(Mike Rizzo and Stan Kasten probably aren't the most popular guys in D.C. tonight, with reports indicating that Stephen Strasburg won't make his major league debut on June 4th. Photo via Getty Images.)
Strasburg's Debut: Not June 4th?
MLB.com's Bill Ladson singlehandedly torched the hopes and dreams of speculative scalpers and ticket brokers (and probably a few dozen Nationals fans) in DC/MD/VA on Wednesday, reporting that the Nationals are tentatively planning for Stephen Strasburg to make his debut with the Nationals during the June 8-10 series at home against the Pirates.
The Nationals are tentatively planning to have right-hander Stephen Strasburg make his Major League debut against the Pirates at Nationals Park in June, according to a team source.
No specific date has been set yet for Strasburg's debut, but the Pirates play the Nationals on June 8-10. The Nats plan to make an official announcement five or six days before his first start.
(via Bill Ladson, MLB.com, 5/26/2010)
What this means, obviously, is that Baseball Jesus's major league debut won't be happening June 4th, the presumptive debut date declared by...well...just about anyone with access to a computer and an internet connection.
Not surprisingly, there's a lot of anger in Nats Town this evening, judging by some of the comments on Nationals Journal, WNFF, etc. Some folks in NatsTown feel burned, blaming the cheapskate Lerners and Evil Stan Kasten for tricking them into buying tickets for a game they wouldn't have otherwise paid for. Or something like that. This comment from Nationals Journal sort of captures the spirit:
Posted by: NATurallyYours | May 26, 2010 7:18 PM (via Nationals Journal)
Now, as much as we enjoy taking jabs at the Lerners, Kasten, Rizzo, et al. whenever possible, we're having a hard time getting upset about anything the Nationals may or may not have done to help sell tickets for that June 4-6 series against the Reds. Heck, about the only thing the Nationals are guilty of is not stepping in sooner to squash the speculation around June 4th. And really: why should they have? It was only last night that anyone from the Nationals even mentioned June 4 as a possibility; and it was Rizzo denying that this date was written in stone.
"That hasn't been decided yet, although you did announce that he's pitching on the 4th. No, that hasn't been determined yet. There are factors that will be involved when we announce it. And even when we announce it, it's not going to be settled on until after a couple days after he starts his last start in Triple A."
(Mike Rizzo, via Nationals Journal, 5/25/2010)
All along, Rizzo (publicly) committed only to saying he had a "window" in mind for the debut. That's it. And, don't forget, we told you last week to stick with June 8. Go read Mark Zuckerman, too, while you're at it.
So, put down your pitchforks, NatsTown, and break out your credit cards, again. Plenty of good seats still available for June 8th against the Pirates. Better snatch up your tickets before the ticket brokers do; or before Stan Kasten buses in the entire city of Pittsburgh.