Stephen Strasburg: Biggest Debut in DC History? Sure, Until Harper Arrives.


In recent memory, Washington D.C. is an amazing place for most everything except sports.  The city hasn’t had a positive sports buzz  that surrounded a young rookie, well hell since forever.

I can’t dig up anything that matches the buzz created by this rookie pitcher named Stephen Strasburg.  It’s a buzz of

Cheech and Chong like proportions.  We tried to see when DC was more abuzz, the biggest sports moment would have to bring up John Riggins name and the year 1983.  So it’s been a while.

We need to see how all of these politicos handle some sports buzz in person.

I predict the stands in D.C. will empty out by the seventh inning.  I will have pictures to prove my hypothesis.   If anyone from D.C. wants to challenge this hypothesis, leave a comment.  Well if you can figure out how to respond in a sports blog.  I’m not sure you read these fancy things yet.

We will be in the stands to see Stephen Strasburg make his major league debut.  We got a big party going on Tuesday night at Nats Field (Nemacolin ‘gets it’ with these events.)  The Pirates are going to be represented on the field with some talented players.  Don’t be surprised when you see this Pirates team grab a victory either.

But I just wanted to see how crazy it would be if  Patty the Pittsburgher were calling up to get tickets.  It fascinates us.  So we dialed up the Nationals ticket hotline and after a twenty-five minute–(we put it on speaker phone) hold, we gave up.   We had heard a man say,  “your call is valuable to us” at least twenty times before we lost count.

We hung up because we decided Patty the Pittsburgher could just get these tickets online and pay the extra fees.  Surely, Patty the Pittsburgher would do this, right?  (Probably before she waited on hold for twenty-five minutes, my wife said.)

But Patty the Pittsburgher’s quest to attend this huge game just got thwarted.  Check this out on the Nats website.  No seats are available.  Looks like this is getting interesting for the Nationals.

Stephen Strasburg has officially changed how tickets are being sold for the Washington Nationals.  The thing that amazes me is the hottest ticket of the summer has seven days to get even more white hot.

But how long will this last?   With the Nationals pitching strategy, we have read Strasburg has 95 innings left to pitch after he arrives in the majors.   So my question is this, will the Nats shut down such a powerful ticket selling machine/bonus baby/rookie/fireballer in late August?   Especially if he has the success it appears he will have.

Is this a short supply (limited home starts by Strasburg,)  high demand (people buy extra game tickets just to get the Strasburg tickets) scenario created by the Nats to spur the buzz?   Or is this a very smart strategy to take with their phenom?  If anyone asked me, I  go with the idea to shut him down.

Looking at the schedule we think this is how the phenom potentially lines up in the short term this year.  Of course the big game is June 8 against the Pirates.  The big right hander then would presumably pitch against the following:    June 13 – at Cleveland Indians,  June 19 – Chicago White Sox (think Obama is checking this game with his calendar?)   June 25 – at Baltimore, June 30 – at Atlanta,  July 6 – Padres, July 11 – Giants.

All of this buzz got me thinking, not hungry.  Will the Strasburg debut be the biggest in our nation’s capital?  Michael Jordan made his debut for the Washington Wizards on November 3, 2001.  He led the Wizards to a 90-76 victory over the basketball team from Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia 76ers.   But Jordan wasn’t a rookie.  Sure, he was a big name, but was it bigger than this?  Don’t think so.  It seemed to be commercialized.  Business related.

This debut is different.  People are freaking excited.  Casual fans, which most are in DC mainly due to the team’s departure one would guess, are scrambling for tickets.  Strasburg is young.  Very young.  It’s what baseball is becoming, a game built around young talent.  It’s huge.

Washington DC doesn’t have a winning tradition in baseball history.  At least one that we could remember.  It was 1924 when the Senators won their only World Series.  The victory was fluky too when Earl McNeely’s bad hop single drove in the winning run in the 12th inning of Game 7.

But check this out, Washington D.C. will be changing that history if these next eight days turn out like I believe they could.  The Nats were the worst team in baseball last year.  Fast forward a few months, and it seems like a century ago.   Talented players are on the way.  It’s painful to think the Pirates stink, but didn’t stink enough to get this talent.

Nothing is definite in the pure truth known as baseball.  But this seems damn close.

Strasburg will be making his debut a day after Bryce Harper is presumably selected by the Nats as their first pick in the 2010 draft.

Imagine this:  D.C. baseball will have the most hyped high school baseball talent ever putting on a red DC Nats hat on June 7.  Less than 24 hours later, they will have their biggest debut in history when Stephen Strasburg faces  the always interesting Pirates leadoff hitter.    Then when all goes well a couple years from now, Bryce Harper, the Lebron James of baseball as stated by Sports Illustrated, will turn D.C. on its ear.

Buy your tickets now.