Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Super Mario Golf and the Stephen Strasburg Phenomenon

Mario Lemieux continued his domination of all things sports this past weekend by nailing a hole-in-one at Oakmont Country Club. The guys from The Pensblog will probably make some “66 Buries It” joke that will be funnier than anything I’d come up with.

The big news around Pittsburgh sports tonight truly has very little to do with Pittsburgh sports, and that is the MLB debut of Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg against the Pirates. Strasburg is the most hyped pitching prospect of the last decade (maybe longer), and recently made news by having a rookie card of his sell for over $16,000.

There is an inherent danger in this amount of hype for a youngster: he may believe it. If Strasburg has a level head, which most around him say he does, he’ll simply think of himself as another guy trying to make it in the major leagues. All Strasburg would need to do to gain perspective is to call guys like Ben McDonald and Todd Van Poppel. Guys who were “can’t miss prospects” who, well, missed. It’s no accident that they’re letting him debut against the Pirates, who don’t exactly have the most intimidating lineup.

Tonight will be a very interesting game, and will garner the most viewers of any Pirate game this year. Let’s hope the Buccos can rattle him early and often.

In universal sports news, the World Cup begins on Friday in South Africa, amid much fanfare. I don’t fashion myself as any kind of soccer aficionado, but I do watch the World Cup matches. It’s undoubtedly the biggest sporting event in the world, and its intensity is infectious. It’ll be a lot of fun, and certain to have matches that are just full of drama. Gotta love it.


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