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Stephen Strasburg to debut against Pirates, report says

The Nationals have "tentatively" planned for Stephen Strasburg to make his first major league start sometime between June 8 and June 10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to a report on the team's official Web site. The report, which cited a team source, said the Nationals have yet to choose a specific day but will make an announcement five or six days beforehand.

The Nationals have given no indication of when Strasburg will make his ravenously anticipated debut. Speculation long centered on Strasburg starting June 4 against the Cincinnati Reds. It's the first home game after which the Nationals can be assured Strasburg will not earn Super Two status, and it would allow Strasburg two starts in the Nationals' homestand. It appears unlikely Strasburg will pitch that day.

The Nationals have announced Strasburg will make his next minor league start Saturday for Class AAA Syracuse against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. If Strasburg continues on a once-every-fifth-day schedule, he could make another minor league start June 3, which would put him on pace to make his major league debut against the Pirates.

In nine minor league starts, Strasburg has justified the immense attention surrounding him. He has a 0.99 ERA while striking out 54 batters in 45 1/3 innings and holding opposing hitters to a .139 average.

UPDATE, 8:36: Manager Jim Riggleman said the Nationals are "at a point where we're talking about when this young man is going to come up and pitch for us," but they do not want to announce anything until the date approaches.

"We can know that right up until the moment that we name him to pitch, but we're not going to announce that," Riggleman said. "There's procedural things. There's other players affected by it. There's just too many reasons not to announce it. So we're not going to announce anything.

"It affects a lot of people. I liken it to, whatever, April 3 and opening day is April 5. Who made the club? Who didn't make the club? And a week later, nobody remembers, because the roster has already changed. When this is all said and done, the fact that we nailed down the date he's going to pitch and announced it will be a non-entity. It's going to be all about when he does pitch and people will be excited about it. Leading up to it,. we may or may not announce it. That will be an organizational decision. We have a pretty good idea of when he's going to pitch."

Riggleman said one reason for not making an announcement is to not worry pitchers who Strasburg may replace.

"It's the nature of the game," Riggleman said. "There have always been stars or guys who projected to be stars who are going to come in there. I don't know who Mickey Mantle replaced, but somebody had to leave the team the day he showed up.

"Our players know he's going to be here. They're not caught up in what date it's actually going to be. They'll look forward to that and welcome him. But everybody is focused on the day-to-day, trying to win the ballgame at hand."

General Manager Mike Rizzo declined comment. Team president Stan Kasten did not return a message seeking comment.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 26, 2010; 6:39 PM ET
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Comments

Holy crap! What to make of this? And who is the source?

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 26, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well . . .

Posted by: JohnRDC | May 26, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Why waste a June start in the minors? Makes no sense.

Posted by: cassander | May 26, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

i'd rather they focus on the draft anyway.

Posted by: longterm | May 26, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want some cheap tickets for the game on June 4? I have a feeling that there will plenty available...

Posted by: thepostischeap | May 26, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, I got Club Seats for the 4th and will likely go no matter what. Granted, this latest report makes me wonder, but I'm still not convinced that anyone knows for sure what the Nats are doing. I think we'll know more after his next AAA start.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 26, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

if this is true, it's kinda crappy that they waited until the 6/4 game was mostly sold out to announce it. and then they're going to wait until a few days before the pirates game to announce it, hoping that people will speculatively buy tickets to different games.

on one level i don't blame them, they're maximizing revenue. on another level, it's kind of a crappy way to treat your fan base.

Posted by: sec231 | May 26, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping my Red Carpet Rewards Lexus Presidents' seats June 8 are the golden ticket

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | May 26, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Just wow. The club obviously knows that ticket sales for 6/4 are through the roof. This is about as cynical as it can get. I'm sure that "the plan" calls for another minor league start, cause Stras has such a steep learning curve. Wow. One thing for sure, it won't be June 9, cause that's a "value" game. The Lerners'll want every penny they can squeeze for the debut. ____ ____ and the horse you rode in on, Rizzo, Stan, Mark & Ted L.

Posted by: NATurallyYours | May 26, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The source is apparently a Bill Ladson report on mlb.com.

Posted by: BinM | May 26, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Now that they've sold all the tickets to June 4th, they put out another rumor about sometime around June 8-10.

Looks like the Nats have figured out how to start getting back some of their $15 million before SS even shows up in D.C.

I fully expect to hear more Roy Oswalt rumors during the upcoming Astros series too. Not that they plan on making such a move (nor should they). But if some unnamed Nats source should let it slip that Roy might be coming to town, and that he might be here in time to face the Reds, what would it hurt to sell a few more tickets?

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | May 26, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The Lerner's SUCK. Greedy SOBs who have done NOTHING for the fan base. Typical Washington Nationals Bush League crap.

Posted by: mjwies11 | May 26, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I mean they've already sold out one game that probably would have been the usual ~20K crowd and now they've got the ticket speculation machine cranked up for the 3 Pirates games. Wonder if sales will lag now that fans are skeptical? I'm betting a lot folks just wait until the announcement.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 26, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I am normally not critical of current management, but this is a really rotten way to treat your fanbase. After all the Curly "L's" I've faithfully watched over the years (and there were many), and all the AAAA squad games I've attended (and there were many) this just feels like a calculated reach into the wallet of the loyal fan. Really, really not happy.

Posted by: HenryStin | May 26, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse


Hold on, let's all climb down from Mt. Self-Righteous and Indignant for a second.

I'm sorry, some of this is just off base. They didn't put out a rumor. I never read anything in any story speculating on June 4 that quoted the team or an "unnamed Nats official" or suggested it was a rumor put out by the Nats. Maybe I missed it, but everything I read on the subject was just educated guesswork and speculation by fans and reporters.

If you are angry that the Nationals did not proactively counter rampant speculation (so that they could sell FEWER TICKETS!), I'd say you are just looking for something to be angry about. If that's the case, carry on, I guess. Have fun. Just please don't make stuff up.

Posted by: Section220 | May 26, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

So why are so many blaming the team for speculation by bloggers and reporters? The team made no announcements, gave no internal or external reasons to think the 4th, SS's pitching rotation doesn't line up with the 4th, so people who bought tickets did so at their own peril. They were guessing, and many I'm sure are ticket brokers, so who cares if they lost out.

I almost bought tickets last week, just in case. Had I, why would I be upset? I would have done so at the guessing of people writing articles guessing at what the team would do. Not a one I read quoted an inside source, all just were guessing.

