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Stephen Strasburg thinks he didn't deserve the All-Star Game

It seems everyone in the baseball world had offered their opinion on whether Stephen Strasburg belongs in the All-Star Game except for Strasburg himself. This afternoon, Strasburg shared his view and sided with those who believe he has not accomplished enough to play in the showcase.

"Obviously, only having six starts over here, it didn't really matter what I was going to do," Strasburg said. "I really didn't feel like I was qualified to make the team, No. 1, based on how much experience I have. I'm sure I'll have some opportunities somewhere down the road. Right now, it was never a goal of mine.

"You look at the guys that are going to the All-Star Game and the years that they've had, they did that from opening day. I haven't been here since opening day. They deserve it. Hopefully someday I'll deserve it, too."

Strasburg felt so strongly about how undeserved he was that if Manager Charlie Manuel and the National League did try to put Strasburg on the team, he may have not played in the game or accepted the invitation.

"It would have been a real tough decision," Strasburg said. "I never really felt like it was going to happen. I didn't really put much thought into it. Right now, I'd much rather pitch this team to the World Series before I make the all-star team, to be quite honest."

His decision whether to go would have had nothing to do with his physical fatigue. Asked if he felt like he needed the all-star break to refresh, he replied, "not really. I've been ready to go."

Strasburg prefers to avoid media coverage of himself, but he could not escape the all-star debate surrounding him. He knew it existed, but "I wasn't paying attention to it," he said. On Sunday, he walked out of the clubhouse as a television inside the room showed the final pitchers who had made the NL staff.

"It's flattering," Strasburg said. "I really didn't pay much attention to it. I've got some goals in mind right here. Those goals don't involve the All-Star Game."

Today before the game, Strasburg ran into Tony Gwynn, Padres legend and his college coach at San Diego State. Gwynn is broadcasting tonight's game for the Padres. They embraced in front of the Nationals dugout and chatted for a quick moment.

Strasburg will miss the chance to pitch against his hometown team and Gwynn's son, Tony Jr. His next start, and final outing of the first half, comes Friday against the San Francisco Giants, most likely against Matt Cain.

The Nationals met today to determine Strasburg's schedule's for after the break. Originally, their plan was for him skip the first series, against the Marlins. But the Nationals are going to reconsider because of future match-ups.

"We're still tossing that around," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "You kind of look at who he's going to pitch against each time afterwards. We feel like he's a good match-up against anybody, but we feel like there's a couple we wouldn't want him to miss. Depending on if he starts in that first series or that second series, there's a match-up or two that we would have not him that we feel like he's got a chance to really be successful."

The Nationals know for sure he will not be pitching in the all-star game, and Strasburg is happy about it.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 6, 2010; 6:43 PM ET
 
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Next: Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Young team up on All-Star Game final vote

Comments

What refreshing humility--it's so obvious he didn't deserve an All-Star berth this year, and he knows it, so good for him. I wish more athletes who haven't accomplished anything yet thought this way. Meanwhile, I heard the sports talk guys on The Fan going ballistic about this "insult." It's clearly best for Strasburg if he isn't hyped 24/7, but these guys can't let up.

Seems like the D.C. sports crowd is feeling a little down and is desperate for something to feel good about--so desperate that they're reacting to every pitch, every game, every word Strasburg says. If this kid turned into say, another Jim Palmer, instead of another Nolan Ryan, they'd be disappointed, it seems to me. But that would be just great for the Nationals, just not as exciting. I hope management can ignore all the excitement and do what's best for Strasburg's long-term future, because the local sports media smell a story NOW, and they would burn him out if they had their way.

Posted by: preacherskid | July 6, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals know for sure he will not be pitching in the all-star game, and Strasburg is happy about it."

I'm not sure what bothers me more -- the nonsensical grammar or the nonsensical conclusion.

Posted by: kevin_woolley | July 7, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

seems like the only ones who keep beating this Strasburg and the Allstar game drum are the media parasites...they just won't let it alone and nobody is interested, yet they won't let it go away.

Posted by: outrbnksm | July 7, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't have said it better myself, preacherskid and outrbnksm.

Atta boy, SS.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 7, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Chad Dukes @ the fan 106.7 is the one who keeps this BS going while Lavar sits back and listens . Dukes reminds me of the " Cheeseburglar " cartoon with popeye ! How many can I eat today without taking a shower ...lol

Lavar rocks !

Posted by: terryreece | July 7, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

How about this sentence - what does this mean? PROOFREAD!!!

Depending on if he starts in that first series or that second series, there's a match-up or two that we would have not him that we feel like he's got a chance to really be successful."

Posted by: ldf1 | July 7, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

How many headlines and teaser links are going to use the word 'snub' to attract readers and stir up a non-story? The guy's made an impressive entrance to the major leagues, but w/ 6 starts his all star credentials are very marginal. I'll be 'snubbing' all future bogs and articles on this subject.

Posted by: randysbailin | July 7, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think since the All Star game counts for the NL I would not have been surprised, or opposed, Strasburg on the team. There's no doubt an inning or two of Strasburg could have helped the National League. This game is also supposed to still be in some way for the fans. So I wouldn't have been surprised or opposed to Strasburg being on the ballot as the last NL All Star. But since he's not, I voted for Zimmerman because he's deserving of a spot.

The most important thing to come out of this "debate" is that we once again get to see how much Strasburg "gets it." I don't know how much of that has to do with Tony Gwynn and how much of it has to do with Strasburg's parents teaching him the right way to go about things, but it's clear his head is on straight. IMO a kid with his head on straight will eventually be successful in MLB because even if because of injury he ends up in 10 years more like Tim Wakefield than Nolan Ryan, Strasburg will seek out answers from coaches and teammates in order to still pitch effectively without a 98-mph heater.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | July 7, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg is the real deal, both in terms of attitude and ability. It's too bad he wasn't asked sooner what he thought of the whole ASG hype (or his opinions conveyed by club officials) -- it might have helped stifle the whole thing. But then again, I suspect MLB and the national media didn't want it stifled. Now that this is over, let's get the kid some runs the next time he pitches.

Posted by: Natzfan | July 7, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

He is one of the best pitchers in baseball...period....everyone knows it

He should be on and even HE knows it....but him saying that looks bad and he is a great PR guy

So....

Posted by: Bious | July 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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