I have no idea what the TV ratings were on Strasburg’s debut last night, but we have some good photographic evidence that it was not to be missed.
Check out this pic, from the Nats320 blog, of the abandoned concourse while Strasburg was pitching during the seventh inning. Keep in mind that the seventh inning usually marks last call for alcohol at ballparks, so the lines are often longish with people like me, er, I mean hopeless drunks trying to get their last cup ‘o brew.
Yesterday Darren Rovell wrote about how much money the Nats stood to make as a result of each Strasburg start. He should probably recalculate and back out the lower per fan concession sales as a result of everyone being on the edge of their seat.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.