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Relief pitcher Drew Storen has been called the anti-Strasburg. Drafted nine places after his more famous teammates, Storen is on Twitter and always has time for an interview. At spring training, Strasburg seemed to have an invisible wall around him, while Storen once spent about 10 minutes with reporters discussing socks. Storen, called up to the majors a few weeks ago, jokes that he and Strasburg have "that Batman-Robin thing going on."
Storen, therefore, doesn't mind sharing the news: Strasburg does indeed have a pulse.
"He's got a great personality -- it's just that he's a very low-key guy," Storen said. "And it's not what you'd expect out of a guy like that. You expect a big-time talent to have a big-time personality and be this real outspoken guy, and he's far from that. He's a guy that will ask anybody questions and is willing to learn from anybody, and that's the key to his success. ... He's got a different type personality than I do, but he's got the right personality for the position he's in."
The toned-down persona hasn't stopped the hype machine. Want to bet on how Strasburg's going to do Tuesday? There are odds on whether his first pitch will be a ball or strike, how many innings he'll last and nearly everything else in between. Nationals Park has been sold out only once so far this season -- on opening day -- but the thought that Strasburg might pitch drew the season's second biggest crowd Friday against Cincinnati.
Strasburg's thoughts about it all? Pretty straightforward.
"It's my major league debut. What more can you say?" he said. "It's something I've dreamed about my entire life, and now it's starting to become a reality."
At least Strasburg won't have to wait long for the next phenom to come along. Baseball's draft was held Monday, and the Nationals again held the No. 1 overall pick. As expected, Washington selected Bryce Harper, a junior college slugger who's had about as much hype as Strasburg.
It makes for quite a week for a franchise that hasn't had a winning season since moving to Washington from Montreal in 2005.
"I can't remember back-to-back years where there's two players who have separated themselves from the rest of the field the way Strasburg did in '09 and Harper does in '10," Rizzo said. "In that respect, it is very, very unique. I think it's a lucky time to have two No. 1 picks overall."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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