Take some responsibility for your own choices if you bought the tics, and just go to the game anyway.

Posted by: Rogueone | May 26, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame the Nats for your speculating. You chose to take the risk of buying the ticket when nothing was definite.

Posted by: Thundershock | May 26, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

All Ladson apparently did was a straight extrapolation of the SYR schedule / rotation vs the Nationals schedule / rotation; The perfect alignment date was June 8th. I'm calling BS on Ladson.

Posted by: BinM | May 26, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I second (or third? or fourth?) what 220, Rogueone, and Thundershock said. Sales for June 4 were based on speculation by the media and fans, not on any announcements or hints from the team. (Disclaimer: I didn't choose to purchase tix for that date because it was based on speculation. But that's just me.)

Also, last week (I believe) Kasten stated that the only way to guarantee seeing the SS debut was to buy season tix, and Rizzo stated at one point that the June 4 date was the media's, not his. It's not as if this is the first time they gave any indication that it wasn't the date.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 26, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

See below for the reason behind my Ladson callout -

SYR schedule / current SP rotation
5/27 (1) @ SWB - Mandel (SYR)
5/27 (2) @ SWB - Martis (SYR)
5/28 @ SWB - Martin (SYR)
5/29 vs SWB - Strasburg (SYR)
5/30 vs SWB - Chico (SYR)
5/31 @ BUF - Mandel (SYR)
6/1 @ BUF - Martis (SYR)
6/2 @ BUF - Martin (SYR)
6/3 @ BUF - Strasburg (SYR)
6/4 vs DUR - Chico (SYR)
6/5 vs DUR - Mandel (SYR)
6/6 vs DUR - Martis (SYR)
6/7 vs DUR - Martin (SYR)
6/8 vs LOU - Strasburg (SYR)

WSH schedule / current SP rotation
5/26 @ SF - Atilano (WSH)
5/27 @ SF - Stammen (WSH)
5/28 @ SD - ??? (WSH) [Martin?]
5/29 @ SD - Lannan (WSH)
5/30 @ SD - Hernandez (WSH)
5/31 @ HOU - Atilano (WSH)
6/1 @ HOU - Stammen (WSH)
6/2 @ HOU - ??? (WSH) [Martin?]
6/3 @ HOU - Lannan (WSH)
6/4 vs CIN - Hernandez (WSH)
6/5 vs CIN - Atilano (WSH)
6/6 vs CIN - Stammen (WSH)
6/8 vs PIT - ??? (WSH)

Posted by: BinM | May 26, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Opinions of Ladson aside, Ben Goessling posted a similar piece on the MASN site.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 26, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

This is an absolutely disgraceful move by the Nationals that is being done solely for $$$$ and nothing to do with anything else. They have led fans to believe for weeks that Strasburg would debut on 6/4 against Cincinnati, now they pull this crap. I wasted nearly $500 on tickets to the 6/4 game only to have the Nats management pull a stunt like this. They know damn well the 6/4 game is sold out and so now they move him to the Pittsburgh series to sell more tickets and screw over all the fans who bought the Cincy tickets.

Absolutely disgraceful. This will not be soon forgotten.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 26, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

The Nats org never ever said anything about June 4th! What are you talking about, "barno1"? That was all an assumption by reporters like Kilgore. Give me a break.

Posted by: DKSW | May 26, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Hoping this isn't true. June 4th and back again on June 10th makes even more sense.

You get a packed house on June 4th and a big crowd again on June 10th.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | May 26, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

For those suggesting that I am "just looking for something to be angry about" -- I am an extremely positive, loyal fan, and you can feel free to go read the history of my posts to confirm this. And I will go to the game. And I will have a great time, just like I always do, and just like I have at so many AAAA-quality losses in the past. Love the team, love the front office, and even like the ownership. You will never find me among the "Lerners are cheap" crowd. Not once.

But if you think this wasn't calculated by the team, or if you think this wasn't a reassessment of the start date based on the June 4 sellout and the desire to do it again, I've got a bridge that you might be interested in purchasing.

I do think the team has a responsibility to its fans to correct misinformation, unless it directly conflicts with its strategy on the field (and no, getting a small amount, in relative terms, of extra money does not constitute a competitive strategy, even though this could potentially be spent on player acquisition). The team could have, and should have, said any number of things in response to the June 4 speculation. And they did, just as soon as June 4 sold out.

It's like Friend A (the media) is telling you how Friend B (the Nats) has this great girl he wants you to meet, and she'll be at Friend B's party on Friday. Friend B is standing right there, hears this conversation, says nothing, and hands you an invite to his party. You show up, and the only girl there is decidedly minor league. Did Friend B lie to you? Of course not. But that doesn't make him any less of a jerk.

In the end though, you're still at a party, so you grumble at Friend B, grab a beer and have a good time with Matt Chico. I mean the girl.

Posted by: HenryStin | May 26, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

June 8-10 would work good for me. I have a 50% off voucher for up to four tickets on any M-Th game in June I got for bringing recyclables to the Earth Day game. In any case I think we know it's coming sometime soon.

Posted by: marathoner | May 26, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I perfectly understand Rizzo remaining silent on exactly when Strasburg is coming up - He doesn't want to let any of the players currently in the rotation that they are just a placeholder.

The June 4th date might still happen, but got amped up by some early speculation. But based on SP rotations, June 5th would be my current 'best guess' for Strasburg's first appearance, either replacing Atilano in the rotation, or bumping him down and replacing Stammen or Martin.

Posted by: BinM | May 26, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"It's the first home game after which the Nationals can be assured Strasburg will not earn Super Two status, . . ."
-----------------------------------------

It might be interesting if someone walked through the calculations that supposedly guarantee a player will not attain Super Two status.

Since that classification seems to depend upon when other teams promote their players -- in my understanding, one has to be in the top 17% of service time for players with more than two and less than three years' service time to qualify as a Super Two player -- has someone methodically gone through the major and minor league rosters of every franchise to ensure that 17% of reasonably eligible players have been called up before declaring a safe date to promote a team's own highly valued player(s)?

Note that by already promoting Drew Storen, the Nationals have potentially helped advance the date at which they can safely call up Strasburg by adding Storen to the top service time bucket.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | May 26, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

The Nats org never ever said anything about June 4th! What are you talking about, "barno1"? That was all an assumption by reporters like Kilgore. Give me a break.

