Apparently some are kvetching about the bait and switch the Nats did with the 6/4 date, getting a sellout on a game that otherwise would've seen 18,000 miserable souls. Really... what the hell are these people thinking? They've got no reason to complain. The team (almost to the point of absurdity) didn't say a damn thing about when he'd start, and they went out of their way to say that they WEREN'T going to announce it.
I do blame the team and here's why:
There is NO reason for them to NOT tell paying customers what they will or won't be seeing on any given day.
Hey, U2 is playing Friday night at the Verizon Center . . . or maybe Sunday. Buy a ticket for either or both you never know what you are going to get.
It's an entertainment product. People want to pay to see Strasburg pitch. So why the FUC* is it a national secret when some dude is going to toss a baseball?
The coy jackassery of "well we never said when we're going to bring him up" is the real outrage. They have complete control over that decision, they could do it at any time for any reason. And they chose to make that decision in such as way as to squeeze sales from their fans they wouldn't have otherwise gotten.
Why were the Keyboard Kommandos dabbling in speculation? Because of the complete lack of anything resembling candor from the front office. And why wouldn't they just come out and say here's the plan? Give me one reason why it wasn't possible to say our plan is for him to pitch X innings at AA, Y innings at AAA and then (if he pitches well) to bring him up June X so we can control his arb clock. That's called honesty. Instead we get BS platitudes and outright lies. Oh and if the lies and speculation puts a few extra sheckles in our pockets, it's not our fault.
Does anyone buy the BS about pitching from the stretch and learning to handle being a professional ballplayer. Point #2 seems kind of obviated by Mike Leake, he didn't need a two month primer on being a big league ballplayer.
Would it have been terrible to say: We want him to pitch in Harrisburg and Syracuse X number of times as a measure of good faith in our farm clubs? Who could blame them for that? That's actually smart business and they would be applauded. Hell, you could even call Strasburg's extra AAA start an investment in player development for the long term.
It's not what they are doing but how they are going about doing it. No one believes they had not decided long before now about when he was going to pitch and where. They chose not to disclose that information and as a result of their lack of candor, they made millions. Congrats. You hoodwinked the fans. Aren't you sooooo smart? Like how we surreptitiously sold opening day ticket packages to Philly fans . . .
Yes I am going to go there. This kind of business is Snyderian. And one Snyderian sports team in the area is one too many.