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The Strasburg Watch: 2009 Debut Is Today

Judging by the time stamp on Chico's post about the Ryan Zimmerman settlement, it was a rough night for our Nats beat writer. So I'll take the liberty of making the first post of the morning -- well, at least the civilized part of the morning.

Out in southern California this afternoon, the San Diego State Aztecs open their 2009 season against Bethune-Cookman, and according to this story, right-hander Stephen Strasburg, object of the Nationals desire, will be on the mound. We can assume the Nationals will have at least one representative there -- perhaps even Jim Bowden himself, given the fact he was already in Arizona for Zimmerman's scheduled arbitration hearing. But here's a bummer for the rest of us: According to the SDSU website (pdf file), there is no TV or radio coverage of today's game -- just postgame audio clips posted at Strasburg generally pitches every Friday for the Aztecs, and several of his starts later this spring are listed as having radio coverage and/or live webcasts.

The San Diego Union-Tribune's website has no fewer than three stories about Strasburg and the Aztecs, including this fine feature, in which we learn of Strasburg's pre-weight-loss nickname: "Slothburg."

By Dave Sheinin  |  February 20, 2009; 8:58 AM ET
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Bitter. SDSU is playing tomorrow and it's being broadcast on the MLB channel. I was hoping Stras would throw then.
I'm seriously bummed.

Posted by: Section138 | February 20, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

does anyone else worry that we talk about him too much and are jacking up the price on ourselves? i still love the coverage.

Posted by: longterm | February 20, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse


I am not as cost-conscious as most of the posters are, since the Nats are operating in a major market with a small market budget. There is much room to expand on all fronts.

Maybe the failure of the last draft can be avoided if the Nats know we are observing their patterns. The 9A pick should be watched too, as it will be interesting to see if the Nats go with the best player available or with the most signable and "affordable."

In all likelihood, the Nats will be forced to pick Strasburg (if he is still the top prospect in June) and sign him. Boras knows this too, despite what we say or avoid saying on this blog.

Posted by: EdDC | February 20, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

For the truly geeky, the game can purportedly be followed here a la MLB GameDay:

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | February 20, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Maybe there was a "boom" that kept Chico awake.

NJ denizen SlowPitch63 reported on Saturday TV coverage of games in which Strasburg could pitch in the comments section of the Zimmerman agreement post below.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Oh. If he's starting today he won't be starting on Saturday. Never mind.

1a/E. Litella

But I'm still gonna try to watch some of the tournament this weekend.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg is going today. The games on MLB Network, I believe, will feature SD St's #2 SP.

Posted by: Brian_ | February 20, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Knowing JB's history, there is still only a 50/50 chance of us signing him even when we do draft him.


Posted by: Dizzy_Dean | February 20, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

That is a good piece. Thanks for the link, Dave.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Before I read it, I thought maybe he only had two toes...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Any chance Strasburg will tank it just a bit this year, to slide down to the Padres slot? What would he do to avoid playing for the Nationals?

Posted by: fischy | February 20, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Fischy- having read quite a bit about Strasburg, it doesn't sound like he would ever even think about tanking. I don't think he cares where he plays- he just wants to play baseball.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | February 20, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Dave - So I take it you got through the dessert course last Saturday uneventfully? Our wishes for good luck continue in full force and effect.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 20, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'll second jca on that, Dave. Hope that all is well with your family.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Good start. 11 K's in 5.2 innings for Strasburg.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 21, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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