Posted by: DKSW | May 26, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

They have been leaking the June 4 date to reporters for weeks. They know damn well the June 4 date sold out only because of Strasburg and they screw over all the fans that were led to believe he would pitch that date so they could sell even more tickets. It is a total disgrace.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 26, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I will grant those posters that say the Nats never officially announced the 4th as being correct, but if you think the Nats are totally in this with clean hands you're nuts. Look at Kasten's track record. He is TOTALLY tone deaf when it comes to basic public relations with the fans in this town, period.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 26, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"They have been leaking the June 4 date to reporters for weeks. They know damn well the June 4 date sold out only because of Strasburg and they screw over all the fans that were led to believe he would pitch that date so they could sell even more tickets. It is a total disgrace."

______________________________________

They didn't leak squat. The 4th was ASSUMED because its based on Strasburg pitching schedule.

Some of you people are just whiners.

Posted by: JDB1 | May 26, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Barno:
I doubt that the FO has been 'leaking' the Strasburg start-up date, especially since the "Loose Cannon" got pushed overboard. Strasburg's 1st start date has all been based on accredited writers & web-heads performing guesswork, soft analysis & maybe even necromancy to calculate the SP rotations for HAR/SYR/WSH since spring training ended up until now.

It's like playing the market, imo - You look at trends, listen to rumours & take the best advice available. Sometimes you're spot on, sometimes, you fall short. Enjoy the game.

Posted by: BinM | May 26, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

There is a simple solution to this... the Nats should listen to their fan base and do exactly what they are asking for, which is to have Strasburg pitch every single inning at every single home game for the next five years...

Who here follows the Nats becuase they love the Nats? Who here follows the Nats because they want to say they were at the first game that Strasburg ever pitched? Don't get me wrong, it would be cool to be there... but, I don't care the exact date he makes his debut (the sooner the better, though!)... I just care about how much he can help the team... this year and for the forseeable future...

Posted by: Ghost7 | May 26, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Agree with everyone who's saying that the media has been behind all of these predictions for his first start.

Look at this post by Dave Shenin (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2010/03/why_the_timing_of_strasburgs_m.html), which says, on March 18 mind you, "you may want to get your tickets now for the June 4-6 weekend series at Nationals Park against the Cincinnati Reds."

He's certainly not alone. People without any real knowledge of what the Nationals are going to do have been guessing for weeks about when he would make his first start.

I'll admit that I bought two tickets for June 4 in hopes of seeing Strasburg's debut. But it was all speculation. I know several people who were buying up tickets left and right in hopes of selling them for a profit. I'm glad that they're stuck with them. Hopefully this experience will discourage those people from doing the same for the Pirates series and allow more fans of the team to get into the stadium when Strasburg does make his first start without having to pay two or three times face value.

Makes me wonder if some people who are posting comments criticizing the team did the same thing. So what if you're stuck with a couple of tickets for the game against the Reds. Do what I'm going to do. Go to the game and root for the Nats. Then try your luck again for the Pirates series--but maybe just purchase the tickets you need rather than trying to corner the market on Strasburg's debut.

Posted by: hooameye | May 26, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Is the alignment of schedules/rotations the main thing that Lasden's going on? Frankly, having Stras start in Syracuse on 6/3 seems like a real waste.

As for Super Two, nobody knows how many others will get brought up in the next week or two.

And, finally, the Nats management said, again and again and again that there was no set date. They specifically denied the Jun 4 date repeatedly. Put me down with those who are defending management on this one.

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 26, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

don't undersell it, JDB1, LOTS of people are just whiners.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 26, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

As others have pointed out (including Rizzo, I think), it's unusual for a team to ever name a starter for a game more than a few days in advance.

The conspiracy theories just seem silly. Of course the team wants to make money, and they haven't always been that good at building goodwill with the fans. But this is exactly what you'd expect if they were doing everything right with Strasburg, too: not rushing anything and making sure they don't give the impression he's bigger than the team.

They've actually been consistent all along that they aren't giving out any dates. They may like that people are buying tickets anyway, but that doesn't mean it's some master plan. I do think they've got a slightly longer term master plan than that.

Posted by: thoward1223 | May 26, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Ummmmmm......I bought 2 $30+ tickets for June 4th in hopes of seeing Strasburg, but I'm struggling to get angry over this, can someone explain to me why I should be mad at the Nats at all? I bought my tickets purely on the unsubstantiated speculation of media "experts." I don't know of anyone from the Nationals seriously floated that date. Anyone who bought a ticket for the 4th to see Strasburg HAD to know there was no guarantee. I think there can be debate about whether this is the smartest baseball decision, but to sit and say you're "angry" because the Lerner's are being "greedy" seems silly. Why should the date that was speculated on by people unrelated to the team, and acted on by overanxious fans (like me) factor into or handcuff the Nationals decision at all?

But if someone can explain to me why I should be mad at the Nationals, please, because I'd really love to be petulant and whiny about this whole thing. Those fireworks had better be awesome.

Posted by: grimesman | May 26, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I live 250 miles away. I bought 4 tickets for the 4th and 5th. I speculated based on assumptions by members of the media (Kilgore/Boswell etc.). The Nats were very open saying that they did not know for sure when he would be called up. I will be disappointed but in no way did I feel that I was baited by the Nats front office. For those of you who are whining, please explain - and be precise - when exactly did a Nats spokesman even HINT that it would be June 4th? Leaking June 4th to the media? Please. Where is your proof and when did ANY reporter claim that a Nats "source" told him/her that? If its the P-burgh game, so be it. I will miss it 'cause I can't get off work during the week, but I will have enjoyed 2 games the previous weekend and will watch SS on TV. Some of you just feel so entitled simply because you rolled the dice, lost and feel that the Nats have to cover your losses. Grow up and take responsibility for the speculative choice you made. Too bad lifes choices don't come with guarantees. And I hope its the worst thing that EVER happens to you.

Posted by: Natstoyou | May 26, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Also, if the Nationals had Strasburg debut on the 4th, he'd be able to pitch one more time in the homestand....a start which would also probably be a near-sellout. So why would they hold him back solely for the purpose of "screwing over" fans who bought a ticket for a date. Why wouldn't they let those fans get their start, get a second sellout, and two starts from Strasburg? It seems like a win-win-win, and I see no reason why they wouldn't do it that way, even if all they were concerned about was money.

Or...if they were really concerned about money, they'd do let the 4th rumor percolate and sellout, then announce the 5th, which would also sellout, and then he could pitch the 10th, too, for a third near-sellout. Can someone explain, if it was just money, why they wouldn't do that?

Posted by: grimesman | May 26, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

To those that bought tickets AND are upset at management . . .IT SUCKS TO BE YOU!!! lol GO NATS!!!

