Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Little Stevie Wonder?

Soooooo, a certain young phenom debuted last night and commandeered the national (bad pun, sorry) baseball stage. Notwithstanding my Tiger loyalties, I wanted to witness the kid's maiden MLB outing. So I met a friend at a sports bar that was going to show both the Nats and Tigers games. Stephen Strasburg, my friends, did not disappoint. All he did was strike out FOURTEEN batters (one shy of the record for a debut), pitch SEVEN innings, and give up only TWO runs. Sorry for all the yelling via caps, but it's kind of exciting, no? I mean, yes, he's been hyped beyond all reasonable limits, and yes, he lived up to the hype, for one night at least. And there's really no reason to think he won't continue to knock everyone's baseball socks right off their feet. To top it all off, in his first at bat, the kid could have had an infield single, if he'd run down the line faster. He must've thought it was more of a routine play, but it looked like he could have made it to me. Bet he won't make that mistake again.

Today, some sports radio show hosts were asking who the last person was that you saw and you knew right then they were going to be a special player. For me, it was Vince Carter. I saw him participate in the 1995 McDonald's All American dunk contest for high school players. I didn't know him from Adam, but I saw him throwing down all these ridiculous dunks. I immediately turned on the old VCR so I could show my hoops-crazy husband when he got home later. Vince goes down as one of the game's best dunk men. He was a pretty good player, too, but the dunks were just in another league. Bottom line, I was no expert, but I could see with the naked eye that this kid was operating on another plane. Same with Strasburg. He went out there and dealt. Period. I mean, seriously, fourteen Ks for a debut? Let's just say it made the old-lady-out-on -the-town-on-a-week-night well worth it.

You may have been aware that there was also a Tiger game last night. Don't worry, I didn't sell out my team. The Tigers game was on the big screen at the bar, and I paid it proper attention. The Nats and Little Stevie Wonder were playing on several smaller screens. Happily, the Nats game was a 7:05 start, and the Tigers were an 8:10, so there was a good hour to watch Strasburg, before I had to start training one eye on the Tigers game and the other on the Nats vs. the perennial "also-ran" Pirates.

Gavin Floyd. How does this guy scream mediocrity and then pitch us lights out all the time? Veeery maddening. Stern looks all around to Tigers batters. I was beginning to get a mite frustrated, when our boys came to the rescue and broke out with six runs in the seventh inning (after Floyd exited the game, mind you). Brennan Bash and Carlos Guillen went yard back-to-back. Tee hee, that was fun. The only downer of the night was that the Twinks were pounding the Royals, so we didn't have the opportunity to gain any ground.

5 comments:

Juskimo said...

I attended the Nats game yesterday and SS was all you could have asked for and more. Electric crowd and amazing stuff. Real deal kind of stuff.

Matty said...

Yes, he pitched lights out, and really impressed me. He showed that he's got the stuff, and the makings of a great pitcher.

But.....One game does not make a career. And keep in mind that the Nats chose to bring him up against....the Pirates.

I'm not saying he won't continue to dominate in the national league. But let's give him some time and see how he does against the better teams, and the league in general as they start seeing him over and over and have a chance to adjust to him. Then we'll see how dominant he is.....or isn't.

OldEnglish said...

@Juskimo-How very cool is that? Glad you got to experience it first-hand.

@Matty-I totally agree with you. Overhype can be dangerous, and young players should be given time to develop. Sparky Anderson was famous for calling a young player the next "InsertSuperstarPlayerHere," and the poor kid probably felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. That being said, it's fun to get swept away in the excitement sometimes.

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