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Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)
Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, with a 100 MPH fastball and a curveball that has been virtually unhittable, is baseball’s most talked-about pitcher. The Nationals are already reaping the benefits from ticket sales that nearly double when the 21-year-old rookie phenom pitches in D.C. No player’s jersey has sold more in the first month than Strasburg’s, and his autographed ball from his second MLB strikeout brought more than $20,000 at auction. Mark Schwarz examines the hype surrounding Strasburg, and how the Nationals and MLB are benefitting from his appeal.
“There is an insatiable appetite, yes. Can you overexpose? Sure. I’m sure the Nationals debate this every day. Competitive, commercial. Competitive, commercial. I think in the long run the Nationals and every major league club understands: competitive first, commercial second.” –Tim Brosnan, Executive VP, Business, Major League Baseball
“He could probably pitch a lot more than that (Nats’ pitch limit) and still be around a long time, but none of us want that on us. There’s a little bit of ‘cover your backside’ in a lot of this, and I completely understand that because 12 years later, I’m still answering questions about Kerry Wood, so I’m all about covering my backside, too.” — Jim Riggleman, Nationals manager, who managed Wood in Chicago, where Cubs fans blamed him for Wood’s arm problems
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m., ESPN)
SportsCenter (Sunday, 10 a.m., ESPN)
ESPN Deportes SportsCenter (Sunday, 11p.m.)
Four years ago, on soccer’s biggest stage, Zinedine Zidane committed one of the most talked-about misdeeds in sports. During the 2006 World Cup final, the French captain violently head-butted Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the chest, knocking him to the ground. Ejected from the match, Zidane was reduced to the role of spectator as Italy went on to win in penalty kicks. Now, both players sit down with Jeremy Schaap to talk about what sparked the incident that sent shock waves through the soccer community.
SportsCenter (Saturday, 10 a.m., ESPN)
WNBA vs. USA Basketball (during Saturday 3:30 p.m. coverage, ESPN)
After winning her second WNBA championship, Phoenix Mercury guard and 2010 MVP Diana Taurasi set off to Russia to join her other team, the Spartak Moscow. Now back in the U.S., Taurasi allowed ESPN cameras to follow her through three days of her busy schedule, taking crews from Phoenix to Los Angeles and back.
SportsCenter (three-part series Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
If winning on the high school gridiron is the beginning of a football coach’s dream, winning the Super Bowl is certainly the ultimate finale. Jon Gruden has flipped that equation, signing on as an offensive line coach for Carrollwood Day High School in Tampa, Fla., after winning Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why? Because, ESPN Monday Night Football analyst, Gruden can’t get enough of coaching — it’s in his blood, it’s who he is, it’s what he does. Gruden takes his passion and intensity back to school, and ESPN camera’s spent three days with the Patriots during their spring game preparation – capturing practice, coaches meetings and more.