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Morning Commute: Stephen Strasburg's Starts Are Now Must-See Events

Stuck in D.C. traffic? Here's your daily morning roundup.       

So yeah, how about Stephen Strasburg last night? Not bad, huh? What say you, Steve Phillips?

It's funny, because leading up to last night's game, I was talking to a lot of out-of-town people who were trying to understand why this city was going crazy over Strasburg yesterday. They were trying to figure out how one starting pitcher in a town that's decidedly not a baseball town could be seen as the Second Coming, so to speak. It was a fair question.

But there's also a pretty easy explanation, one that goes beyond Strasburg's actual ability. The truth is, Strasburg is the only sports figure in this town right now that can turn a local sporting game into an event. John Wall and Alex Ovechkin, for all their popularity, can't do that because they play every game, and in this town, every game can't be an event. Strasburg, on the other hand, goes once every five games, allowing DC residents to treat each one of his starts like an event. Sure, we have people who follow the teams themselves religiously, but we have far more people in this city that are casual fans that flock to sports like they're events. It's unfortunate, but it's the way it is. 

After last night's performance, suddenly, there are more events for casual fans to attend this summer. That's the power of Stephen Strasburg.

Today's non-Strasburg must-reads, from around the SB Nation network:

 

  • We're obviously excited by Strasburg and Bryce Harper, but Federal Baseball tells you what you need to know about the other people the Nationals selected in the MLB Draft.
  • The Wizards should try to re-sign Shaun Livingston, even with John Wall and Gilbert Arenas in tow, writes Bullets Forever.
  • SB Nation D.C.'s and Hogs Haven's Ken Meringolo appeared on The Sports Reporters with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban the other day. Here are his thoughts on his appearance.
  • Speaking of Hogs Haven, they ask their readers which player is the worst Redskin of all time. Heath Shuler has a narrow lead over Brandon Lloyd at the moment. 
  • Japers Rink evaluates David Steckel's 2009-10 season.
  • Testudo Times' Maryland football preview continues with a breakdown of the Terps' linebacker core.
On tap at SB Nation D.C. today: Chris Needham has already written about some of the people to "thank" for Stephen Strasburg being a Washington National. I'll be writing more about the game later, and Jordan Ruby will pay homage to Strasburg's high school career in his weekly local high school sports wrapup later today.