Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

MLB alums say Strasburg shouldn't be an all-star


(By Kevin C. Cox - Getty)


"Should Stephen Strasburg be an all-star?" is rapidly joining "should Albert Haynesworth be a Redskin?" in the category of "questions you can justifiably ask any breathing, sentient human if you're hosting a sports program."

In other words, I love it!

The rhetoric is getting more and more awesome as current and former players discuss the question. Adam Kilgore did a story on the topic last week, but the basic riddle remains unsolvable. On the one hand, if you're trying to win home-field advantage for the National League, it's hard to argue that you wouldn't want the Strasburg arm in your quiver. On the other hand, All-Stardom is considered an honor for several months worth of MLB excellence, and Strasburg doesn't have that on his resume.

Experts? Any help?

"I don't care if two of his first four starts were no-hitters, there is no way you can put this kid on the All-Star team after five starts," Mitch Williams said on MLB Network. "As much as he is impressive, polished, young and exciting, the All-Star game is based on the entire first half. It will do this kid a disservice and alienate other players against him if he makes the team. Pitchers will look at him and say, 'He's going to make the All-Star team when I've pitched 120 innings and have nine wins?' If Strasburg makes the team, it hurts the credibility of the league."

Yow. Ok, other side?

"It depends on what happens over his next three starts," Tim McCarver said on Saturday during Fox's national broadcast, before Strasburg's loss in Atlanta. "If he wins his next three starts, then yes. If he doesn't win his next three and his ERA still hovers around 2.00, then probably. Aside from that, if he loses his next three starts, then no. After all, everybody knows and is in agreement that he's got to earn it. This guy is so phenomenal and has hit the baseball scene with such an impact that it would be an injustice to America and baseball in America to not show Stephen Strasburg on its biggest inter-league play stage."

McCarver did add in this qualifier -- "I'm probably overstating it" -- but that's still a fairly ringing endorsement. Ok, other other side?

"I don't think he deserves it," Al Leiter said this week on the Dan Patrick Show. "You have to have a body of work. Each of these guys are up to 13, 14, 15 starts, 16 starts in some cases. Look, it's the first half, it's not the best month. But I also know from Major League Baseball's perspective, the excitement he has drawn [has been] reminiscent of Doc Gooden when he came on the scene or Fernandomania, so I could see both sides. Player, I say he doesn't have enough starts. As a fan of the game, I think it would be really exciting to see him in the All-Star game."

But the "nos" seem to be outweighing the "maybes" and "heck yeahs." Here's St. Louis closer Ryan Franklin:

"No chance. No chance. You can't be an all-star if you've pitched six games. It just ain't right. He's got a tremendous future, but he's not an all-star," Franklin said. "I just don't think it's fair."

And here's Adam Wainwright:

"I'm typically not a guy who puts my name behind something, but he has only pitched in five games," Wainwright said. "Jaime [Garcia] has pitched all year with an ERA under 2.00 almost all year. If you are talking about rookies, start with him. Next year [Strasburg] probably will be on the team and maybe even start the thing."

At this point, I'm trending "no," because I don't feel like spending All-Star weekend transcribing quotes from angry veterans and distraught alums who think the credibility of the league has been tarnished by letting an dominant and popular young player (who has already thrown more innings than Mariano Rivera) participate in an exhibition game for fans that recently was declared a draw. So fine, let him wait till next year.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 30, 2010; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wale and John Wall
Next: More Redskins alumni photos

Comments

Who is driving this? the media! The kid is humble and almost embarrassed by all of this. And because of this media driven hype, many of these comments are almost venom like towards the one person that hasn't said a word about it. Stephen Strasburg.

Posted by: JDB1 | June 30, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Matt Capps leads the National League in saves with 22. He has pitched 33.2 innings. Stephen Strasburg has pitched in 31.2 innings. I think we could all agree that Strasburg has been the more impressive pitcher.

In addition doesn't being an "all-star" mean you're performing at a higher level than the majority of your peers? I'm pretty sure Strasburg is doing that. Plus add in the fact that home-field advantage is at stake so YES he is an all-star unless his next 2 starts are miserable.

Posted by: cperk7 | June 30, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Nah, Steinz - you and the nay-saying alums are missing the point - winning home-field advantage in the World Series is the one tangible benefit to playing this game. You field the best team possible, period. The only numbers that matter are SS's velocity, ERA, and K/BB ratios - the simple fact is that he's absolutely one of the very best pitchers in all of baseball. Who else would you rather have pitching? If the answer to that question doesn't exceed a list of 5 or so pitchers then you have to pick him...

Posted by: jhorstma | June 30, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"An injustice to America"?! Yeah, Tim, I'd agree that you're overstating it.

Posted by: EinDC | June 30, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The only argument that carries any wieght, the ONLY one, is that this game is supposed to count for the home field in the world series. Does strasburg make the NL team better? Probably.

The rest is all hoopla.

Posted by: Section406 | June 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the nay column because I'd rather have him home resting his arm.

Posted by: theBIGC_1982 | June 30, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Who are these alums kidding? I agree, Strasburg doesn't DESERVE to play in the All Star game for this season, but every year we see under preforming, big name players elected to the All Star teams for one reason: their popularity.

Strasburg is arguably the most popular player in the sport right now. Every time he takes the mound, there's a front page article about his performance on espn.com.
Tell me the last time that happened for a guy who pitched a 6-1/3 no-decision.

As much as the All Star game wants to be a perfect representation of the league's BEST players for the first half of the season, it never is. Future Hall of Famers at the end of their careers will be there, non-deserving "big market" players (cough* Yankees) will be there, slow-starting guys coming off a huge performance from the year before will be there, and then some guys who actually deserve to be there will be there.

It's how it has always been and it's how it will always be.