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 26, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

If anything is illustrated by all the Strasburg hype, it's that the Washington DC area is basically an event-driven market. That's why the NFL plays so well here (eight home games per season). That's part of why the World Cup games drew so well at RFK in 1994.

In a way, that makes me sad, because I see a number of commenters driven more by the "I was there when" factor, rather than an overall love of the sport that brings us to comment on these boards, which is baseball.

Posted by: BinM | May 26, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

If the "fan base" is this stupid, then they deserve the horrible owners that they think the Lerners are. First, as many already have pointed out, nobody in the organization even suggested 6/4 was the debut. You bought tickets for that game? Too bad. Go enjoy the game. You are fans of the TEAM, after all, aren't you? Second, nobody is making any money starting him on 6/8 rather than 6/4 since, either way, the Lerners get 2 sellouts. Pull your heads out, people.

Posted by: thelonghaul | May 26, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I thought they would wait until the 8th once Pudge went on the DL. I think they want him to be catching for Strasburg...

Posted by: jyjr16 | May 26, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm a season-ticket holder and a regular purchaser of a few tickets outside of my ST share. I go to about 25-30 home games a year. As it happens, I have June 5 and June 8.

If one of those is Strasburg Day, well, woo-hoo, I can later say I was there at his debut. If not, then I will see him pitch some time in the future, at another of the many games I attend every year.

A lot of the whiners in this thread probably haven't been to more than two or three live Nats games since the stadium's been open. Cry me a river. You bought tickets that might not be for a Magical Day. Too bad, so sad, sucks to be you.

Why not do what so many others have suggested, and just go and watch the team play a game--whoever is starting?

Posted by: shepdave2003 | May 26, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Nats screw their fans once again. Big surprise.

Posted by: guest1 | May 26, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with the posters who point out that the Nats did not announce the June 4th date as the day of Strasburg's premier, and that the people who bought tickets based on media speculation bought them at their own risk. However, I think that it would be good public relations for the team to allow anyone who bought tickets for the 4th to exchange them for any future home date. That way, even if they can't all get tickets to Strasburg's debut, at least they can see him pitch at a later date.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 26, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

They want I-Rod to catch him & he will come off the DL around this time... wow... I Rod stole the June 4 thunder... that's who you need to blame.

Posted by: tony325 | May 26, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"However, I think that it would be good public relations for the team to allow anyone who bought tickets for the 4th to exchange them for any future home date. That way, even if they can't all get tickets to Strasburg's debut, at least they can see him pitch at a later date."

That would be ridiculous. I hope they DON'T do that, and I have tickets for that date. Why should anyone who bought tickets on speculation be allowed to exchange them for a later date? I mean, there are probably plenty of people who bought 6/4 tickets hoping to turn a profit by scalping them. Why should the team let them exchange them? It's not like this is a rainout. People bought tickets for a baseball game, and as far as we know, there WILL BE baseball on 6/4. And fireworks, no less! People are getting exactly what they paid for. If they thought they were getting something else, that's their own fault.

Posted by: grimesman | May 26, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

A little like a hitting chart after the season, we're all over the place on this one.

On the one hand, I can see folks being a little peeved on a couple of levels. On the other, the sense of entitlement exhibited by some is a bit over the top.

As an inaugural season ticket holder, I've seen the best, and the worst, on the field and from the front office.

As I'm terrible with dates, let it suffice that I've been witness to some once in a lifetime memories with these guys. The GREAT thing about baseball, unlike any other sport, is that there is the opportunity to see something new, outrageous, routine, and full blown bat-sh%$ crazy on every pitch.

As baseball has increasingly become a game overwhelmed, in my view with stats, it was only natural that folks dug their slide-rules from the deepest recesses of their desks in an attempt to calculate the exact moment in time that SS would launch his initial HOF bound missile. It was bound to happen that more than a few would be dead wrong. Forget for a moment your opinion of the local scribes and their conjecture. Nationally respected writers and talking heads joined in as well. Tim K. at ESPN, for instance.

Hell, I couldn't find it but there is supposedly a place that you can still place a bet on not only the date, but the result of his first pitch!

I don't have any sympathy for the folks who will attend one, maybe two, games all year that guessed wrong. Or that saw $$ and are now stuck with a handful of tickets that now they have no clue what to do with (Most Valuable Kids.org) I do feel for the family that has to keep a very tight watch on the budget and chose this as one of maybe half a dozen games they can AFFORD for a family outing hoping for a really special evening.

Believe me, I've been a first-hand witness to the PR debaclea since ownership was awarded. No need for specifics, just check my signature :)

The ONLY gripe I have with the Front Office on this one, is the snarky reply of Stan K to the effect of, 'buy a season ticket package and you won't miss it'. I'll leave it at that.

I'll be at the "dress rehearsal" on the 4th along with my baseball family, my favorite bartenders, and some fan of the other team sitting near me that I will make wish he stayed home...in a friendly, non-combatant manner of course. This isn't Pholly. <<< Yes, on purpose.

Enjoy the game !

FRANK 20

Posted by: tradervic1313 | May 26, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

For those "fans" who are so repulsed about attending a Nats game when the Flavor of the Month is not playing, feel free to donate your tickets to a great organization called Most Valuable Kids (since you're so smart, go ahead and Google it yourself), which will donate your tickets to inner city youth and other worthy causes. Many foster kids have sat in my season seats when I cannot make the game, in hopes that they will become baseball fans, regardless of who they root for. These kids probably don't have the expensive cameras that you all were planning to bring to snap your own personal photo of Strasburg's first pitch, but they'd be thrilled to go even if Mickey Mouse (or even Obama) was pitching for the Nats that night. You'll even get a tax deduction to offset part of the cost of your precious speculative investment.

Posted by: thelonghaul | May 26, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

People defending the Nats here need to their heads out of their a$$es.

Nats front office has known for WEEKS that fans have been buying up tickets to 6/4 on the belief ---- which said front office has made no attempt until now to counter ---- that that would be the date.

At any time they could have done the honest thing and poured some cold water on that theory. Instead they sat back and let it thrive. Why?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

To try to get a sellout, I wouldn't be surprised if they invited a bunch of Pittsburgh fans down to watch the debut.

A real class act Nats management is. No wonder they have a 2/3 empty building each night.

Posted by: guest1 | May 26, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"Nats front office has known for WEEKS that fans have been buying up tickets to 6/4 on the belief"

Of course they've known...everybody's known that....why does that matter?

