Gone was the scowl, the bone-chilling stare and any other hint of a storm brewing inside. Gone was the look of a man dying to be a part of a team in more than name only. In their place, a pitcher who seemed to be at peace.
As Stephen Strasburg arrived at the Washington Nationals’ spring training complex Monday morning, for the first time in years the buzzword used in conversation with him had nothing to do with limits or surgery or rehab or his phenom status.
Strasburg was relaxed. Tanned and smiling often, he made his way through an informal workout on minor-league fields teeming with several of his teammates. He shook hands and doled out hugs as he made the rounds on his first full day in camp.
Then he stood in front of a group of reporters, his black Nike Dri-Fit shirt billowing in the Florida breeze, and talked about the beauty of this latest buzzword: “unrestricted.”