Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Believe the Hype?

This morning Brett Favre ended his (9th?) retirement and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. I just can't stomach talking about his situation again (I already correctly predicted he'd be back in an earlier BrockTalk column)...so we move on to baseball.

Apparently, Stephen Strasburg, is Nolan Ryan, Cy Young, Walter Johnson and Roger Clemens (minus the 'roids) all rolled into one.

At least, that is what the hype machine is telling us.

In case you are unaware, pitcher Stephen Strasburg was the number one pick of the Washington Nationals in the last MLB amateur draft.

He has been called a phenom. An ace in waiting. A can't miss super-star. And he's a young man who yesterday signed the richest contract ever for an amateur player, more than $15 million for four years.

In the end, Strasburg may end up being absolutely lights out and a phenomenal pitcher (the Nats and their fans, me included, and banking on it). But really, who knows?

All it takes is one awkward twist of the arm while delivering a 100 mph fastball and it could be "So Long Strasburg!" Careers for pitchers can be like fine china, delicate.

It's not easy living up to the hype of being "the next great player." Just ask athletes like Tim Couch, Alexandre Daigle and Michael Olowokandi. They were all first overall picks and were all first class busts.

Will Strasburg be more like Nolan Ryan, or Brien Taylor?

For his own sake, maybe it's best just let Strasburg do his thing, and until then, don't believe the hype.


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