Thursday, May 20, 2010

05/20 Quickie: Strasburg, Lance, Gasol

It's two weeks until Stephen Strasburg makes his MLB debut, and I'm not sure the hype or anticipation could be any bigger.

In today's SN column lead, I pivot from SN's annual "Top 50 players in baseball" list to ask where Strasburg would slot if you offered him straight up for the guy on the list.

Let's think of it two ways: How much Strasburg can help THIS season -- would you swap him for King Felix at No. 12? Certainly Chris Carpenter at No. 20.

But if you add in the idea of swapping him for his lifetime of upside, I find it hard to believe he would fall much further behind Lincecum at No. 5 or Halladay at No. 6.

That Strasburg is a national story -- as future Nat top draft pick Bryce Harper will be a month from now -- and John Wall is and Alex Ovechkin is, you can understand why DC sports fans (and fans of DC sports) are excited.

More in today's column:

*I really really dislike PED scandal stories. The ones about Lance are particularly tired. At this point, I presume quite a bit -- given the era in the sport (in ALL sports, really). We get it: Everyone did it. Didn't stop us all from being enthralled by Lance or baseball players or, on an ongoing basis, the NFL. But it will be a big issue, because it's PEDs and because it's Lance.

*There seems to be a very good chance that both NBA conference finals series will end in sweeps. I appreciate that "Lakers-Celtics!" is a best-case scenario for the NBA, but having them both sweep to get there takes a little bit of the fun out of the playoffs.

*NBA Draft Combine! See today's column for my ode to Patrick Patterson, who I openly admit to being in the tank for. This, despite the fact that he not only played for Kentucky, but he originally said he was going to Florida only to change his mind and leave for UK. (Patterson's presence the past 3 seasons would have gone a long way to helping Florida avoid the post-championship drop-off, particularly in the front court.) Still: I am a huge fan of his.

*There's nothing I like more than a good busting of conventional wisdom, particularly in a sport I don't have an expertise in, like hockey.

*Brandon Marshall giving the Dolphins a problem? Go figure.

Lots more in today's column. More later -- I've got a World Cup book review coming around lunchtime.

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