Chapter 2 for Stephen Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg spent his pregame watching the College World Series (Florida vs. Miami) and playing the Big Buck Hunter arcade game in the visiting clubhouse here at Progressive Field.
Between those actitives, Strasburg napped a little bit. There will be more than 30,000 people here today -- including both Ted and Mark Lerner -- and it would be fair to say roughly half showed up exclusively to watch him. TBS will be broadcasting the game on national television. The reality of his debut exceeded even the hype leading up to it. The notion of matching his maiden start, seemingly, has not worn on him.
"Any time expectations get too high on somebody, the anxiety can be high, pressure and so forth," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "But if anybody can handle, he can. He's handled everything up to this point. I think he will only have success or failure based on how he's throwing the ball that day."
The attention hasn't bothered Strasburg (at least in terms of his performance and preparation) and hasn't affected the rest of the Nationals.
"It's great," Riggleman said. "It's great for baseball. It's great for the Nationals. I'm not sure what the attendance is going to be today, but I know it will be a big bump from what it would have been, just like it is at our place. I like that. I like that people have a young player to rally around, a young player to get excited about it. It's great for baseball, and it's great for Washington.'
The attention surroinding Strasburg's first road start stunned Riggleman. For tickets and merchandise to sell so well in Cleveland is unlike anything he's seen.
"Maybe they did this with Koufax," Riggleman said. "Nolan Ryan, I know in Texas, when he pitched at home, it jumped up in attendance every time. But the national attention, certainly, I don't think there's been anything like this."
What can Strasburg do to follow his debt? We'll find out in less than an hour.
Posted by: CoverageisLacking | June 13, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: BinM | June 13, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: CoverageisLacking | June 13, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.