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Regarding Strasburg, Hype and Media Attention

I've noticed some people here today discussing Stephen Strasburg, in particular his relations with the media and his apparent misgivings about the Sunday workout-session-turned-campaign stop, where four or five journalists showed up to catalog Day One as a pro. Strasburg was thus forced to deliver a post-workout 7-1/2 minute interview, which evidently included 7-1/2 minutes of short answers and avoided eye contact.

Okay, not the best way to make a second impression.

(I'm counting the fireworks news conference from one week earlier as the first impression.)

There are plenty of ways to interpret Strasburg's annoyed request for peace and quiet -- John Feinstein writes here that the 21-year-old should learn, quickly, that attention comes with the contract -- but let me perhaps offer a lamer plea. We probably shouldn't get too worked up over this. Let's not portray him just yet as J.D. Salinger.

I've dealt with Strasburg at length several times now, and always come away with the same impression: He says all the right things. He reveals very little. He's a fairly straight-arrow guy.

But here's what I think Strasburg must still learn. In the past, his contact with the media -- and really, his contact with the public in general -- has been portioned into little doses, a scheduled sit-down interview here, an awards ceremony there, etc. In a way, he's always had an On-Off button, with an ability to toggle between public and private life.

But now Strasburg must learn to remain, at least to an extent, "On." He's a full-fledged public figure now, and learning the full responsibility of that will take some practice. My impression is, being "On" doesn't come naturally to Strasburg, but when he's given the chance to prepare himself for it, he's just fine. (He's spoken before about how he's an uber-regimented person, and needs to be able to prepare/schedule/anticipate.) I'm not striving for much insight here, but I'd bet Strasburg, because he wasn't ready for the attention in Florida, kind of got freaked out by it. So now he should know. He'll have to be ready for it. As his career continues, and passes from benchmark to benchmark -- his Arizona Fall League debut; his first piddly workout in spring training next year; his major league debut -- the attention will only increase.

By the way, Strasburg was on Mike Wise's 106.7 FM radio show this morning. Some time this afternoon, a podcast of the interview should be available here.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 1, 2009; 2:10 PM ET
 
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Comments

REPOST with additions:

I'm a minimalist. I believe Strasburg should do exactly what has made him so successful up to this point ... and it WASN'T his sparkling personality, his gracious manners.


It was intense hyper-focusing on learning to pitch as opposed to just "throwing". Focusing on his craft, refining it, perfecting it. That's what I would like to see. That should take precedence over all the other horse hockey fan foo. Hire him a publicist if that's important.

Focus on pitching. Listen and learn the trade, craft and lore from the gray beards. Improve with every inning, every pitch.

Bring a winning attitude to your pitching and the rest will take care of itself. Strasburg is there to learn just like the rest. The sooner he learns, gets seasoned, the sooner he is pitching in a major league uniform, the better.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg was on MASN yesterday in the pregame show and was pretty harsh w/ Johnny and Phil...

http://www.masnsports.com/ml/video.php?show_id=150039

Posted by: mattw418 | September 1, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

If we did, he might sue us!

-----

Let's not portray him just yet as J.D. Salinger.

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 1, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

That sounds like a fair enough explanation.

Still, like I said in the previous post, I wouldn't mind not seeing a whole lot on the guy for awhile.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 1, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"Strasburg was on MASN yesterday in the pregame show and was pretty harsh w/ Johnny and Phil ..."

Okay maybe we need to put this another way to prove that this a good thing?

Steve Strasburg the Secretary has selected you for Mission Impossible ... (cue in the music). Your mission should you decide to accept it is to lead a perennial last place team and franchise to the world series. Should you be caught or captured by the media the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your mission ...
This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds ...

hisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

(Cue in Rocky / IM music while he is focused on training along with everyone else to beat the damned Yankees!!! )

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for those insights, Chico. Solely on the basis of his introductory presser, I had the impression that he might be a little shy. But maybe I'm projecting there.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Let's not portray him just yet as J.D. Salinger."

