To those who say Stephen Strasburg should not play in this year’s All Star Game – I ask a simple question, “Do you think Strasburg is one of the best thirteen pitchers in the National League?” If your answer to that question is “yes” , then you have your answer to whether or not Strasburg should be selected by Charlie Manuel to pitch for the National League. The reasons to include Stephen Strasburg in this year’s All Star Game are more powerful than his fastball. But to be fair, lets evaluate the pros and cons to this debate.
Those against Strasburg are saying that it would be unfair for Manuel to select a player that has only been in the major leagues for a month compared to a player that has been there 3 1/2 months. Who else deserves to represent the Washington Nationals? One could argue that Matt Capps deserves that honor with a major league leading 22 saves. But, who would you tune into watch – Strasburg or Capps? Manuel said “Strasburg has to earn it” and I agree 100%. Even though Strasburg hasn’t been in the league long, he has demonstrated his amazing talent with the 2 wins, 1.78 ERA, and 41 strikeouts in his first four starts. The two games he did not earn a win, the Nationals offense was non-existent. With three more starts scheduled before the all-star game, Strasburg has the opportunity to improve on those solid numbers. Strasburg has set the major league record with 41 strikeouts in his four starts. He has been dominant to this point and definitely has earned the respect and admiration of the public and the hitters he has pitched against.
Lets remember that the National League wants to win the game to earn home field advantage in the World Series. The National League has not won an All-Star game since 1996 at the old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia and it would be nice to win one of these games for a change. Ulbado Jimenez deserves the honor to be the National League starting pitcher this year. It would be great to have Strasburg follow Jimenez to begin the game.
With all the negative news currently in our society, Strasburg has been a bright spot for people to talk about and he has had such a positive impact on the game. People would enjoy watching this phenom take on the best the American League has to offer. And, lets be honest, from a business standpoint Strasburg’s presence would help television ratings for the game and the powers that be want to show him off with such a grand stage. It is essential for Major League Baseball (MLB) to distance themselves from the non-stop steroid barrage and I can’t think of a better way to do it then to showcase new, young talent. Strasburg has captured the attention of the public and more importantly the younger audience which MLB definitely needs to attract in higher numbers.
So, do you think Stephen Strasburg is one of the best 13 pitchers the National League has right now? Do you think he is one of the most positive and exciting stories currently in MLB? If you can answer yes to these questions, then Stephen Strasburg should be on the all-star team this year.