Posted by: MillBurray | June 30, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Exactly! Which was how Jimmy Rollins was leading the shortstop voting when he had only played 12 games. Which is why Texiera will go even with an average that is now creeping up to .230.

Will Stras go? Maybe. Should he go? Nope. If he goes, will he likely be the Nats' sole rep? Probably.

*******************************************
Who are these alums kidding? I agree, Strasburg doesn't DESERVE to play in the All Star game for this season, but every year we see under preforming, big name players elected to the All Star teams for one reason: their popularity.

Posted by: MillBurray | June 30, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | June 30, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

A healthy Strasburg WILL make the all-star game, or I'm going to run down Pennsylvania Avenue buck naked. I'm confident because even if managers and players don't select him, fans get one final vote from a list of 5 players set up by the Commissioner's office. And even if Bud Selig is too clueless and excludes him (yeah, I know we all wouldn't put that past him), there is yet another entry way for SS: the several injuries and invitation declines from other selected all-stars that happen every year. Bottom line: all this SS hoopla by the media is just to drive up page views and ratings, it's basically already a done deal unless SS doesn't get injured or shelled in his next start.

Posted by: vicguru | June 30, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The only argument that carries any wieght, the ONLY one, is that this game is supposed to count for the home field in the world series. Does strasburg make the NL team better? Probably.

The rest is all hoopla.

Posted by: Section406 | June 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more. This whole argument is moot because he will play in the All Star game and he will play early (and maybe more than 1 inning).

Posted by: Barno1 | June 30, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Let's get real on what the All Star Game actually is- a popularity contest. Who's more popular right now than Stras? Not many, that's who. He can help them win, and isn't that the goal of the game?

The problem is, what SHOULD this game be? A mere exhibition? or a meaningful game that "counts?" The problem is that it's actually both, which to me seems like a conflict of interest.

Don't get me wrong, I love this game and the debates that it creates. These alums are flat out wrong when they suggest that the ASG should be reserved for players who have had terrific 1st halves of the season. If that's the case, then guys like Mauer and Jeter shouldn't be voted as starters since their first halves haven't been stellar. There's certainly a place for them in the game just as there is for Stras. For goodness sake, these teams are 34 deep. After the first 10 bail out with fake injuries as they inevitably will, can it be long before it's watered down by the likes of Garret Atkins?

Stras should be there because he's one of the best 34 players in the league RIGHT NOW.

Posted by: DanKorte8 | June 30, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

On top of what previous commenters have pointed out about the game meaning something (thanks, Bud Selig), I would add that every team gets a representative in the All Star game, and it could be argued that Strasburg is the best player on the Nationals. (I'm not saying I'd make that argument, but I have heard it made).

I don't hear people complaining about the travesty or injustice of sending someone to the All-Star game whose performance doesn't warrant inclusion just because every team needs a representative.

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 30, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Straus would make points by just coming out and saying it's ridiculous for him to be even considered for the All-Star game.

My opinion is no, no matter what he does over the next 2 weeks. If he was to make it, I would think it was not about stardom, it was all about money generated for MLB.

Posted by: Ratzoe | June 30, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If they haven't changed the rules recently, there needs to be one National on the All Star Team for the NL.

Who, if not Strasburg?

Posted by: Nemo24601 | June 30, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"winning home-field advantage in the World Series is the one tangible benefit to playing this game. You field the best team possible, period."

If that's the case, then they should be throwing out the results of the fan-vote popularity contest, not starting those players and having them play the better part of the game. Why aren't you advocating that they do that?

Posted by: nunof1 | June 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The All-Star game means home-field advantage so the question becomes does he deserve it AND will he help

The answer to both is absolutely YES

Maybe someone else has a few more wins but NOBODY is as talented as Straus and he has GREAT stats

Posted by: Bious | June 30, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

He has too few starts and he's way too young . . . Get him a railroad cap and let him be the conductor on the Strasburg Railroad. I heard it's a fun ride and it's in Pennsylvania I think. :):)

Posted by: dennisbyrne | June 30, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Screw that. Save his arm & rotation spot. Let's make SURE he's around to make money for everyone else.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What "entire first half?" They started the push to vote in early May for crying out loud. Not that I think Strasburg should go, but talking about performance for "the entire first half" is a joke. Betcha Jason Heyward goes and that would be based on his entire first *quarter*. Just sayin.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 1, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I heard or read comments from SS* to the effect that he felt he'd not yet earned it, and I agree with that.

*Can't recall where - maybe it was on a MASN broadcast?

---

Straus would make points by just coming out and saying it's ridiculous for him to be even considered for the All-Star game.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 2, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"I heard or read comments from SS* to the effect that he felt he'd not yet earned it, and I agree with that."

I agree also. It would seem totally within the little bit we know about his character thus far that he would be appalled by all of this all-star talk. Because the Nats are limiting his media exposure, we won't know what he thinks until somebody asks him, probably at one of those post-game pressers. Dan or Adam?

Posted by: Natzfan | July 2, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"I heard or read comments from SS* to the effect that he felt he'd not yet earned it, and I agree with that."

I agree also. It would seem totally within the little bit we know about his character thus far that he would be appalled by all of this all-star talk. Because the Nats are limiting his media exposure, we won't know what he thinks until somebody asks him, probably at one of those post-game pressers. Dan or Adam?

Posted by: Natzfan | July 2, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double post -- a glitch occurred when I hit send.

Posted by: Natzfan | July 2, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps if he did start the All-Star game he'd finally get some run support.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | July 3, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

when is Rodriguez going to hang it up? he's over the hill . . . . another bad throw to second today

rmk/akron

Posted by: rmkraus | July 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

when is Rodriguez going to hang it up? he's over the hill . . . . another bad throw to second today

rmk/akron

Posted by: rmkraus | July 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company