"which said front office has made no attempt until now to counter ---- that that would be the date."

Why is it their job to counter? When did someone from the Nats say "June 4th." When was there even speculation that sourced anyone from the Nats organization, anonymous or otherwise? Why should they have to come out and comment on what is merely speculation? That's not really their problem.

"At any time they could have done the honest thing and poured some cold water on that theory."

Again, why is that their job? Everyone who bought tickets for 6/4, bought them on PURE SPECULATION. That's it. Why should they have to come out and say, weeks in advance, whether that's the date or not. Maybe they hadn't made up their mind. There's no reason for them to tie themselves to a particular date, or not, based on the speculations of fans and media. Or maybe they had, and its just about money. Either way, fans have NO gripe whatsoever. They didn't mislead anyone. They didn't say what date it would be. No one saying "6/4" was sourcing the Nats. We just bought tickets based on best guesses. We were probably wrong. Live with it. I think you're the one who needs to pull your head out from somewhere.

Honestly, everyone griping needs to grow up and stop being so pathetic. When I'm a parent, I hope that I can ween my child off this sort of self-righteous, the world revolves around me, attitude, by the time they're 10. To see this sort of whining from grown adults is pretty surprising.

Posted by: grimesman | May 26, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

First of all, there is still a good possibility Strasburg will start on 6/4, so no need to get too upset yet.

But if he doesn't start on 6/4... I am not a cynical person, but you have to look at the timing. This morning you could still buy two tickets together on nats.com (although in very limited sections). I checked again late this afternoon and only single tickets seemed to be available. And when was the article posted to nats.com? 5:39pm. The Nats could have made a similar announcement weeks ago when the Post and others kept repeating the 6/4 date, but they didn't. I completely understand the FO never said it would be 6/4, and they certainly have NO obligation to make ANY announcement, but the timing of the most official announcement yet is striking.

As important as season ticket holders are, the team desperately needs to encourage the more casual fan to buy such expensive tickets, and situations like this do not help the cause.

Posted by: nb47 | May 26, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the Nats just admit they're delaying his mlb debut to delay his arbitration eligibility? Bush league maneuver from a bush league organization. It's all about $$$$$

Posted by: cupcake5 | May 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"The Nats could have made a similar announcement weeks ago"

Did they even know which series they were going to bring him up "weeks ago." Even if they did, why is it their obligation to correct idle media speculation they have nothing to do with? Should they have to come out with a report that they don't plan to trade Strasburg for Oswalt because some moron suggested they should? I'm sure they didn't mind watching morons like me snatch up 6/4 tickets on nothing more than a wing and a prayer, but morons like me don't have any reason to be upset at the Nats, because they didn't do anything to cause people to buy 6/4 tickets.

Posted by: grimesman | May 26, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"Why don't the Nats just admit they're delaying his mlb debut to delay his arbitration eligibility? Bush league maneuver from a bush league organization. It's all about $$$$$"

Uhhhhh...this is the dumbest comment ever. Welcome to 6 months ago. Everyone knows this is what they're doing. And if that's bush league, then every organization is bush league, because every organization would do the exact same thing. I don't even understand what this comment means.

Posted by: grimesman | May 26, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"Why don't the Nats just admit they're delaying his mlb debut to delay his arbitration eligibility? Bush league maneuver from a bush league organization. It's all about $$$$"

________________________________________

No, Its smart. Most of the people who are fans of the team understand its smart

Posted by: JDB1 | May 26, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

No, Its smart. Most of the people who are fans of the team understand its smart

Posted by: JDB1 | May 26, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse
_________________________________

Of course... sooner you don't see him in those blue pinstripes...

seriously, this is all about a hall of fame catcher in Ivan Rodriguez catching this guy to start his career... like Will Nieves or whoever is gonna be that guy... so stop getting mad 6/4 people because this is the delay reason... I immediately wondered this when he got hurt & here it is... not unexpected at all.

Posted by: tony325 | May 26, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I've been a STH for three years now and am a life-long Braves fan now living in Fairfax. I'll be seeing SS's debut regardless and it's the game I'm most looking forward to outside of the RFK inaugural and the first game at the new park.

I saw the opening night at RFK and outside of that first season have seen nothing but empty seats for years. (i know, Braves fans don't exactly fill Turner Field either) So I have little sympathy for the "fans" that bought tickets to this game based on speculation and are now raving mad over more speculation.

My question is, why are the Nats wasting precious innings of SS in MiLB? The Braves called up Tommy Hanson last year right after he cleared Super 2 status. Had they done so earlier, they might have made it to the playoffs, but I understood the decision monetarily. He was obviously ML ready and SS more so and there's no way a June 4 call up jeopardizes Super 2. It makes no sense to pitch him an extra game at SYR just to set him up to face the woeful Bucs. Throw the kid into the fire, I think we all know he can handle it.

I understand Rizzo's desire to ease him into the ML, but this is pussyfooting just to pussyfoot, regardless of the extra $$$$ they've just clocked from the June 4 game.

I wish SS and the Nats the best of luck and hope our two teams are fighting for the East for years to come; the main reason I bought season tickets and will continue to renew. The future's bright for both teams, I just don't get wasting ML innings in AAA when Super 2 has been cleared.

Posted by: DougD2 | May 26, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the ire and the comments that the Nats did not counter the June 4th speculation. A week ago Mike Rizzo told the press that June 4th was their speculation. Kasten made the comment that the only way to be sure was to buy season tickets.

Boy oh boy, talk about your entitlement mentalite . . .

Posted by: lowcountry | May 26, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

So for all you people who bought tickets to sell and make money have fun trying to get rid of them. There are over 2,000 tickets for sale on stubhub and prices continue to decline. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Posted by: yoooooooo | May 26, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

This is so stupid. Rizzo and Kasten suck.

Posted by: interactingdc | May 26, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

One of the main factors driving the 6/4 speculation was that by starting him that night, the Nats could sell out a second date in the homestand (6/9 or 6/10). So the rumor was fueled by the assumption that $$$ would drive the decision. Now they get the sellout on 6/4 created by the rumor, another one on 6/8 or 6/9 when he actually makes his MLB debut, and then two starts in the next homestand. So those who assumed the decision would be driven by $$$ were right. It's just that the F.O. was one step ahead and figured out a way to make even more $$$. Ah the irony!

Posted by: Section222 | May 26, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I am friends with Mark Lerner. His family and the front office told me even on Tuesday afternoon that they were unsure of the date Strasburg would start. I was told either the Reds or Pirates series. The Lerners are not greedy at all.

