My “to do” list nearly crumbled under its own weight last Tuesday.


Jesse James’ fan mail bin boasted more items than my leaky, rickety, ancient refrigerator. The gas gauge on my little Toyota Echo dipped below the dreaded empty line. And the three-tier pile of dirty laundry stared daggers at me every time I breezed by the closet.


These errands deserved attention. No sweat. I’d hammer out the laundry, gas, and grocery duties in a mechanical three-hour frame.


I was Will Ferrell’s classic “Frank the Tank” character in Old School and this was my version of a nice little Saturday. Get going, get it done, get on with it. 


But a 21-year-old kid some 3,000 miles away put a wrench in my productive plans.


I gave Stephen Strasburg two batters, tops, to impress me before I sauntered out the front door.


Long story short, I whiffed on all three goals. The San Diego native left me mesmerized the entire evening.


Thanks a lot, Strasburg.


As a sports enthusiast, I considered it my duty to at least acknowledge the next big thing in baseball. Hall-of-Famers and observers skewered through thesauruses, searching for words synonymous with “potential,” “unbelievable,” “amazing,” and “ridiculous” when describing the hot prospect.


A fresh-faced rookie elevated Curt Schilling’s heart rate and triggered every pitching scout’s saliva ducts. I guess that’s cause for excitement.


Still, who’d bother with an otherwise irrelevant weeknight game? I stuck around just to say I bore witness to a future star’s first big league tosses.


His first two pitches missed their intended spot by a good ten inches. The first batter he faced almost pulled the baseball, along with the shortstop’s forehead, into the left field gap.


Okay hotshot, the leadoff man tagged you. Say hello to Ryan Leaf and Darko Milicic at next year’s biggest bust banquet.


While I searched the laundry mountain for my car keys, Strasburg ripped off what looked like a 99 mph cutter, hurled a changeup that would make a young Pedro Martinez blush, and feathered a curveball that bungee jumped around home plate.


I promptly took a seat.


My two-batter cap ballooned to two innings. Then two hours. I tagged along for every second of his near 100-pitch outing. I was rendered incompetent.


I wouldn’t change a thing.


Strasburg’s debut easily takes the cake as the most highly anticipated mid-May showdown between two sub .500, non-divisional rivals in MLB history. And the phenom’s 14 strikeout, fan friendly, heavyweight performance catapulted Washington into the national baseball scene overnight.


In just two starts, Strasburg became the biggest story of this young baseball season.


By the seventh inning last Tuesday, Pittsburgh hitters essentially crept to the plate with a wooden bat in one hand and a white flag in the other.


Above all else, Strasburg matters. The Nationals will sell out all of his home starts. Opposing team’s fans will scan Washington’s website, hoping one of his starts comes at their ballpark.


He’s can’t miss theater on the mound.


Who was the last pitcher you could say that about? Martinez in the late ’90s? Eric Gagne during his 50+ save streak? Greg Maddux in his prime?


Did any of these former superstars even tread water compared to how Strasburg has already grasped the sporting arena’s attention?


Hopefully, Bud Selig sent his new golden goose a thank you card, along with a bottle of Chardonnay, after the superlative laden night.


The Nationals secured a spot in my DVR over the course of one week. I’m positive thousands of baseball enthusiasts across the country harbor the same joy.


Strasburg pumps up the “WOW” meter with a baseball gripped in his right hand. We can’t wait to see what the next several years hold for the wunderkind.


He’s subliminally altered far too many fans’ social lives. Loyalists will fight off the urge to leave the tube during Strasburg’s starts. Followers will cancel dinner reservations and movie dates to watch the young man’s hybrid slurve in action. Office workers will sneak a peak at his day game box score during breaks.


College fans with teetering GPAs should thank baseball schedule makers for ending the season in September. Professors in the Maryland/Virginia area, especially in sports management classes, would lecture in front of half full auditoriums during the pitcher’s scheduled starts.


We love sports as much as we appreciate special players. Stephen Strasburg transcends fan affiliations and skeptical viewers with his unique arsenal of pitches and quiet, assured disposition. The curiosity and anticipation variables still linger for everyone who cares about the sport.


The hullabaloo will subside, at least to a point, by late August. The law of averages implies Strasburg’s ERA, walk ratio, and loss total will soon rise. Could we really expect him to keep this up for a full rookie campaign? The process involves a two step approach where we: 1) Wait 2) See.


As the next few months pass, Strasburg’s numbers may change.


But my dial won’t.  


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