Saturday, June 26, 2010

LeBron and Strasburg: My 2 Cents

It seems like the two biggest topics in North American sports right now are basketball superstar LeBron James' possible departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers; and the rise of impressive rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. Much has already been written about both elsewhere so I won't bore you with the details here. But here's my humble take:

- James, an Akron, OH native should not leave the Cavs until he wins a championship for his (almost) hometown team. But he's given the team 7 years and a valiant effort, so if he chooses greener pastures I won't hold it against him one bit. (On a personal level, I would very much NOT like for him to join the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets, or whatever the fuck they end up calling themselves, for the reasons I've espoused here.)

- The hoopla surrounding Strasburg has honestly surprised me. ESPN has called him "the most-hyped pick in draft history", while Sports Illustrated considers Strasburg "the most hyped and closely watched pitching prospect in the history of baseball". Yes, the 21 year old is a wonderfully talented phenom but all this acclaim is quite over the top. (Mr. Baseball Nerd, Keith Olbermann agrees.) The fact is, Strasburg has started against mostly low-rung teams (Pirates, Indians), one of which he lost to (Royals), and the only solid team he's faced (White Sox) Strasburg got a no-decision in a game his team eventually lost. 4 games does not a Hall of Fame career make.

Yeah, he's averaging 10 strikeouts per game but c'mon, how 'bout we wait 'til he's been around a couple of seasons and the hitters have had a chance to see him. In the meantime, I suggest following Mr. Wolf's advice, let the the Nats milk the situation for all its worth and enjoy the ride. And if you think the sad saga of the D-Train has made me even more skeptical of the whole Strasburg hype, then you are quite right.

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