Or he could be Hemmingway or London. They'd probably shoot ya if you came to interview 'em on the Q-T.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

There's that rookie school thing players go to where they learn stuff about money and press and fame, etc. He'll figure it out.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 1, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I thought Feinstein's article was absurd. The attitude it projects seems to be, if an athlete isn't prepared to give the media all of the interviews it wants, he should be prepared to receive harsh criticism. I mean, what does Strasburg really have to say right now? Are there any possible questions to ask that haven't already been answered dozens of times? Yes, he's a highly-touted prospect. That does not mean that he owes the media anything. He's being paid to pitch for the Nationals, not to answer reporters' questions.

Posted by: jcj5y | September 1, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

After watching the clip, I didn't perceive Strasburg as having been harsh. His response was brief, you might even say clipped, on the subject of the media, but what is he supposed to say? It is what it is.

On the author front, he could be Jim Bouton. Uh, scratch that.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The Nats didn't sign Strasburg to give good press, they signed him to pitch. That's all the press ought to be worried about. How he pitches, not how he deals with them. Maybe the team ought to get him a handler like they did with Dukes. Gee, then wouldn't the press be ticked off!

And wow, what a novel concept, a guy actually concerned about doing the job he was hired for instead of being nice to reporters. Like all those reporters chasing him never wish they were doing something else instead, like being a food critic or whatever.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 1, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I also wonder whether some members of the press (not you, Chico) might have a bit of a chip on their shoulders about the contract that Strasburg got, and went into it wanting to find fault with him.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how Mike Wise was able to interview Strasburg without once mentioning the Washington Nationals. I might listen in when I get home. After all, I want to know what Strasburg thinks of the Redskins and Alexandr Ovenchkin.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Make that Ovechkin.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg just needs a montage.
Any TA:WP fans out there?

Posted by: ajtrue78 | September 1, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

What he should have said at the media session:

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of cr*p, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

> Alexandr Ovenchkin.

I think I had Alexander Oven Chicken for dinner last night, actually.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 1, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

From MLBTraderumors:

The Rangers designated pitcher Thomas Diamond for assignment, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Diamond was the 10th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He was considered the #52 prospect in the game by Baseball America in '05, but he had Tommy John surgery in '07 and dealt with shoulder soreness this year.

I wonder if he is worth a shot?

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein wasn't actually in Viera, was he? If that's true, I think he has no business commenting on how Strasburg handled it.

Two, I just watched the MASN interview and I don't think he was "harsh" with Johnny and Phil. Most of their "questions" weren't even questions, just comments that Strasburg had to react to. They missed a lot of obvious ones to ask: is it frustrating not to be given a chance to pitch right now, what are his goals when he travels with the big league team, what is his own personal timeline for the winter and spring?

I think he sounds like what he is: a quiet kid who'd rather play baseball than talk about it. Let's see what he's like as he grows into this new role in life.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 1, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

no, No, NO: he should've been advised about the post-contract attention. Agree with it or not, it comes with the territory, and his advisers should've been all over it. This is not new territory people: sign a big contract, get big coverage. That's the deal, like it or not. So a big FAIL to his camp for not having him prepared.

Is there any learning going on here? "Those who ignore history..."

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 1, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to the GCL Nats who just beat the GCL Twins in the one-game semifinal playoff, 1-0 in 12 innings.

The GCL Nats will play the winner of today's GCL Yankees/Marlins game for the GCL Championship.

Good luck GCL Nats!!

Posted by: erocks33 | September 1, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"had Tommy John surgery in '07 and dealt with shoulder soreness this year.

I wonder if he is worth a shot?"

Shoulder, not good ...

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

So, was it great?

---

I think I had Alexander Oven Chicken for dinner last night, actually.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 1, 2009 2:53 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hire him a publicist to do what Boras did for him when he met the press. End of problem.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

There's always the Ted Williams line:

"They paid me $30,000 the least I could do was hit .400."

