Tony LaRussa announced that Giants ace Matt Cain and not Mets star R.A. Dickey will be starting the 2012 All-Star Game for the National League. It is a controversial decision both statistically and emotionally and in terms of the entertainment quality of the game.
R.A. Dickey leads the league in wins and has an eye popping 12-1 record. He has the most complete games and shutouts and the lowest WHIP in the National League.
His ERA is superior to Cain. His batting average against is lower than Cain's. He has struck out more batters than Cain. He has thrown just 1/3 of an inning fewer than Cain. He has Cain beat in virtually every category.
And Dickey is a likable guy and a great story. Having him start the All-Star Game would be the feel good topper for his great journey.
As for making the game interesting, the idea of watching American League sluggers taking aim at a knuckleball is just good TV.
But picking Matt Cain does make sense in several ways. Some are baseball reasons. Others might be slightly off the wall.