Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday 08/18 Quickie: Strasburg, Paulus,
VickNabb, Cable, Ankiel, USC, Penn St, More

Today's SN column leads with a theme common to the Quickie, dating back all the way to 2003 and beyond:

As long as your team is going to suck, at least be compelling in SOME way that makes us want to talk about you -- or, even better, take the time to watch you.

And that's what the Nationals and Syracuse have both done.

Stephen Strasburg's nickname should be "Must-See," because he will command our attention every time he pitches -- whether he succeeds wildly, fails wildly or is simply mediocre.

But the point is: It is mid-August and we're talking about the Nats. And if they call Strasburg up in September, that will be THE story of the day in baseball, in the middle of a playoff race.

Who can say whether Syracuse naming Greg Paulus their starting QB is a gimmick or the real deal -- with the Orange's talent level, that Paulus beat out the holdovers is hardly crazy.

But again: It's mid-August, and we are talking about Syracuse football... Syracuse! And you can bet that when Syracuse is on TV, folks will tune in, if only for the novelty.

If you're not winning championships, you sure as hell better make yourself relevant in some other way. These two bottom-feeding franchises, in bold moves, did both.

(By the way, how not-bold were the Nats? $15.1 million over 4 years? Who was underwhelmed by the investment? If he wanted $15.1 million PER YEAR? Maybe. But what's a couple mil a year for (1) a new Face of the Franchise, and (2) someone who makes your team must-see, even if every five days. That sure beats never being must-see.)

There is a ton more in the column today -- a Pat White Watch, an NLCS preview, a reminder that NFL exhibition games are meaningless (and so are their "bizarre" endings) and more.

It is also a big day for book releases - and I have two posts coming later today about two big ones that should be on your radar.

Has Syracuse manufactured the Paulus jerseys yet? If not: Why not?

-- D.S.

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