Stephen Strasburg is ready to go
The crowd had swelled to about 200 in the rightfield corner of Space Coast Stadium, where the Nationals bullpen is located. Shortly after the public address announcer bellowed the starting pitcher -- "none other than No. 37, Stephen Strasburg" -- the mob grew by one: none other than perhaps the greatest catcher of his generation, Ivan Rodriguez.
"Yo, Pudge!" one of the fans leaning on a railing yelled. Wearing a navy sweatsuit, Rodriguez had snuck into the bullpen to watch Strasburg warm up before his first spring training start. He stood behind Strasburg and next to pitching coach Steve McCatty. Camera phones flashed and mouthed gaped.
In five minutes, Strasburg will take the real mound. Currently playing: The Rolling Stones, "Start Me Up."
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