Journalism 101: Nationals Pitcher Stephen Strasburg in the Post

While living in the nation's capital has no torrent of advantages, one of them is the chance to read Sally Jenkins' writing in the morning paper.

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By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I have always been a big fan of the Texas sportswriter, Dan Jenkins. And while living in the nation's capital has no torrent of advantages, one of them is the chance to read Dan's daughter Sally, writing in the morning paper. Let me show you what I mean. The other night she was in Syracuse, to catch the Washington Nationals' brilliant almost-a-rookie pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, pitch in the bush leagues.

Her column ran this morning. After a nice little setup, describing the joys and pitfalls of minor league baseball, here is how Ms. Jenkins introduces us to Strasburg. Journalism students, and National League fans, take note.

Strasburg kept to the same unvarying, unhurried temp throughout his warm-up. Then he stood there, placid, stolid, a large physical blank. "That's it?" you were tempted to ask. He swept his foot around in the dirt, and flopped his mitt against his hip, and sighed.

Then he threw the first pitch. He stretched, reached back. ...

Here's the deal. You know how the Sorcerer's Apprentice made mops dance? That's how Strasburg made the baseball move.

Take it from someone who has bled at a keyboard for 40 years. That is one fine little nugget of descriptive journalism. Dead solid perfect, if you ask me.

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