WASHINGTON - JUNE 08: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park on June 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Stephen Strasburg has been compared to a lot of people (and deities) since being drafted by the Nationals.
The Walter Johnson and Bob Feller comparisons have been a bit far-fetched. The John Smoltz comparisions are a bit more tolerable. Heck, we may even be able to get behind the Roy Hobbs "Wonder Boy" stuff because, well, it sounds cool.
But how about the latest one: Elvis Presley?
Yeah. This one comes from former big league catcher Sandy Alomar Jr.
"His stuff is the real deal, but let’s not make this Elvis coming back from the dead," the Indians' first base coach told reporters this week.
Ahh, finally, some sanity in this swarm of Strasburg mania. Alomar and others are trying to temper the hype as Strasburg makes his second MLB start this afternoon in Cleveland.
Feller, he of the infamous fastball that outraced a motorcycle, also isn't ready to make room for Strasburg in Cooperstown just yet.
"Check back with me when he's won a hundred games," the legend fired off to the press this past week.
Tough crowd up there in Cleveland, eh?
But make no mistake by the lake, the hype has definitely reached Drew Carey's hometown, as incessant LeBron James updates on his free agency status have taken a back seat to a pitcher for an opposing team -- in the National League.
Ticket sales have been brisk and fans are actually excited about an Indians game -- perhaps for the first time this season. And at least one fan knows there could be history to be made.
"Years from now, this ticket stub could be special -- the first loss by a Hall of Famer," said Lou Perrizone, who drove close to 100 miles a day early to buy those possible historic tickets.
Nats fans hope sweet Lou's ticket stub will be remembered as win No. 2, instead.