Jun 11, 2010, 3:10 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The merchandise stand … in Cleveland, not Washington.
CLEVELAND — Hello from the shores of Lake Erie, where there's plenty of sports talk going on these days. LeBron James' pending departure. Tom Izzo's potential arrival. Ohio State's projected new rivals in the Big Ten (which currently has 11 teams but will soon have 12, or 14, or even 16).
But the story that may trump them all this weekend is the one that has already gripped Washington for the last week: Stephen Strasburg.
Yes, they've got the fever here in Cleveland. Tickets to Sunday's series finale at Progressive Field are going like hotcakes. The Indians have already sold an extra 8,000 seats since Tuesday, and folks around here wouldn't be surprised if it ends up a sellout by the time 1 p.m. Sunday rolls around.
Even my cab driver from the airport was breathless with Strasburg-mania. "If I could go to that game, I would, but I gotta work Sunday," he said. "Maybe I'll call in sick."
The Indians themselves aren't exactly enrapturing the fan base so far this season. Manny Acta's club is 23-36, sits in last place in the AL Central and trails the Twins by 11 1/2 games. The Tribe also ranks last in the majors in attendance, averaging only 15,658 fans per game. It can't help that their leading hitter — honest to god — is Austin Kearns. He's hitting .303 with five homers, 27 RBI and an .865Read more »
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