"They paid me 15 mil, the least I can do is work my butt off to win 30 games". Thus erasing a really evil mojo memory: Denny McDick ... er McLain.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

In other more pertinent closer to MLB-ready pitching news:

The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals are pleased to announce that right-handed pitcher Marco Estrada has been honored as the August Topps International League Player of the Month. The honoree is chosen monthly by the field managers within the 14-team league.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Oy vey, ENOUGH trivial Strasburg pursuit! First, we had the big Post Sports story about Strasburg playing ... catch. Now, it's Press-gate: Is he nice enough to reporters?
Leave the guy alone! Whatever happened to waiting til you have something to say before you write a story?

Posted by: jdsp2000 | September 1, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Under the heading of there is hope for the pitching staff just on the horizon:

Estrada made six starts over the course of August and went 4-0 with an ERA of 1.15. He surrendered just 24 hits and five earned runs in 39 innings during the month. Estrada lowered his overall ERA nearly a full point from 4.34 to 3.40 during his August appearances.

The 26-year-old Estrada threw at least six innings in each of his six starts during August including a season-high eight innings on August 18th against the Buffalo Bisons.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Another possible pitching rotation?

Atilano, Estrada, a seemingly improved Detwiler, Lannan, Mock, and/or Hernandez.

With Stammen and Martin shutdown used in middle relief.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Hire him a publicist to do what Boras did for him when he met the press. End of problem."

That presumes there's a problem in the first place, which there isn't. He's not getting paid to be Bob Uecker, he's getting paid to pitch. How he does that is all that matters. If the press is smart, they won't shoot their coverage wad now and p*ss him off to the point that he won't talk to them when there are actual games to be discussed. No indication however that the press is anywhere near that smart, is there?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 1, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"That presumes there's a problem in the first place, which there isn't. He's not getting paid to be Bob Uecker,"

Another crappy Pirates catcher who got into the media. How the heck did they let him in?

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

1a, you kill me.

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 1, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks like they removed Mike Morse from Syracuse's roster? I wonder if he was put on waivers and CLAIMED! Then pulled back?

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Looks like they removed Mike Morse from Syracuse's roster? I wonder if he was put on waivers and CLAIMED! Then pulled back?"

No, they just finally got around to taking him off the Syracuse online roster after he was called up to the big club, what, two weeks ago? Don't overanalyze stuff, doofus.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 1, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought, periculum, but maybe, just maybe, it was a typo/error on the Syracuse website that Morse ever showed up back there in the first place. Not a single news outlet ever said that Morse was back down in Syracuse after being called up to the Nats, and that's a public roster move.

That fairly plausible explanation might be a lot less fun than the waivers claim intrigue, however.

Posted by: faNATic | September 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Mike Morse is on the Nats roster I thought.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | September 1, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Looks like they removed Mike Morse from Syracuse's roster? I wonder if he was put on waivers and CLAIMED! Then pulled back?

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:20 PM
------------------------------------------
Peri -- did I miss something? Isn't Morse on the Nats 25-man roster? If so, wouldn't he then be removed from the SYR roster (much like Maxwell isn't on the SYR roster)? Why would you assume Morse was put on waivers?? What am I missing here?

Posted by: erocks33 | September 1, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I dissent. He most certainly *is* being paid to talk to answer reporters' questions--and quite well paid, too. He's not paid to be interesting ("Of course it's boring--that's the point. Write it down! 'We've got to play 'em one game at a time.'", but he is being paid to be civil.

That said, when *I* was his age I was decidedly uncivil, so I'm mainly worried about his development, not the ink-stained wretches' deadlines and column inches.

************
That does not mean that he owes the media anything. He's being paid to pitch for the Nationals, not to answer reporters' questions.
Posted by: jcj5y | September 1, 2009 2:44 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

apparently no one is being paid to proofread my stuff, either ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Dang, looks like I owe FromtheEclipse, faNATic and GoNatsTerps each a coke.

