To those of you that loyally read Capitol Baseball, you know my thoughts on the All-Star Game and All-Star voting. I wrote a few weeks back about reforming voting, but a topic that has become more interesting to baseball fans across the country is whether Stephen Strasburg will, or should, make the All-Star Game.
Stephen Strasburg's introduction to major league baseball was a spectacle never seen before in DC, and maybe never before in the entire sport. The buzz generated around a singular player for a team that is a running joke for most baseball fans was remarkable for the Nation's Capital. The Nats were finally mentioned on Sportscenter, and Baseball Tonight, and MLB Network. And not to say "wow, look at how much this team sucks." To say "the Washington Nationals are looking up; they have what may be the best pitcher in the game." A refreshing change, indeed.
Strasburg's first start was dominant. His second, third, fourth, and fifth starts were not quite as incredible, but certainly were strong, despite offensive and defensive breakdowns in more than a few of them. Nonetheless, the hype surrounding his rookie year and the impending All-Star Game has people wondering... should Stephen Strasburg be an All-Star this year?
Strasburg will, we hope, have a long and prosperous career as a Washington National and will have plenty of opportunity to make the ASG on merit. But if he makes it this season, it would be on hype and MLB profits, not ability. Sure, Strasburg is exciting. He fills the seats at Nats games, a feat in its own right. He has seemingly endless talent. But when a rookie with 6 starts under his belt at the time the roster is decided by Charlie Manuel (July 4th), it's hard to make a good argument that he should make the squad.
In addition, the Nationals, as they have in 4 of their 5 seasons, will probably only have one representative at the ASG. I know that I, personally, would rather see someone that has earned his way. Maybe Zimmerman, maybe Capps, maybe Pudge, maybe even Clippard. But not Strasburg.
I get the feeling that Washingtonians will have plenty of opportunities to vote for Strasburg as an All-Star in the future. Why not let the fans select him to his first game, rather than a manager's pick? Strasburg may eventually be great, but today he's a rookie with out even a month of experience in the majors. He is not an All-Star.