Stephen Strasburg is the buzz of the minor leagues. The Washington National’s top prospect, the ace-in-waiting, has yet to throw a Major League pitch and is already drawing high bids from reckless spenders on the only place for thoughtless spending: eBay.
While the pitcher Strasburg is refining his craft at Class AAA Syracuse, a “one-of-a-kind” baseball card with his picture on it is getting some big league bids. The 2010 Bowman Chrome Superfractor card is currently going for $16,101. The auction began on eBay a week ago 99 cents, and exceeded the $7,000 mark in less than 24 hours. There have been 84 bids on the sought-after item.
During the tough economic times, it is pretty insane for someone to overlook the possibility that Strasburg, as promising as he looks, could be the next Tony Mandarich, Darko Milicic, or Ryan Leaf. Well, none of those guys played baseball, so maybe a better thought would be that Strasburg could be the next Brien Taylor (if he has problems with his brother… if he has a brother) or Matt Bush (if he can’t behave himself).
Only time will tell if all the hype will translate to the big leagues. Rumor has it that Strasburg will debut in the majors in June, but the betting has already began.
The Nationals have invested $15.1 million dollars into the 21-year-old righty. But the eBay bidders have likely not thought of return on investment for their purchase, which could be the least significant token from his career, which has just begun.
The top bidders are being charged with the crime of gambling. If the winner goes through with the purchase at the end of the auction in two days, the 330 will be officially issued to the guilty party. eBay and PayPal dispute that this is an offense, as they each stand to make a nice take from the transaction. They’re like agents, but without press conferences.
In the case that Strasburg becomes the next Cy Young, the crime will become a rule that needed to be broken. Of course, I’ll have to admit wrongdoing, and the bidder will enjoy what could a good investment, except that baseball cards do not quite hold the prestige as they once did, especially considering the card does not feature a signature by the number one draft pick.
The card, however, comes with a generous perk, free shipping!
NOTE: This may be the most stereotypical Jewish critique of others’ spending I have written. But seeing as I was at a comedy show yesterday, and when the comic asked, “what’s your favorite kind of internet porn?”, my first thought was, “free porn,” I clearly have a fiscally responsible view of life that is ethnic, genetic and, maybe one day, contagious.