• 61°

Let’s worry about Votto, not Strasburg

With all the snubs and flubs of the All-Star Game selections, the “expert” analysts at ESPN wanted to discuss whether Washington Nationals’ rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg should have been selected.

First of all, the biggest injustice is Joey Votto being left off. He’s an MVP candidate who leads the league in home runs, is third in batting average, and is among the top five in runs batted in.

It’s a little far-fetched at this time, but Votto has a shot at the triple crown.

Back to Strasburg.

He has been a hot topic and he has pitched well. The talking heads say he belongs on the team because the fans want to see him.

They can see him. Buy a ticket and go to a game when he pitches, or click on the TV because ESPN is bound to pick him up a few times the second half of the season to help ratings.

And if fans are wanting to see him in the All-Star Game, don’t blink. He’d probably only get to pitch an inning.

If baseball wants to showcase the players fans want to see, then get back to making the All-Star Game the exhibition game it really is and what it was meant to be when it was started in 1933 as a charity game.

Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel was right when he said to leave Strasburg alone for now and let him learn how to be a major league pitcher. There’s plenty of time for Starsburg to make the All-Star Game. Besides, it’s better to see a guy like the Reds’ Arthur Rhodes make it for the first time at 40 years old.

While Strasburg’s numbers are good, they may not be as impressive as they seem.

He has just pitched six games and worked 36.2 innings. He does have 53 strikeouts and only 10 walks, but he is 2-2 with a nice 2.45 earned run average.

But of those six games, the first two games were against the Pirates and Indians, two of the worst teams in baseball.

He had a no-decision against the White Sox and then lost to the Royals — they also have a losing record — and was shelled by the Braves. He then had a no-decision against the Mets and didn’t have one of his better outings.

By the way, the Braves and Mets have winning records.

Hmmm. He pitches well against bad teams and has trouble with good team.

Let’s stop all the talk about Strasburg. Mike Pelfrey and Mat Latos are more deserving.

Instead, let’s go online and keep voting for Votto.

—— Sinatra ——

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.