Posted by: erocks33 | September 1, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Let's see:

1. Strasburg is 21 years old.
2. Strasburg is bright enough to have told Boras that he did not want to be his (Boras') point man on the crusade to wipe out the draft system.
3. Strasburg has seen MLB pitchers and hitters. Let's remember that his college coach was not a bad hitter. He knows that he has some work to do.
4. Strasburg is a pitcher, which to some extent, is an indication of a level of mental disability.
5. No one told him that congress is not in session and that these reporters and the attention would disappear the minute that the folks who work 15 blocks north of where he will eventually labor get back to town.

Welcome to Washington, Steven and just be thankful you weren't drafted by the Phillies.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 1, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry, but I dissent. He most certainly *is* being paid to talk to answer reporters' questions--and quite well paid, too."

If he gives good pitch and ignores the press, he's doing what he's getting paid for. If he gives good press and doesn't pitch well, he's not. If he gives good pitch and gives good press as well, that's a nice bonus. Every player can't be Tony Plush, nor should any player be expected to be. No matter how much he's getting paid.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 1, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"Peri -- did I miss something? Isn't Morse on the Nats 25-man roster? If so, wouldn't he then be removed from the SYR roster (much like Maxwell isn't on the SYR roster)? Why would you assume Morse was put on waivers?? What am I missing here?

Posted by: erocks33 | September 1, 2009"

I follow the Chiefs pretty closely. They did not have him on their roster the night before last. Then yesterday he reappeared. Also, as did Brian Oliver, Maxwell had disappeared from the roster ... but then reappeared?

The Chiefs keep their roster pretty close to up-to-the-minute. Makes sense as unlike the Nats they are in the midst of a very competitive playoff race.

If you think about it ... it makes sense for Tim Foli to ask Mike Rizzo for Mike Morse. There 1st basemen are not hitting even close to what Morse was ... and he also played left and right field. With Morse in the line up you have a legitimate #3/#4 hitter. Something they lack right now. Rizzo would ask Morse (given that Morse is still on the 40-man it probably would have been something he could sink his teeth into ... a pennant race right down to the wire?

I think they tried to get him to clear waivers and he was claimed.

I could be wrong but that is what I suspect.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

hehe, JiM.

Catcher50, if I recall correctly, Strasburg majored in political science, so I'm guessing he might know that Congress is not in session.

Re. Tony Plush, I love the guy, but my mind boggles at the thought of a roster full of them (the alter-ego, that is - I love having players with that energy level).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

periculum "They paid me 15 mil, the least I can do is work my butt off to win 30 games".
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nope, don't think that will happen. With five man rotations I think that the 30 game winner is as extinct as the dodo.

Oh and Bob Uecker (who never played for the Pirates BTW) rocked as a broadcaster. He may be past his prime now, but 20 years ago I loved listening to him do Brewers games, as did most of cheesehead land.

Posted by: twinbrook | September 1, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

If he wins 20 games and won't talk to the media, they'll tolerate it for exactly as long as he's winning.
From Bonds, from Maris, as far back as you want to go, players who are uncomfortable or downright uncooperative with the people who are the main interface between themselves and the people who pay the bills (that would be us) get treated harshly. It's an objective fact of history, not a moral imperative.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Uecker played but not for the Pirates ... my bad for confusing him with Joe Garag.

Playing career

Though he sometimes joked he was born on a colored oleo run to Illinois, Uecker was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He grew up watching the minor-league Milwaukee Brewers at Borchert Field. He signed a professional contract with his hometown Milwaukee Braves in 1956 and made his major league debut as a catcher with the club in 1962. A mediocre hitter, he finished with a career batting average of .200. He was a sound defensive player and committed very few errors in his Major League career as a catcher, completing his career with a fielding percentage of .981. Uecker also played for the St. Louis Cardinals (and was a member of the 1964 World Champion club) and Philadelphia Phillies before returning to the Braves, who had by then moved to Atlanta. His six-year major league career concluded in 1967.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Brian thinks Morse to SYR was typo on the part of MiLB. I'm not so sure ... :) Ya never know with Rizz-Oh

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to mention that Uke is a GOD in Milwaukee. :-)

Posted by: twinbrook | September 1, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

oh, and Uecker also starred in the 1980's tv show Mr. Belvidere.

