- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DETROIT | Stephen Strasburg says eating shrimp instead of sandwiches before games has been the best part about being in the bigs.

“There’s a lot of good perks, but the food has definitely improved,” the Washington Nationals’ hard-throwing righty said Wednesday. “When you have crab legs, shrimp and stuff for a pre-BP meal, that’s saying something.”

Strasburg isn’t eating up the attention he’s drawn as a rookie sensation, but knows talking to a bunch of reporters as he did before a game against the Tigers — two days before his next start — is part of his job.

He has already read the Top 10 list on the “The Late Show with David Letterman,” given the Hall of Fame a hat and ball from his first game, headed for the cover of Sports Illustrated and been the subject of coast-to-coast coverage.

“I’m just trying to go with the flow and experience things as they come,” the San Diego native said simply. “I think it’s more enjoyable for my family than myself. I’m not really all about that stuff.

“I don’t play this game for all the notoriety and all the hype and being noticed by fans.”

Strasburg was selected the National League player of the week on Monday. He is 2-0 with 22 strikeouts and a 2.19 ERA in two major league starts.

“It’s pretty obvious that his stuff is off the charts,” Washington manager Jim Riggleman said.

Strasburg is scheduled to start Friday night at home, for the first time since his debut June 8, against the Chicago White Sox.

“When they got that horse pitching, they’re as good as anybody in baseball that day,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Washington’s series opener against the White Sox isn’t a sellout — yet — but the team wouldn’t say how many tickets had been sold by Wednesday afternoon.

Needless to say, a lot of eyes will be on him on person and elsewhere on TV.

Strasburg, however, is trying to just blend in with the rest of the guys on a team with veterans such as Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman.

“I’m not the face of this franchise,” he said. “Guys like Pudge, Dunn and Zimmerman have earned that right. I feel like nobody in this organization expects me to be the guy to turn this franchise around. It’s going to be a collective effort.

“I’m just trying to be a good teammate in the clubhouse and try to go out there and be an impact player.”

So far, so good.

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