At least for another start or two.
The only problem is that there are many people who are far less patient than I and we're already seeing the surfacing of the debate. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver talked about the possibility over the weekend and were in favor of it. Ray Ratto thinks we can take an appearance to the bank. Now the floodgates have officially opened with Dan Steinberg getting in on the act and saying that he believes Strasburg would give "a jolt or two of life to the All-Star Game."
So with all of those voices already weighing in, what choice do I have but to address this today before the topic gets stale and everyone moves on to talking about the chances of electing Strasburg to Cooperstown while he's still an active player?
As someone who thinks the attention generated in Anaheim would be a huge plus for the game — both ratings- and roster-wise — I'm generally for the idea.
As long as a few qualifications are met:
1. He keeps up his current pace in the five or so starts he'll make before the All-Star break. We're talking about winning efforts — though not necessarily wins — in each of his starts and an average of about eight or nine strikeouts a game. No way should his first two starts alone seal one of the 34 National League berths.
2. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel doesn't select him over teammate Ryan Zimmerman(notes) to be the lone representative from the Washington Nationals. Zimmerman should be able to stake a spot with his full first-half performance, though a crowded third base stituation in the NL — Scott Rolen(notes), Placido Polanco(notes) and David Wright(notes) — could leave him with some free time for reasons unrelated to Strasburg.
(I know what you're saying right now: Strasburg would inevitably be replacing a deserving other someone with his spot. That may be true, but there are always injuries and a pitcher or two could be ineligible to appear if they pitch on the Sunday before the game. I don't think Pedro Martinez(notes) circa 2000 is going to be left home because Strasburg is on the team.)
3. Strasburg promises to strike out the side in the inning he appears. OK, I'm just kidding with that one. (Sort of.) But I'm thinking that Strasburg has more value than just a TV ratings booster for Fox and that's in helping the NL earn its first victory since 1997. If Manuel really wants to win this one, shouldn't he consider adding a strong arm that most American Leaguers have never faced before?
But, as I said before, this is all assuming that Strasburg keeps pitching like he did in his first two starts. Otherwise, we'll conveniently forget that we ever had this presumptive conversation, OK?
What do you think? Would you want to see Strasburg in the All-Star Game? Why or why not?