As of last night, you could still buy tickets for tomorrow night’s Stephen Strasburg debut straight from the Washington Nationals.

But with a sanctioned ticket seller like this, who needs scalpers?

Signing on to the team’s web site, I was initially told that no tickets are available for the big game. But wait! Anybody who signs up for something called the New Era Flex Plan is given a chance at tickets at their regular price. All you have to do to be a New Era member is buy seats to three games, and the team will even throw in free tickets to a fourth.

That sounds too good to be true. And it probably is. I tried joining this New Era clique. I checked off the box for the cheapest price shown. And, sure enough, the system gave me a chance to buy two tickets in Section 240 for StrasburgStock at face value, $22. Plus a $5 “convenience fee” and a $3.50 “order processing fee.” But, to get that I would have to also pay for two tickets to the June 19 home game against the Chicago White Sox, and they’re going to run me $50 apiece.

With the “convenience fee,” that’s another $105.  So, unless I’m missing something: There are $22 tickets still available for the biggest regular season game in Washington baseball history.

But the cheapest way to get into a meaningless interleague game against a team that only President Obama claims to care about will run me $105?

Guess they don’t call it a New Era for nothing. I passed.

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