Strasburg-mania is old hat. I'm on to worshipping a 16 year-old:
Bryce Harper is bigger than the NBA Finals this week. He's bigger than the Stanley Cup.
The image of the Las Vegas High School sensation with the desert mountains of Nevada serving as his playground graces the June 8 cover of Sports Illustrated on newsstands today in a tribute fitting of the nation's newest and youngest baseball star.
In large bold black letters, the magazine proclaims Harper as "Baseball's Chosen One." The cover features his biggest numbers: 570-foot home runs, 96 mph fastballs and his age, 16. He is hailed on the cover as the most exciting prodigy since LeBron James and his central placement on the magazine is fit for a king. In the top right corner of the cover, there's a small mention of the NBA Finals. In top left corner, the tease to the Stanley Cup Finals floats as if it has just been hit by Harper's left-handed swing.
The kicker: Harper's parents are looking for ways to make him eligible for the 2010 draft instead of 2011. Oh, and that one of the teenager's advisers is Scott Boras.
In other words, get ready for the runup to next year's draft to be crazier than this year's. I'm talking long lost birth certificates, psychological testing and lawsuits. Should be an utter blast if you're anyone other than a 16 year-old kid named Bryce Harper.