Question of the day: Should Stephen Strasburg make the All-Star team?
[Updated at 2 p.m.:
Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times
My first instinct was to say no, Strasburg hasn't played in the big leagues long enough to warrant a spot on the All-Star team, but the more players and ex-players I talk to about this, the more I veer away from my original response.
The game is still a showcase, but with home-field advantage in the World Series at stake, the object is to win. If Strasburg is considered one of the top pitchers in the league, and he gives the NL a better chance of winning, he should go, regardless of experience.
But if I'm NL Manager Charlie Manuel I would either hold Strasburg for extra innings or only use him if absolutely necessary.
Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun
Stephen Strasburg is a great story and has really energized major league baseball and the city of Washington in the past month. Let’s be happy with that.
One month shouldn’t get him into the All-Star Game, no matter how historic that month might be.
Yes, it is an exhibition, something for the fans. And the fans deserve to watch their favorite players perform. But the fans get to vote in the starters for each league. Isn’t that enough?
It should be (and, for the record, I think the fans generally do a good job with that).
Strasburg may be among the best pitchers in the National League already, and I am pretty certain he will be one day. But there are plenty of deserving pitchers who have been in the NL all season, and they shouldn’t be passed over because of Strasburg’s impressive month.
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
It could be argued that the All-Star Game was conceived as a "dream game," the idea being to put all the great players in baseball on one stage for the fans to see, and by this concept putting the hottest new name and face in baseball, Stephen Strasburg, on the team in 2010 would be right in line.
Certainly a TV network after ratings would argue this. But one needs to get past the short-term and think about what Arch Ward's concept really was: a dream game that brought the best, and the legendary, together on that stage. The inclusion of great players nearing the end of their careers, even if they are not having All-Star caliber seasons, does fit with this.
But including a rookie, five weeks removed from his major league debut, does not.
To do so would make the All-Star a pure publicity stunt, which is not what its creators had in mind in 1933.
As sensational and exciting as Strasburg's emergence has been, putting him on the All-Star Game this year would be going a bit too far. There is every reason to believe he will be a perennial All-Star, but a pitcher coming into the major leagues on June 8 cannot be seriously considered for an All-Star Game played on July 13. Even for a "dream game," that's dreaming a bit too much. Wait 'til next year.]
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Apparently, no idea is too outlandish to generate some heat these days. Should Armando Galarraga get his perfect game the day after? Should the Cubs convert Carlos Zambrano to first base? Should Stephen Strasburg get an All-Star spot even though he didn’t debut until June 8?
These are easy questions. No, no and no.
There might be 25 pitchers who deserve to be on the NL All-Star team, and Strasburg isn’t one of them. It would be fun for everyone if he were there, but fair is fair. If the NL wants to think outside the box, it should take the entire San Diego bullpen -- closer Heath Bell and set-up men Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams -- not a pre-packaged sensation who has started five games.
Photo: Stephen Strasburg. Credit: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images