Monday, July 5, 2010

National Outrage: Strasburg Not an All-Star!?!

I know this topic has been beaten into the ground, but MLB is making a insanely stupid mistake by not putting Stephen Strasburg on the NL All-Star team. The game is a marketing event and Pitching Jesus is the most marketable player in the league right now, bar none; the game is for the fans, and the fans want Strasburg. In addition to upsetting the regular fans, Bud Selig, Charlie Manuel, and whoever else there is to blame, have a great to chance to draw in some new fans who are intrigued by Strasburg. Even if he didn't pitch in the game, more people would tune in for the chance to watch (although there could be mini riots if he was on the roster and didn't pitch). Then there is the fact that Strasburg is not one of the 5 players in the running for the last roster spot. As much as Joey Votto deserves that last spot, Strasburg would be the clear favorite to be voted in by the fans. I am not 100% sure who creates the 5 person list for the last spot, but omitting Strasburg is a clear sign that they did not want him in this game for lord knows what reason and that he will not be in this game as an injury replacement.

Oh, but 'This time it counts' you say? Well then the NL should put their best players out there, and Pitching Jesus is without a doubt one of the best pitchers the in the league. Charlie Manuel said:

"He got quite a bit of consideration. He is going be an All-Star for a long time. What does he have, five starts? I just felt there are other guys who have started 18 to 20 games. I just felt, 'leave him alone and let him get used to the major league level." 

'Get used to the major league level?!?' Strasburg has been an absolute force thusfar, on par with the best pitchers in the league; it is safe to say he is doing just fine at adjusting to the major league level. At least that is very sporting of Mr. Manuel to be so concerned about the development of a division rival's star talent.

The 'hasn't pitched enough games' argument is greatly hindered by the fact that Omar Infante made the NL team as a Manager's selection. Infante has only playing in 57 of this team's 82 games thusfar and does not qualify for league leaderboards. Most healthy starters have pitched 17 games, but Infante's games played % gives that his equivalent would be a SP with only 11 or 12 starts.

Those are just the general points as to why Strasburg should be on the team, and don't even address the fact that Matt Capps was picked over him. Going by VORP, Capps has been the 11th best pitcher on the Nationals, and they are trying to tell me he should be an All-Star over Pitching Jesus? Just amongst Nationals relievers, Tyler Clippard is significantly more deserving. Clippard as the Nats representative I could at least swallow a little easier than Capps, but the bigger injustice is Josh Willingham. Based purely on performance, Willingham should be starting in this game; he is 6th in the NL in VORP, and 1st amongst outfielders. If you are going to pass over the most marketable and possibly best pitcher in the league by the All-Star break for only having 6 starts, at least get the guy you pick over him right. I understand Ryan Zimmerman is stuck behind 2 guys having great seasons at 3B, but the Nats have 2 better and more sensible candidates than Capps, excluding Strasburg.

Keith Law called Manuel's selections 'comically bad'
, and I have to agree. The Strasburg omission is outrageous. Manuel deserves to lose the All-Star game and then lose the World Series in game 7 in an AL park, now that would be some sweet justice.

(Image courtesy of


  1. I feel like Strasburg would have been uncomfortable accepting an invite to the team. He's too humble to feel deserving of the honor when guys like Zimmerman, Willingham, Clippard, Capps, Dunn, and even Livan Hernandez have done more than he has.

    That said, some of Manuel's roster moves were straight up silly. Just another reason to hate Philly.

  2. I don't think Strasburg was ready.....yes, the fans would have liked to see him pitch but based on his last 2-3 games, he doesn't look like the phenom. he looked like in the game vs. the Pirates.

    Next year he'll be an all-star for sure and hopefully a few other Nationals will be there as well.

  3. I think it is bad taste to call Strasburg pitching Jesus. Just like you would not call him "pitching Mohammed" or "pitching Buda." You need to find another name. Call him pitching Superman, or the phenom. You are creative enough to come up with another name.

    Right now he is adjusting to the big leagues. Next year he will be an all star. Right now he is a great pitcher learning just how good he is.

  4. I think it is in bad taste to not explain why something is in bad taste. Unless it is food. That's a conflict between you and your taste buds.

    Pitching Mohammed just doesn't sound cool and pitching Buddha would imply that he is fat. He is not. He is more like a scarecrow or, let me think of a skinny biblical messiah that everyone is waiting for to save them much like the city of D.C. is waiting for a player to come around to spread their message of baseball throughout the city and build a strong fanbase of baseball believers.... ummmm... still thinking... oh yeah... Jesus Christ. Wow, what an apt nickname.

  5. Pitching Moses has been discussed a few times.........seriously.

    I have had numerous discussions about what his nickname should be, as although Pitching Jesus is great, it isn't entirely unique - see Larry Bird, Adrian Peterson, and the man formerly known as Matt Wieters. Sports Guy came up with 'Anchorman', but that isn't perfect. I am thinking something with his velocity, like 'Missile', or maybe 'Scud', but I don't want any relation to 'Rocket' Roger Clemens.

  6. Legislative Assassin? The Executive? The Constitution? Magic Bullet? Extra Relish? Nolan Ryan Jr? Shore Thing? Not a Belly Itcher? 1st Law (as in Newton's)?

  7. That is a burst of awesome. A couple are too tough to say or too long. I like 1st Law the best, although it's a little weird.

    DCLS is always looking for a few good nickname creators....


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