Holy moly! Has it really been almost two months since my last post? Shame on me…but thank YOU for reading. Remember, you can still find my Cardinals column over at InsideSTL every Monday.
The big news in Major League Baseball over the weekend seems to once again revolve around Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. With the All Star Game just around the corner, a semi-heated debate about whether Strasburg should be named to the team (pitchers aren’t elected by fan vote) has started. I don’t think he should be.
Don’t get me wrong; I have bought into the Strasburg hype machine. I’m half-tempted to go out to Washington at the end of August to see him pitch against the Cardinals. If the Nationals hadn’t already made their one trip to Busch Stadium this year, I’d already have tickets no matter what. Chicks may dig the long ball, but I get excited about dominating pitching–I’m still holding out hope that Jason Motte will harness his upper-90s heat enough to become the Cards’ closer someday. Strasburg is the real deal, and he has the potential to become one of the most dominating starters for years to come. And that’s great news for a Nationals team dying for success and relevance.
But the kid has made three starts. He’ll make maybe three or four more before the game in Anaheim. Even if he wins them all with 10 Ks per start, does seven starts and 80 Ks make him an All Star? I just think it’s way too early to put him in there. He doesn’t deserve it yet. It would be akin to naming a September call-up Rookie of the Year. And remember a couple years back when Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers and some were advocating him being the NL MVP based on two months of great stats? OK, the Strasburg thing isn’t quite that ridiculous. But it’s in the same ballpark.
Maybe he is the best pitcher in the NL right now. And, believe me, I know the NL needs an All Star Game victory. But Strasburg would pitch a couple innings at the most…he’s not going to be in there dominating the game and shutting down the AL for six or seven innings.
I just don’t see why this is necessary now. He’s not even allowed to stay in a game for more than 100 or so pitches. If he’s not ready to pitch a complete game, how can he be ready to be an All Star?