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Will Stephen Strasburg Start? Tony Gwynn's Not Saying!

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San Diego State University Baseball Coach Tony Gwynn knows he has until an hour before the SDSU Aztecs' NCAA tournament game starts tonight, at 7:00 pm EST from the home of the UC Irvine Anteaters, Cicerone Stadium at Anteater Park, to make the announcement as to which starting pitcher he'll throw in the first game, and he's choosing to wait. The prevailing wisdom says to throw your ace, especially when he's the highest-rated prospect in baseball, but with the first round, or the Regionals, a double elimination round, Mr. Gwynn tells San Diego Union-Tribune writer Mick McGrane, as quoted in Mr. McGrane's article entitled, "Gwynn plays coy - won't divulge Aztecs starter", that the Aztecs aren't tipping their hand:

"'...when you get into a tournament situation like this where you're playing once on Friday, once on Saturday, possibly twice on Sunday and maybe again on Monday, you have to try and maximize the guys you can use.'”

Mr. Gwynn's surely anticipating the fact that the University of Virginia's team is preparing for Strasburg...especially if he happened to read Washington Times' writer Patrick Stevens' article yesterday entitled, "Virigina 'fired up' to face fireballer", which, (ed. note - "Sorry, but who chose that title? Continuing..."), which quotes the Virginia Cavaliers' right-fielder Dan Grovatt feeling the need to remind everyone, after watching Strasburg dominate the TCU Horned Frogs, who did manage to score on the phenom, that as good as Strasburg is, "He's obviously a human being."

The Times' writer talks talks to Viriginia coach Brian O'Connor as well, and the ACC Champion Cavaliers' coach seemingly has no doubts about which pitcher his team will be facing, as he explains to Mr. Stevens, that for his squad:

"'It really is an unbelievable opportunity to come out here to California and face arguably the No. 1 pitcher in the history of the professional draft,' Virginia coach Brian O'Connor said."

(ed. note - "Do you sense sarcasm in the second half of that quote?")

The latest word from SDSU coach Tony Gwynn is in another San Diego Union-Tribune article, by columnst Nick Canepa, entitled, "No. 2 With a Bullet", which focuses on Gwynn's second option, pitcher Tyler Lavigne, who finished his '09 campaign (7-2) with a 3.32 ERA and 72 K's in 86.2 IP in which he held opposing teams to a .212 AVG. But even now, Gwynn's not giving up the info everyone wants, as he tells Mr. Canepa, “It's liable to be a game-time decision." Though Mr. Canepa does make sure to note that Gwynn's smiling as he says that...

• The SDSU Official Athletic Site has all of the Regional Practice day quotes HERE.

• If You Want To Follow Today's SDSU/Viriginia Game, The SDSU site has a live GameTracker, or for those of you with ESPNU, it will be live starting at 7:00 pm EST, or as you left coasters know it, 4:00 pm PT.

Post Tournament Talk...

For anyone who didn't see it, ESPN.com's Keith Law's* article yesterday entitled, "Mock Draft: Crow may fly fastest", which stuck one last dagger in DC fans' hearts, with it's subtitle, "Elite prospect Strasburg may not be first to the Show", Mr. Law has the Nationals selecting Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in this year's draft, though he wonders, "which letter (will be) missing on the jersey", when, "he holds it up at the news conference to announce his signing on Aug 16," which is, obviously, the day after the last day that teams can sign their picks. **

And according to Washington Post writer Cameron Smith's Baseball Insider column entitled "Cutting Back on Signing Bonuses", the Nationals may have to suffer, "dirty looks from other teams, and potentially, the Commish himself," Bud Selig, who, according to articles by New York Times's writer Murry Chass and Baseball America's Jim Callis, which Mr. Smith cites, "...is recommending 10 percent cuts to the signing bonuses slotted for top draft picks." 

(ed. note - "Much like Tony Gwynn has thus far been willing to suffer the undoubtedly dirty looks from print and tv journalists who want to know which pitcher he'll throw this afternoon, I think I can speak on behalf of the entirety of the DC Faithful when I say that the fans of the Washington Nationals would be more than willing to have all of baseball and even the Commisioner himself gives us all the dirty looks they want as long as Strasburg's the Opening Day starter in 2010. Go Straztecs!!!")

(ed. note - " * = Sorry, ESPN Insiders only.")

(ed. note - " ** = ESPN.com's Mr. Law has the Nationals selecting RHP Kyle Gibson out of Missouri with the 10th overall pick, and he has Aaron Crow going to San Diego with the 3rd pick.")

Who's Watching The Future?

UPDATES:

Two hours ago, San Diego New Network writer Jason Owens had an article up entitled, "Strasburg status in the air as SDSU takes on Virginia", but...

Washington Post writer Mike Bonesteel has a post up on the Nationals Journal entitled, "Strasburg to start tonight for SDSU", which confirms that Strasburg is a go!!!!