One Step Closer: Strasburg to the Bigs (Not the Linkin Park Song)

Soon the attendance at the Washington Nationals ballpark and my grandfather’s junk will have something in common. It goes up every five days. Just kidding, my grandfather’s dead. But I’m not kidding about the 21-year-old phenom moving closer to what hopefully becomes his permanent home because this kid is legit. He’s moved on to Triple-A Syracuse and could find himself pitching by the Capitol Riverfront in June.

The Nationals are 14-12 through 26 games, respectable and quite surprising for a team coming off consecutive 100-loss seasons. The team has young talent, especially in Ryan Zimmerman, and a closer (Matt Capps) pitching as well as anyone in the league. But .500 records don’t draw crowds. But the reality is “it takes a highly competitive team to gain any sort of traction in this city. The Capitals, lest we forget, were drawing sparse crowds until Bruce Boudreau took over and the team started winning.”

A pitcher that has “more gifts than a rich kid on Christmas morning” will draw crowds and lots of attention. His minor league starts make SportsCenter. Newly acquired National Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez may have given him the best complement of all. When asked if Strasburg’s stuff was like that of former teammate Justin Verlander of Detroit, Pudge responded, “No, It’s like Nolan.”

A dude with over 5,000 strikeouts and seven no hitters. If Strasburg can put a guy in a headlock like Nolan Ryan, he will indeed be a treat for Washingtonians.

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