Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg - Real Deal Or Epic Bust?

Dave MillerContributor IJune 8, 2010

VIERA, FL - MARCH 09:  Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Space Coast Stadium on March 9, 2010 in Viera, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Tonight is the night. The phenom takes center stage in Washington D. C. and I'm not talking about Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Barack Obama, or any other politician.

Nope, today is not about primaries, tea parties, and oil. Today is about Stephen Strasburg, the fire balling right handed pitcher for the Washington Nationals.  

To hear his backers tell it, this guy is Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, and Walter Johnson all wrapped in one, with perhaps a little Carl Hubbell on the side.

The savior of a franchise. The anointed Lord of the mound of Major League Baseball.

I am not sure we need to really play the game tonight.  After all, it is against Pittsburgh, one of the worst teams in the National League for as long as I can remember. Let’s just give the guy a win and call it good.

Even Dan Patrick and the Danettes were musing on the radio this morning about the possibility of a no-hitter.

Not one to want to throw cold water on a party, but we’ve been down this road a few times before. Here’s the pattern.  

Young player is dominant in high school or college, signs for millions in bonus money and is quickly brought up to the bigs because no owner is making this type of investment to watch a kid play ball in Toledo.

Now some of these kids make it; but for every Koufax, who took 7 years to become the dominant pitcher he was, there is a Mark Fidrych, a one year respite from the doldrums of summer.

I am not saying young Mr. Strasburg will not have a long, spectacular career.  I hope he does.  I am just saying let’s keep our wits about us. While it is entirely possible this kid is the second coming, it is also possible he will be just an average pitcher, struggling with control and lacking a major league curve ball when it counts.

Besides, even if he flames out quickly, we’ll soon have Bryce Harper, baseball’s newest 17 year old future star coming up soon.  He was just drafted last night and will be signing soon for about $345 million dollars to play for the same team as Strasburg, the Nationals.

I wonder where Rich Reichardt is today?