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Cleveland Indians

Strasburg mania in full effect

By sstorm Published: June 12, 2010

Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg isn't scheduled to pitch against the Tribe until Sunday - the final game of this three-game weekend series.

Yet, talk of Strasburg has dominated conversation in many circles around Progressive Field most of the weekend.

And while that's fine for the fans, the Indians can't afford to have their young hitters' heads spinning from all the hype surrounding the Nationals first-round pick in 2009, who looks to top his debut earlier in the the week when he struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates.

"You can't stop (the hype)," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "What we're trying to do is make sure that when the game starts, we focus on the task at hand - which will be forgetting about what's going on around them and just make sure we're having quality at-bats because he's going to be there.

"(Strasburg's) good, he's special - we all know that. But so is (Detroit's Justin) Verlander and so is (Kansas City's Zack) Grienke and so is (Colorado's) Ubaldo Jimenez. But you have to face them, you have to get quality at-bats, try to run the pitch count up and not get caught up in everything else."

Looking to take advantage of the financial opportunity with Strasburg in the house, the Indians had a special stand near the main team shop set up featuring Strasburg T-Shirts and other Nationals memorabilia.

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