If you could spend the day with any non-Cardinal baseball player
currently playing in the majors, who would it be and what would you do?
Is it just me or am I constantly being set up by my friends and dear readers to expound on my favorite baseballers in a way that encourages embracing a certain, subtly disclosed homoerotic undertone?
Or, maybe I’m just reading too much into it.
Okay, Melissa, so you take away my number one and two options by canceling out the Cards; but let me assure you, the number three spot is also a no-brainer. For me, anyway. Of course, you may be shocked to hear it but for this hypothetical man-crush date (is it a man-crush date or did I make that part up too?) I’m going with the one, the only:
Stephen James Strasburg.
Here’s how our
date day will go…
9 a.m. Workout
I pick Stephen up and we head to the Nats’ training facility. I am Stephen’s shadow. I do very little talking and a whole lot of observing. I don’t wanna make this strange for the 22 year old phenom, so I just go with the flow. I know Stephen is out for the season, recovering from Tommy John surgery, but a man’s still gotta stay in shape and I wanna know how he does it. (Also, when no one is looking, I coat Nyjer Morgan’s supportive equipment with government grade Tiger Balm.)
12 p.m. Lunch
We eat a healthy, protein-packed lunch that will fire our fast twitch muscle fibers so we recover faster, to become stronger. I now start asking questions, overly aware of how annoying I can be when given free reign to discuss all-things baseball. Eventually, these questions lead to hitter preparation science, so off we go to…
2 p.m. Video Room
I want to get inside the head of Stephen Strasburg. So I present to him a reel of the Major League’s best hitters: Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto. I want to know how he is going to approach them. I want to see him point out their holes. Stephen, of course, is as calculated as he is modest, and he ain’t givin’ up too many secrets.
3 p.m. Practice Field [For this part, let us forget that Stephen can't pitch right now, shall we?]
Luckily, I brought along my catcher’s equipment from high school (it all still fits!), including my over sized mitt. I take my place behind the plate and ask Stephen to go easy on me. In high school I think the fastest fastball I ever caught was in the 70 mph range. After three Strasburg change-ups, I lose all feeling in my catching hand. But this is Stephen Friggin’ Strasburg, so I man up, take the pain and ask for more. Watching his yacker yack and his fastball bite, wow… just, wow.
5 p.m. My Crib
All my best friends (Mr. Krause, Johanna Mahmud, Yadier Molina) come over to my place. We got beer. We got wings. We got pizza. We also got a big screen HD TV showing the very first Strasmas ever: June 8, 2010 — the greatest single regular season game that didn’t mean anything, ever played, in the history of my universe. Ever. We watch in amazement as Stephen talks us through each at-bat, each pitch, each hair raising moment.
After three plus hours of pizza, wings, beer and Strasmas in my very own living room, I am finally able to sit back on my couch, relax, and wait to die.
It’s been a splendid day.
Life is good.
Don’t hate me.
‘Cuz I’m right.
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