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Nats phenom Strasburg new TV "it" guy; reads Dave's Top 10 (VIDEO)

[this blog post has been updated]

David Letterman has anointed him worthy of Top 10 List reading on Thursday -- we've got the video here -- TBS has thrown over the Philadelphia Phillies AND the Boston Red Sox to clear its dance card for him on Sunday - TV is going gaga over Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

"Baseball's new original phenom - we haven't had one of these guys in a long long time!" Letterman enthused Thursday on "Late Show." "He has four incredible pitches, he has a 91-mile-an-hour change-up. He has a curve ball you will never - the only way you can see this curve ball is if you actually have seats in the parking lot - it breaks that severely, honest to God!" the CBS late-night host gushed.

In case you've just come out from under a flat rock, Strasburg -- TV's newest "It" guy -- is last summer's No. 1 draft pick and the guy the Nats ponied up a whopping $15.1 million to secure. Strasburg made his much ballyhooed Major League Baseball debut Tuesday night and -- in a performance that had TV suits madly scrambling to see if there was a way they could get a piece of this action -- he struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates in seven innings while hitting 100 mph on the radar gun twice.

Thursday afternoon, via satellite from Nationals Park, Strasburg read the night's Top-10 list:

Top 10 Little Known Things About Stephen Strasburg

No. 10: To keep my focus on pitching, I sleep on a mound of dirt.

No. 9: Every morning I spread Icy Hot on my toast.

No. 8: I got three of my 14 strikeouts while Twittering.

No. 7: To celebrate my first big-league win I bought a hot tub time machine.

No. 6: I wasn't really good till I got bitten by that radioactive spider.

No. 5: Dumb guys think I directed "E.T."

No. 4: I also scored the winning goal for the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals.

No. 3: I blew my signing bonus on laser back-hair removal.

No. 2: Don't even try to talk to me before I start, or while I'm watching "Glee."

No. 1: If I would have known I'd be on "Letterman" I wouldn't have pitched so well.

This is very big in TV circles. Look at a list of the athletes who Letterman has asked to read his list -- they're all very big stars having their moment, including, most recently, Oakland A's pitcher Dallas Braden after pitching that perfect game in May - the 19th perfect game in Major League history.

Meanwhile, Thursday morning, TBS announced it had blown out "Sunday MLB on TBS" schedule in order to make way for TV's newest sensation.

Bye-bye Philadelphia Phillies at Boston Red Sox - that's the game TBS had scheduled for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Instead, the cable network is happily blowing off the Phillies - two time defending National League champs and '08 World series winner - and the Red Sox - one of the most popular teams in any sport - in order to cover baseball's new phenom as he takes on the Cleveland Indians. TBS says it's is even adding TWO super slo-mo cameras for Sunday's Nats game.

Meanwhile local sports network MASN reported giddily that Tuesday's game set a network record according to early Nielsen stats which indicate more than 165,000 homes in the Washington area tuned in to watch Strasburg's historic pitching performance. Last year the Nats averaged around 14,000 households on MASN.

"For a Tuesday night in June against the Pirates, these ratings are simply stunning," MASN rep Todd Webster said, gushing over Strasburg and nicking the Pirates in one swoop. Nicely played, Webster!

By Lisa de Moraes  |  June 11, 2010; 12:03 AM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Great what you showed - but why not show the full top ten?

Posted by: kenj2 | June 10, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Like many folks who have ties to Washington one way or another, I now live in North Carolina and am furious with Time Warner Cable for dragging their feet on an FCC ruling. MASN SHOULD be in the cable package in North Carolina. We WANT Nats games throughout the season. I, like many, went out to a sports bar on Tuesday night to watch the game. Hopefully Strasburg will be the impetus to get this done.

Posted by: KeithG3 | June 10, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

kenj2 asked, "why not show the full top ten?"
I would guess that was all the Letterman Show released prior to the airing of the show (this clip was posted Thursday afternoon, and the show doesn't air until 11:30 Thursday night). They released a clip to get you interested in staying up to watch the show; they're not going to give it all away ahead of time.

Posted by: dc-native | June 10, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

dc native, your an idiot. the show is not live.

Posted by: mckenzo | June 11, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

mckenzo- dc native was totally correct. What's your problem? Don't go throwing insults around if you don't know what you're talking about. And by the way, it's "you're". Have a nice day.

Posted by: justmike | June 11, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

You all realize that there is now a good chance for the Nationals to be on National Broadcast every time Strasburg pitches? You realize how much press he is going to get this team!

The yankees may have more hardware in their trophiecase than anyone, the redsox may be historic. But 37 is going to make Washington, the National team.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 11, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Will the game be available in HD on Fios, or will we be stuck with that dreadful MASN2 SD broadcast?

Posted by: TheOneWhoHurtsMost | June 11, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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