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VIDEO: Strasburg tuning out hype, criticism for Nats

Feb 17, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT

Strasburg_ssNI

Stephen Strasburg has learned a thing or two over the past several years when it comes to attention from media and fans. He entered the league with as much hype as any pitcher in recent memory, and he played on the Nationals last season who began the year as a World Series favorite.

Strasburg is trying to tune out all of the predictions and expectations surrounding the Nationals this season as he begins his fifth year in the major leagues.

Check out the video right here:

  1. ArVAFan - Feb 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Today’s serving of random notes from Viera:

    Gio was very focused in his bullpen this a.m. Most of the coaching comments from Livo and the communication with Ramos were in Spanish (perhaps just convenient, perhaps just to keep us fence-hangers from eavesdropping (my tri-lingual friend left for California yesterday, alas!). Apparently they lined up that group of pitchers by height: Gio was at my end with Fister and Young holding down the other end of the row. Or maybe it was just a coincidence. But there were 18 Nationals coaches/photographers/others inside the fence watching 10 players. Plus Rizzo dropped by. I actually think there were more watchers inside the fence than outside.

    Now, Gio in bunting practice? Not so great. Unlike Stras, he managed to get exactly one ball into the bucket, although a number of them would have been okay bunts. After he finally got one in, he got a round of applause from the outside-the-fence folks, and he took a little bow. In other words, classic Gio. Taylor Jordan definitely needs more practice on that skill.

    Roark has trimmed down his hair since last year. Apparently put some of that big league money to good use.

    • Whynat - Feb 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Arvafan- good to meet a regular insider at the fence. Enjoy the rest of your stay. Whynat.

    • dgourds - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Oh no! He trimmed his power mullet. Why would he risk everything just to look neat? When things are going well, don’t cut your hair. I’m worried now.

    • dgourds - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      Oh no! He trimmed his power mullet. Why would he risk everything just to look neat? When things are going well, don’t cut your hair. I’m worried now € :-O

      • ArVAFan - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        Not to panic. I was referring to the (less) shaggy hair sticking out from under his hat. It looks trim and neat now, but the top could still be mullet-worthy once it’s out from under the cap.

  2. Doc - Feb 17, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Remembering all those Nats’ ads with SS in them, he was an unfortunate party to such hype.

    Probably best not to repeat a similar ad campaign this season, on the part of the Nationals’ marketing guys.

  3. David Proctor - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Jonathan Papelbon says if he was a betting man, he’d bet on the Phillies going all the way.

    Now that’s rich.

    • nats128 - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      “Phillies going all the way”? Possibly another meaning to that would be all the way down the toilet.

      • Doc - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Agreed!

        Papelbon must spend his off-season in Colorado—it’s legal there now!!

  4. nats128 - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    ArVAFan, great updates! The Nats do a decent job of teaching pitcher bunting in the Minors (now) which makes it a darn shame when you report Taylor Jordan wasnt good on the bunt drills. For years we had to endure watching John Lannan K on bunt attempts becuz he couldnt do a basic fundamental that you expect pitchers to master.

    Yes, it is hard to bunt a 90 mph fastball coming up and in however there are many pitchers who can handle the bat on a bunt and get it done effectively.

    On the other side of this is the frustration of watching some of the Nats pitchers who struggle throwing a quality pitch to a opposing player trying to sacrifice. The up and in pitch is usually the pitch of choice. With Fister pitching in the AL his whole career and rarely seeing a player trying to sacrifice, I hope he gets some work in on that technique. It also help for putting on a play for the suicide squeeze and safety squeeze plays where you can try to get the batter to miss the ball usually on that high strike.

    • ArVAFan - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      Well, Taylor was working hard on it. Better late than never. Fister was in the same group, and managed to get a couple of balls in the bucket–but no one was even close to Stras in accuracy. In his second time around, Gio missed, and of course “accused” someone of moving the bucket.

  5. nats128 - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Mark’s tweet: Adam LaRoche (and Drake, of course) reported today. Says he’s healthy after elbow surgery, still trying to put on another 5 pounds.

    Laroche had the entire offseason to get in shape and put on the weight. Just shaking my head as this guy along with Haren and Danny derailed the team by the time got into the warmer weather. Sure, there were others who werent getting it done however Laroches April stats looked worse than most pitchers .136/.213/.259/.473

    Most guys are spending the offseason pounding the weights and drinking there protein drinks to walk into spring training at there desired weight. I have no knowledge of what Laroche was doing all offseason but to come in on the 1st day and report he is 5 pounds short of his desired weight is not what I wanted to hear.

    • NatsLady - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      You have no idea what LaRoche has been doing all winter?????? Really?

      • Doc - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Well one thing that he didn’t do was put on some extra bulk!

      • nats128 - Feb 17, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        Laroche said he put on 10-15 pounds this offseason. Huh hello, was it 10 or 15 or was your scale broken. The excuses are already starting but hes more than happy to talk about his beard.

    • Doc - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      ALR wanted a 3-4 year contract—thank god Riz held firm. Not good to feed into a player’s greed and/or delusions about self-worth.

      Don’t see ’14 any better than ’13.

      • nats128 - Feb 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        Dont we wish Rizzo had stuck to his original 1 year offer? If he had, I have a feeling Laroche would have worked harder in his contract year. yes, I expect him to be better this year than last year but will that be good enough to get him into the upper 1/2 of 1st baseman.

  6. David Proctor - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 1m
    Part of Matt Williams’ morning team meeting today was putting this pic of Gio on a big screen: http://instagram.com/p/kdIq0SNJos/ . Everyone laughed.

    • NatsLady - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Gio does like his clothes. And his shades…

  7. naterialguy - Feb 17, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    I know to quote Karen Carpenter, “we’ve only just begun”, but I’m really liking Strasburg’s demeanor this year. He seems comfortable, confident and like he’s having some fun. He also seems to be taking ohm a bit of a leadership role. I see good things on his future.

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