deal in the low 20s, never $50 million as reported.]
15.1) RIP, Nats Fail Campaign.
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