Wednesday, June 9, 2010 1:30 pm
By Miss Chatter
Strasburg warms up prior to his debut
The Nationals may as well re-brand their marketing campaign and change NatsTown to StrasTown after last night. With the hype nearing fever pitch prior to the phenom pitcher's debut, and showing no signs of slowing down after he K'd fourteen batters in seven innings, the ballclub has a goldmine on their hands, despite the record money paid after drafting Strasburg first overall in last year's amateur draft. Nearing fever pitch? I mean beyond fever pitch. That fact was clearly evident in the sold out stands and on the backs of fans at Nationals Park last night.
I dub these Strasburg jerseys and t-shirts "Strasseys". They are sure to take over the world faster than the Snuggie pub crawls ever did, and less likely to flame out into ridiculed fad. At least, I certainly hope so! Every place I turned and looked among the crowd last night, the Strasseys clearly outnumbered the Zimmerjeys. Ryan Zimmerman quietly won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards last year, but his marketing prowess is no match for the first pitcher in generations to come along with a lightning fastball, sneaky curveslider and off-speed stuff that baffles the men in the batter's box. Oh and the hype. We can't forget the hype. Did you know that Strasburg was trending on Twitter yesterday, not just locally, but globally! Cha ching!
Strasburg jerseys prevalent among the sold out crowd
I really wanted to walk around and pick a section to use as a sample size and then extrapolate out to the 40,000 in attendance, but with the stands as cramped and full as they were, my guesstimate would hardly be scientific. Not to mention, I couldn't take my eyes off the fast-paced game, particularly after the Nats took the lead. Still, I snapped photos of the crowd in various sections, and it appears the Strasseys win 3:1 over the face-of-the-franchise Zimmerjeys.
The Nationals even marketed a promotion to ticket holders at The Debut - 37 percent off tickets to the next two games in the series, redeemable right there in the ballpark. I guarantee tonight's attendance will feel like a letdown compared to last night's playoff atmosphere complete with field sets from ESPN and MLB Network prior to the game.
So welcome to StrasTown where the grass is greener, the beer is colder and Half Street funnels happy Strassey-wearing fans through the StrasTown Center Field Gate entrance. Of course, the other Nats may feel left out if one player who only takes the mound every five days becomes the brand of the franchise. So scratch that, re-branding to StrasTown would not likely harbor clubhouse camaraderie. The impact of one player on the complete turnaround of atmosphere and jerseys was truly an astounding sight to behold, though. I would imagine NatsTown will return to relative normalcy tonight though. But for one night, StrasTown was the hottest ticket to be found.
Miss Chatter on Stephen Strasburg's debut