Posted by: kellerhobby | May 26, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt that any MLB team EVER has announced weeks ahead of time the exact date for the first start of a rookie pitcher. You folks complaining about being cheated- you gambled and you (apparently) lost. Get over it. No one owes you an apology.

Posted by: justmike | May 26, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

No - don't make him make his first start at home. Let him get his feet wet the last week of May in Houston. Seriously - that's what I'd do. Think about it.

- Kemp in Houston

Posted by: kemp13 | May 26, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind that June 8th was the "first game" date a month ago. Then due to some rainouts and extra days off between pitching, some started speculating on the 4th. Now it's back to the 8th. For me, I thought the 4th made sense for only 1 reason: Pitch him the 4th and 10th and get 2 sellouts in that homestand. if the team were all about making max money, that's what they would have done.

As it is now, they still can't say it'll be the 8th, 9th, or 10th, because no one knows if there will be more rainouts or injuries that mess up everything. So really we won't know until that last AAA start (hopefully they'll send him to Potomac for 1 game, poor PNats got screwed by starting him in AA)

Posted by: Rogueone | May 26, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Harper is drafted on the 7th. Strasburg debuts on the 8th. Good times on the reg.

Posted by: jmorrisa | May 27, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

The start was never officially announced, and it was never a sure thing. The media made an educated guess, and everyone bought it. Enjoy the game on the 4th then.

Posted by: futbolclif | May 27, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I am normally very critical of Nats management, but in this case the Nationals organization never gave any rumor or inclination that June 4th would be Strasburg's debut. It was pure fan (and blogger) speculation.

With that being said, anyone who bought tickets for the June 4th game (a Friday, btw) and doesn't go solely because of this is not a real fan anyway.

Posted by: enstage | May 27, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Why did the Nats wait until today to say June 4th wasn't the date? They could have said this much a week ago before everyone bought up the 4th. They knew then. This is so disengenuous and dishonest it's amazing. There are so many better ways to make a buck then to take advantage of your base. This is unbelieveably sleazy. No way around it!

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Kemp- I'm a Nats fan living in Houston. I'd love nothing more than a Strasburg start that series. I'm going to a game regardless, but that would be sweet. haha.

Posted by: ASchumacher | May 27, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Stephen Strasburg is a poor man's Patrick Daugherty.

Posted by: leeeroyjenkins | May 27, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

This really shouldn't surprise anyone. Strasburg's only going to make so many starts during the season given his innings limits that the date of his first start is less important than the opponent. Simply put, Pittsburgh is an easier opening act than the Reds. I put my marker down on the 8th weeks ago.

Posted by: alecrogers1 | May 27, 2010 4:38 AM | Report abuse

This is very disappointing news. What are they waiting for? Why not start him June 4?

Posted by: cr8oncsu | May 27, 2010 5:19 AM | Report abuse

It seems like this is one of those Rorschach test moments, where how you react is really a test of how you view the world. I've never seen any evidence of leaks from management, and in their public statements they've been consistent that they have not picked a date. They could have announced it would not be the 4th earlier only if they knew it would not be the 4th, and what they've always said is that they didn't know. Course, they could have done all this in an attempt to get an extra sell out, and there were people who predicted this exact sequence of events. Personally, I'm not persuaded, but the Rorschach test part of it is, how much evidence do you actually need?

Posted by: markfromark | May 27, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse


Wah, wah, wah. No. what is amazing are the morons who expect their losses to be covered by the ballclub. They very clearly stated that they did NOT know when he would debut. The lemmings (including myself) bought tix for the 4th. Maybe it will still be the 4th. There is no official word. Maybe you should buy tix for the Pirates series based on this latest media rumour. Then you can whine if THAT doesn't happen and weep about being mislead again by the FO. Better yet whiners-do everyone a favor and just patronize the Borioles. Their owner is far less greedy and their team more interesting to watch.

Posted by: Natstoyou | May 27, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

The 4th date was created by the fans and the media. If you bought tickets, thats on you...so show up and have fun.

I did not buy tickets, and was going to wait until the rotation would be announced...

It's simple..people shouldnt expect this much from the team.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 27, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

To all the whiners. Go to the game and enjoy the improved Nats, then come back for #37's real debut start and come back again and again. In other words, be a real fan and quit blaming the Nats for your ownmistake of believing the speculative date.

Posted by: smirkman | May 27, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

PS I'll gladly move down to your lower bowl boxes if you're a no show for the game on the 4th.

Posted by: smirkman | May 27, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Wahhhh-wahhhh-wahhhh. The Nats are sending out unsubstantiated rumors in order to sell tickets. You bought based on those RUMORS which were perpetuated by social networks and the print media. At NO TIME did the Nationals announce that SS would show up and pitch on June 4th. And now you're blaming the Lerners? Look in the mirror, morons, and blame yourselves. Or better yet, buy a season pass and enjoy some good baseball this year. Or best, GET REAL!!!!!

Whether you want to believe it or not, the Nationals are a BUSINESS, and the purpose of a BUSINESS is to MAKE MONEY. Do you really think they're going to squash rumors when the average "announced" attendance at our home games this year is hovering around 20,000?

ATTENTION, RUMOR CONTROL: I hear the President will show up for at least one of the White Sox series games, probably Friday, June 18. Wouldn't it be
sweet if SS pitched that night, too?

Posted by: luv2bikva | May 27, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

So the Lerner's are to blame for the press ginning up June 4 as the debut date, then not bowing to that by putting SS on a timetable that makes the public happy? Makes a LOT of sense. Everyone here seems to know how best to run a baseball team, perhaps we should apply for jobs.

Maybe when people were buying tickets for 6/4 without any confirmation SS was pitching, the Nationals should have said "You know we haven't confirmed SS is pitching, so mayb you want to reconsider purchasing our tickets right now." Now you're upset that isn't the date.

The posts here demonstrate agendas. You don't like the team, you don't like the Lerners. They could hand out sacks of money when you walk in the stadium and you'd complain the bills are crinkly.

Posted by: Handsome_John_Pruitt | May 27, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I bought tickets for the 4th and I'm going no matter what. This team is now fun to watch, and while I'm a bit suspicious that the owners may have sat back while fans (including some like me, a shareholder in a season ticket group) gobbled up tix for the 4th, I can't exactly get mad about it. I made a bet and lost. Frankly, all I care about now is that they start SS at HOME: one can only imagine the "fan fireworks" if they started him someplace else, as a couple of posters here have suggested.

