You may think it's Strasmas in August for the scribes of Hagerstown, Maryland, but you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.
Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals' phenom to end all phenoms, will pitch two innings in a rehab start for the South Atlantic League's Hagerstown Suns today at 4:05. And the media will have to walk on eggshells around him before and after the start. "No one-on-one interviews." "Field must be cleared." "Absolutely no access to the clubhouse." "Reduce the amount of equipment." "No further media inquiries will be honored." Even Goebbels didn't run press conferences this fastidiously.
We'll give you this whole press release, courtesy of DC Sports Bog, because it's just too perfect and overwrought:
Washington Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg, making his first rehabilitation start with the Hagerstown Suns on Sunday at 4:05 pm after undergoing Tommy John Surgery on September 3, 2010, will not be made available to credentialed media members during the pre-game. There will be absolutely no access to the Suns home clubhouse before, during, or after the game. Due to space constraints, there will be no access to the Municipal Stadium press box without permission from the Hagerstown Suns Media Relations Department. No photography or videography on the field is permitted during the course of the game.
Media will be allowed through the gates at Municipal Stadium beginning at 1:45 pm. All media credentials can be picked up at will-call with proof of media affiliation.
No one-on-one interview requests for Stephen Strasburg will be honored per the Washington Nationals.
The field must be cleared of all media members by 3:50 pm in preparation of a first pitch fifteen minutes later.
Strasburg is slated to throw the first two innings against the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Sunday afternoon. Once Strasburg leaves the game, he will undergo treatment for roughly 45 minutes to one hour. Following the conclusion of his post-game work, Strasburg will be made available in a group press conference in the Hagerstown Suns Press Room inside the front office.
Once Strasburg leaves the mound after the top of the 2nd inning, media members are asked to form a group next to the first base line field suite. The line should extend behind the first base general admission stands in preparation for an escort to the Strasburg Press Conference.
About 15 minutes after Strasburg exits the game, a Suns Media Relations representative will take the media into the press room to await Strasburg's arrival. All media are asked to reduce the amount of equipment brought into the press room due to limitations in the interest of accommodating every member of the media.
Stephen Strasburg will answer questions about his rehabilitation appearance for approximately ten minutes. No further media inquiries will be honored following the completion of the Strasburg press conference.
Suns players, Manager, Brian Daubach, Pitching Coach, Chris Michalak, and Hagerstown Suns staff will be made available to the media following the conclusion of the game.
Suns training staff members will not be made available for comment at any time on Sunday.
"Oh, really, we get to speak to Brian Daubach? That makes it all entirely OK," said no media member ever.
Stephen Strasburg media rules return [DC Sports Bog]