Charlie Manuel says he wants to win the All-Star game. He saw last season how his performance as manager of the NL Squad can directly impact his day job, as the AL beat the NL in the midsummer classic, guaranteeing the Yankees homefield advantage against the Phillies in the World Series. And if he really wants to win, you'd think he wouldn't mind having a 21-year-old wunderkind with a high-90's fastball and filthy curveball and change-up to come out of the bullpen for a couple of innings.
But Manuel wouldn't tip his hand as to his thoughts about Stephen Strasburg's All-Star Candidacy today, although he bristled a bit at the ongoing debate about the Nationals pitcher.
Strasburg has lived up to his unprecedented hype thus far, going 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA while averaging 14.6 strikeouts-per-nine-innings against just 1.8 walks-per-nine. But last night's start against the Braves was just his fifth of the season, and with the rosters set to be unveiled on SUnday, there is some thought that Strasburg has not played long enough to "earn" a spot on the squad.
"I've seen people, especially on TV, (saying) 'It'll be a shame if he's not in,'" Manuel said. "I say there's a lot of shame every day somewhere in the world."
That being said. . .
"He's very high-talented," Manuel said. "Just let him pitch. See what happens. I've got an open mind about it. I'll watch him pitch."