Posted by: twinbrook | September 1, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"From MLBTraderumors:

The Rangers designated pitcher Thomas Diamond for assignment, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Diamond was the 10th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He was considered the #52 prospect in the game by Baseball America in '05, but he had Tommy John surgery in '07 and dealt with shoulder soreness this year.

I wonder if he is worth a shot?

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse "
------------------------------
Diamond was the 3d part of the trio of Texas pitching prospects nicknamed "DVD" - Danks, Volquez, and Diamond. Texas has a deep system and set of pitching prospects, and probably could not carry him on its 40 man while he still tries to get his act together. I'd definitely take a shot at him and hope he just needs a bit more time.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | September 1, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with those that say that dealing with the media isn't part of Strasburg's (or any ballplayer's) job.

Major League Baseball is played precisely because it is a form of entertainment to be consumed by the public. In other words, it isn't enough to be able to pitch, but you have to do it in a public forum, with an audience. Moreover, since the performance is subject to criticism, the media and fans have every right to want answers to their questions, since ultimately it is the fans that are paying the salary through ticket and concession sales.

In most cases, you can't define a job by the employment contract because most employment contracts are too vague. Without knowing what is in Strasburg's contract, I am sure there are clauses that state that he is required to represent the organization and himself in a positive light, and certainly there are no contractual exemptions to his speaking with fans or the press... so by definition, it is a part of his job to speak with the press... and I think, to do his best at it.

It could be worse, after all... we could be talking about Aaron Crow.

Posted by: wigi | September 1, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"You forgot to mention that Uke is a GOD in Milwaukee. :-)

Posted by: twinbrook | September 1, 2009"

What?? Not "Laverne and Shirley" and "That Seventies Show"?

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@Peri...

For a catcher, either I'm dense or out of touch, but what is: "a colored oleo run to Illinois"?

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 1, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@Peri...

For a catcher, either I'm dense or out of touch, but what is: "a colored oleo run to Illinois"?

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 1, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

For God Sakes. He's a Baseball player, not Rachael Ray. Give it a break. He's also 21 and from what I've seen (I've been involved with D1 college baseball the last 5 years) the Nats got the real deal. This guy will be a Number starter/All Star in no time. The Nats will fill some seats and the team, if re-tooled properly - replace ss and 2b and get a quality catcher, will be able to compete.

Posted by: billm32 | September 1, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

For God Sakes. He's a Baseball player, not Rachael Ray.

I laughed out loud when I read that.

Posted by: FloresFan | September 1, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

So I'm going to guess, without looking it up, but Oleo (margarine by any other name) is (I believe) white by nature (just like Crisco), but to make it look more like butter margarine came with a coloring packet that you would mix in before using it.

And, I'm guessing, that Oleo originates in Wisconsin.

Now I'll go see I'm right... :)

Posted by: OldDude | September 1, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"Though he sometimes joked he was born on a colored oleo run to Illinois,"

I suspect it may be a "racial" epithet. I've never heard it before ... though ... since I am half colonial American (back to the early 1600's) and half Italian (Abbruzzese) have to assume that I would be on "that run". Lots of Native American and African (Moor) in their I'm sure.

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

HA! But the one thing I did not know was that colored Oleo was ILLEGAL (and the sale of yellow margarine is still forbidden in Missouri)! The bans were slowly lifted after WWII. I had always thought that the color packet was because of some technical reason (separation or some such).

So, now you know, the rest of the story. Good day!

Posted by: OldDude | September 1, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Ueckerism is his description of how to catch a knuckleball: "wait until it stops rolling and pick it up".