Posted by: tommyg2230 | May 27, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I have tickets for the 6/4 game, and will be more than happy to be at the ballpark that evening no matter who is starting for the Nats. I understand the team is under no obligation to trot Stras out there just because I and a few thousand other people were hoping to see his debut that night. And they're under no obligation to disavow any rumors about Stras starting that night. However there is a rather disturbing timing that the "announcement" (as made through Ladson rather than directly from the team) was made within hours of the 6/4 game being sold down to isolated seats. That close proximity is what I think a lot of people are reacting negatively to, and it does make the team look once again tone deaf to its fans and to PR. This is going to be chalked up with the "well anyone could have created a ticket buying group" defense to the opening day takeover by the Phillies fans. Once again, while true and factually accurate, it's not going to sit well with a lot of the fan base.

Posted by: thurdl01 | May 27, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

WOW what a thread!! This needs to be preserved for posterity.

If Strasburg is as good as hoped/hyped, it would be a great read on the eve of his HOF induction. It would be an even funnier read if his career falls flat.

My two cents: History gives Washington fans every reason to view baseball owners as a despicable lot, but this episode barely registers on that scale.

The ultimate justice would be if thousands eat their June 4 tickets, and a no-name Nats starter pitches a no hitter, Desmond hits for the cycle, and Dunn hits a grand slam over the Red Porch. And oh, yeah, Teddy wins.

Posted by: KenNat | May 27, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners cheap ways tick me off as much as the next fan however, I can't really blame them here. This was all media and blogger specualation. If you have tickets for 6/4 go enjoy the game between two surprising teams and root on the hometown Nats.

Big win last night against Lincecum and the Giants. Go Get'em today boys and take 2 of 3!

Posted by: Section505203 | May 27, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

It's only fair to note that many of the rumour-mongers who speculated so intensely about 6/4 did so partly on the assumption that the penny-pinching Nats would naturally want to maximize their take by getting SS a second start on the same homestand. Thus it's strange to cry foul now on this same assumption of greed, when that scenario apparently isn't the plan and he'll actually only appear once in the homestand.

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | May 27, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Why don't they just wait to bring him up during a Phillies game so they can pack the stadium.

Posted by: 010153 | May 27, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

It's only fair to note that many of the rumour-mongers who speculated so intensely about 6/4 did so partly on the assumption that the penny-pinching Nats would naturally want to maximize their take by getting SS a second start on the same homestand. Thus it's strange to cry foul now on this same assumption of greed, when that scenario apparently isn't the plan and he'll actually only appear once in the homestand.

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | May 27, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse
______________________________

And by the same token, others speculated that the Nats would wait until 6/4 was sold out to shoot down that date, thereby getting two sellouts in the homestand that way. And on and on it goes. As I've written before, I'll be there regardless of when, enjoying the 6/4 game (I hope) immensely as well as the Debut. It's the perception among casual fans that you're trying to cultivate that they've been manipulated that's a problem. Stan's "buy a season ticket" comment was, as usual, tone deaf. Given their track record for lousy PR, why anger any of their potential new fans? I look forward to a bandwagon for the Nats. Better than no one in the stands. Might make real fans out of them.

Posted by: mojo6 | May 27, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg should pitch every game....and bat cleanup...and if he comes out in the 7th or 8th, let him play catcher!

Earn your paycheck!

Posted by: SA-Town | May 27, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Why don't they just wait to bring him up during a Phillies game so they can pack the stadium.
Posted by: 010153 | May 27, 2010 9:16 AM
-----------------------
Perhaps the dumbest post I have ever read.

Posted by: shanks1 | May 27, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I've read a lot people's comments and you guys are pissed. I understand that you feel like the Nats, the Lerners, and Stan Kasten all "douped" you. However, the Nationals never once said that he would start June 4th. Not once! The only people saying he'd start on June 4th are the media. Radio, TV, even The Post! You guys bought your tickets based on rumors where most experts said "don't bet your house on a June 4th start". Apparantely you need to listsn to the whole story from now on rather than base your purchases on RUMORS!! I got tickets for June 5th so here's hoping I got the lucky ticket.

Posted by: audelt0426 | May 27, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I am actually glad that the Nats are debuting Strasburg against the Pirates. Like many have said, it was bloggers/fans spreading the June 4th rumor not the Nats...however, Im sure the Nats were aware of this and they made a pretty good business move imo. Boo-hoo to all you fans that now must go to the game and watch your team play...last time I checked the nats are playing .500 baseball, go support the team and stop w/ the complaining.

Posted by: bcrawfo1 | May 27, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

NATS, AS SPIKE LEE SAID, DO THE RIGHT THING!!

OFFER EXCHANGES TO ANOTHER GAME FOR PEEPS WHO DON'T WANT TO ATTEND JUNE 4.

DO THE RIGHT THING!!!

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

To all the whiners. Go to the game and enjoy the improved Nats, then come back for #37's real debut start and come back again and again. In other words, be a real fan and quit blaming the Nats for your ownmistake of believing the speculative date.

Posted by: smirkman | May 27, 2010 7:32 A

-------------------------------------------

I already have tickets to 10 Nats' games this year, Smirkman. I'll go to any additional games where YOU buy me the tickets.

I am a bad luck charm for the Nats. They lose almost every game I attend. So, tell you what. I'll buy tickets for Strasburg's debut game, just to ensure his first MLB career L.

Dick Wad.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | May 27, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I've got tickets for the 4th, 5th AND 6th. I got the 6th as part of my 1/4 season plan, and ordered the 4th & 5th with my Red Carpet coupons --- back on April 2nd. That was my guess as to S-Day back then, and I can't really complain now.

Now to get the 8th...

Posted by: tadas | May 27, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

BTW Steinberg, Shenin, Boz, Kilgore,,, you guys should be held accountable. Way to go on record pushing faulty info.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

NATS, AS SPIKE LEE SAID, DO THE RIGHT THING!!

OFFER EXCHANGES TO ANOTHER GAME FOR PEEPS WHO DON'T WANT TO ATTEND JUNE 4.

DO THE RIGHT THING!!!

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Lets see, which dates offer a national TV audience via espn or fox...June 8th, espn, June 9th...none, June 10th...none. OK, you figure it out, I know which date I'd pick to be it.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 27, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Might have been a bit hasty...June 9th might also be an espn game.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 27, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

>>Strasburg is tentatively scheduled to make his major league debut against the Pirates at Nationals Park in a series that starts Tuesday, June 8 and ends Thursday, June 10, a team source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.Strasburg
"If the dominoes fall the right way, this is what we're looking at," the source told Olney.

