What every young, building franchise needs is a vocal leader.  One who isn’t afraid to call a player or two out.  Whether that be in the clubhouse, or through the media.

The future of the Washington Nationals franchise, and right now Major League Baseball’s most marketable player, Stephen Strasburg, seems like he is quite comfortable in that role.

For the most part, Strasburg has been described as a pretty humble guy.  Even as he had his brief developmental time in the minors, at both the double A and triple A levels he was described as “just one of the guys.”

For all accounts, it was said of him that you would have no idea what his contract was just by talking to him or being around him.

As for being a vocal leader, with the deadline to sign number one draft pick Bryce Harper looming on the horizon, Strasburg told ESPN.com, “If he doesn’t want to play here, then we don’t want him here.”

It might have come off as harsh, but for a young franchise trying to find its identity it is exactly what needed to be said.

This is a team that needs all 25 guys buying into their philosophy if it’s ever going to be a contender.  It needs a leader to stand up and say, “if you want to be here, great, if not, there’s the door.”

Strasburg did just that.  He did what I’m sure everyone in DC was hoping he’d do eventually.

As you all already know, Harper signed a contract worth $9.9 million with the team just before the deadline, and honestly I don’t think Strasburg’s words had any influence on it what so ever. 

But as I said, it was refreshing to hear the young phenom stand up and get vocal about his team.

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