Posted by: twinbrook | September 1, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The point that Strasburg is a ball player and not Rachel Ray was funny, but Strasburg should watch a little Rachael Ray to get some tips.

First, like Rachael Ray, he will need to learn to repeat vapid phrases over and over again. Imagine "Yum-o!" being the equivalent of something like "Stay within myself" or "Take it day to day." Even better, if he could come up with a catch phrase and be successful to boot, he might attain cultural immortality. Imagine "EVOO" as "Say Hey!" or "Let's play two!"

Finally, he would do well to follow Rachael Ray in the ability to be ridiculously overexposed, and yet somehow not utterly repellent to the entire populace. Sure, many will tire of you, and you may tire of the charade, but if you build up a constituency (and remember, we are The Constituency), then you can have more to do than simply be a baseball player. Think GC covers along with SI covers.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I remember my parents talking about oleo dye packets but don't recall their mentioning the bans. Oops.

twinbrook, I recall one about how when he caught a knuckleballer he got lots of opportunities to visit with all of the people who were seated behind home plate. Oops, another one got by.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Oy. I mean, GQ covers.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"GC"- you know, the magazine Alexandr "Ovenchkin" appeared in.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | September 1, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Found the Uecker quotes and some others re. knuckleballs here (thanks, Google):

http://www.oddball-mall.com/knuckleball/quotes.htm

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that would be "CQ," PHS. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

No that would be QC W3YTW

Posted by: CBinDC1 | September 1, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

From a Tim Lemke item in the OP:

Strasburg's contract, coupled with his reputation as a one-of-a-kind fireballer with a good work ethic, has led to widespread attention from reporters, some of whom traveled to Viera to see him work out on Sunday. The pitcher had expressed some mild discomfort at the attention given to his arrival in Florida, but insisted Tuesday that he has no problem with the reporters.

"I was just really joking around with them," Strasburg said. "Obviously, they take their job real seriously and if they want to come out and watch me play catch for 10 minutes that's fine. But either way, I'm going to get my work in whether there's media there or not."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

“Some two years ago a bill was passed making it a state offense to sell colored oleo margarine. These cases were made resulting in the Supreme Court deciding the law unconstitutional.” “F. D. Roudenbush and G. H. Kilian have received embalmer’s licenses from the Michigan State Board of Health.” “An announcement recently made stating that Tekonsha has 25 attractive widows among its 600 population has excited the envy of adjacent towns. Colon, a jealous neighbor, with 200 more population, boasts of having 50 widows, eligible, good looking, mostly young, all attractive, many with means and as affectionate as one could wish.”/

Posted by: periculum | September 1, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Livan could develop a knuckleball over the off season and we could keep him around for another dozen years.

Posted by: twinbrook | September 1, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Livan could develop a knuckleball over the off season and we could keep him around for another dozen years.

Posted by: twinbrook | September 1, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Lineups up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 1, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

If Nuke LaLoosh could learn playerspeak in Durham, SS can learn it in NatsTown. Now, he just needs to find an Annie Savoy to take his mind off the reporters.

Posted by: utec | September 1, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Usually, I side with the reporters on a Media vs. Athlete story. But if it's a case of silence vs. talking with Feinstein, put me down on the side with Strasburg. Gee, he was irked talking to a bunch of reporters that didn't include Junior. What's he going to do when he actually has to talk with this clown?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 1, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Chico's all worried about whether Strasburg is on or not. Reminded me of his aspirations to rate food for the Washingtonian. Two things that have nothing to do with baseball, but have to do with the writer's preferences. I think it should be your almost full-time job to find out when Strasburg is ON, and report it back to us.

Posted by: Brue | September 1, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there a rookie school or something that many rookies attend for about 3 days or a week? I think they could teach him how to deal with press.

He's in a situation where if he brags too much or says too much, he's labled as vain and cocky. If he doesn't, he's stand-offish!

He's just being very low key. I don't think he was rude with Johnny and Phil at all. Just very laid back!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | September 2, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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