Funny how the team source spoke the day after June 4th sold out.

HOW SLEAZY CAN YOU GET!!

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

So you have your tickets. Go to the games. Cheer on the Nats. Enjoy. Regardless of the pitcher.

Chill out people.

Posted by: summerandwinter | May 27, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

My ST pack came with tickets on the 6th and 9th. Couldn't make it on the 9th, so traded those for the 8th. Hopefully SS will debut then, but if not I will see him at some point in the season. I am one of those concerned with the cheapness of the ownership, but I don't see how you can blame the team for your having bought tix for the 4th. Nor do I see how you can blame the media, who started every story with something to the effect that "the best guess is...." It was a good guess, just turned out to be wrong. I can understand being disappointed, but not being mad. Just go enjoy the game. The Friday fireworks are very good.

Posted by: NatsFly | May 27, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

LERNERS, STAN KASTEN, MEET DAN SNYDER.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Really hope it is the 8th, have had those tickets for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: thegraneys | May 27, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

You can now get tickets you couldn't get yesterday for the 6/4 game. Example: 12 behind home plate in the infield gallery. Could they have been holding back huge blocks of tickets for season ticket and mini plans using Strasburg as the lure? ("Can't get a ticket online? We'll sell you a plan and you can see that game.") Fits right in with Stan's "buy a season ticket" comment. I really want to give the Nats the benefit of the doubt on all this but this is pretty strange.

Posted by: mojo6 | May 27, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

>>You can now get tickets you couldn't get yesterday for the 6/4 game

The Nats true colors are really shining thru and it aint pretty!!

Posted by: dovelevine | May 27, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

All you folks that bought 6/4 tickets relied on speculation of fans and talking heads. Don't push it off on some grand scheme of the Nats front office.

Posted by: Ratzoe | May 27, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

It is entirely possible that 6/4 WAS the original date for SS starting in DC until Pudge went down. When Pudge was put on the DL, the start could have been moved back to June 8th since Pudge can come off the DL on the 7th. I have ZERO doubts in my mind that the club wants Pudge to be the catcher for SS's first start.

In fact, the more I think about it...the more I think that this is -exactly- what happened. Pudge went down with the injury and the club decided to leave SS in the minors for an extra start there so Rodriguez can be the C for his start. It just makes sense, as opposed to all of the conspiracy theories.

Posted by: banjax451 | May 27, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hold on, let's all climb down from Mt. Self-Righteous and Indignant for a second.

I'm sorry, some of this is just off base. They didn't put out a rumor. I never read anything in any story speculating on June 4 that quoted the team or an "unnamed Nats official" or suggested it was a rumor put out by the Nats. Maybe I missed it, but everything I read on the subject was just educated guesswork and speculation by fans and reporters.

If you are angry that the Nationals did not proactively counter rampant speculation (so that they could sell FEWER TICKETS!), I'd say you are just looking for something to be angry about. If that's the case, carry on, I guess. Have fun. Just please don't make stuff up.

Posted by: Section220 | May 26, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

+1 buddy.

Posted by: Justin6 | May 27, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

You show up, and the only girl there is decidedly minor league. Did Friend B lie to you? Of course not. But that doesn't make him any less of a jerk.

In the end though, you're still at a party, so you grumble at Friend B, grab a beer and have a good time with Matt Chico. I mean the girl.

------------------------------------------------------------

I'm pretty sure that makes you a shallow jerk for rating women this way...and Miss Minor League deserves someone who appreciates her more than you.

Posted by: fischy | May 27, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Of course you can now get tickets for 6/4 that weren’t available before – they’ve been holding them back and now that they have to punt on the 6/4 game they mysteriously appear on line. Typical way Nats have done business since Day One.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 27, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

watch it be June 5th, 3 sellouts for the price of one. I got tickets to the June 4th game, I aint happy, but im still gonna go, and im gonna do all i can to be able to go to the game against the Bucs, and if they change it again, i would still go.

Posted by: arizonacardinalsfan1 | May 27, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

How can you get mad at the Nats when most of you just wanted to buy/resell the tix for a profit! and you call them liars and crooks..

Posted by: jredden | May 27, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't blame the Nats at all. Most teams do not respond to rumors. With all the Blogs and writers trying to fill space the June 4 date took a life of its own. Riggleman is right, there is no need to announce until they have to. I also understand why they don't know what day yet. if they announce to soon and something changes, a pitcher on the current roster goes on the DL or something else happens they might be forced to change the date.

If you have tickets for the 4th thats great go out and support the team, if you whine and blame the Nats chances are it would have been the only game you went to.

I haven't been out there yet (time and money always gets in the way). I will end up at the park probably 5 or 6 times this year. If I want to take a chance and get tickets for the weekend he may start I can, but if Stras doesn't pitch when I'm there I'll enjoy the game...and I won't be looking for the Nats to refund my money.

From a marketing side it might be smart on the 4th and whatever night he pitches to handout a coupon or use your stub for a $5 bucks off a future ticket or a BOGO promotion. Expand your audience. They should also have a large police presence to dissuade scalpers in the area.


Posted by: DCsportfan3433 | May 27, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There were multiple parties here who did not do their due diligence. This blog is I'm sure the location where most of us read the speculation about June 4th. But it is just a blog after all, even if it is under The Post's site. The Nationals as an organization were asked repeatedly about this in the last few weeks. The speculation may not have come from within Nats Park, but it certainly wasn't debunked from within either. The organization is culpable in that respect. And that bit about suddenly more tickets being available online is quite suspicious in my book because that pretty clearly suggests that some tickets were being with-held, and that some plan may have had Strasburg starting then. In that respect the organization has some answers to provide as well.

Posted by: Bog_Reader | May 27, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

There’s no reason not to bring up Strasburg on June 4. It fits into his pitching schedule and it will be past the “magic date” that gives the Nats another year of control. But now the team is tentatively planning his debut for the June 8-10 series against Pittsburgh. Why? The Nats’ fan base was jerked around on Opening Day when a horde of lunatics from Philadelphia showed up after the Lerners rolled out the red carpet via out-of-town ticket brokers. Now, after 40,000 Nats fans have already purchased tickets for June 4, it seems as though we’re being toyed with again. I hope not. Just bring Strasburg up on June 4. Heaven knows the team could use him and the sooner the better.

Posted by: gibson0 | May 28, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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