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Busy day as Strasburg gets acquainted

Busy day as Strasburg gets acquainted

WASHINGTON -- It has been a whirlwind experience for Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg since he arrived in the District of Columbia on Thursday night.

Strasburg was so tired that night that he went to sleep once he arrived in his hotel room. The next morning, Strasburg ordered room service and had breakfast with his girlfriend, Rachel. A couple of hours later, Strasburg went to Nationals Park to sign his first professional contract.

Strasburg and his girlfriend went on a tour of the stadium before having lunch with interim manager Jim Riggleman, bench coach Pat Corrales, hitting coach Rick Eckstein, pitching coach Steve McCatty, advisor Scott Boras and father Jim at the owner's box.

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Strasburg was quiet throughout the get together, while Riggleman, McCatty and Boras reminisced about old times on the playing field.

"They are characters," Strasburg said. "I know Eckstein from the Olympic team. The way they talk about baseball, Boras referred to them as 'old-timers.' They were talking about players that I never even heard of. It's great to hear the stories."

Corrales confirmed that Strasburg didn't talk too much during the luncheon. Corrales spent most of the time talking to Strasburg's father.

"He was sitting with his girlfriend and he didn't say much -- he was listening to our conversations," Corrales said.

With Strasburg going to Florida to get his arm in pitching shape, Riggleman gave him advice on how to deal with the heat.

"He is a sharp young man," Riggleman said. "I'm glad he is in Washington. It's hot today. It's going to be hot in Florida. It's just a reminder of what he is going to be dealing with in terms of weather."

Then there was the news conference, which started at 2 p.m. ET. The session lasted 30 minutes. But that was not it for Strasburg, who had another session with the media before settling in to watch the game between the Nationals and Brewers.

After the second inning against the Brewers, Strasburg was interviewed by MASN's Debbi Taylor on the high definition video scoreboard and received two nice ovations.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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