This week marks the annual like-it-or-hate-it week of baseball since it's the kickoff of the 2012 All-Star Game for the National League. Also this week, it was announced that Giants perfect-gamer Matt Cain, not Mets star R.A. Dickey, will start the festivities. Heh. This seems to be both a controversial and emotional issue.

Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles points out:

If you ignore W/L records -- and you should, as Santiago Casilla is the reason Cain doesn't have 11 wins -- the two pitchers are eerily similar this year. A good tiebreaker would be consistency, then. This is Dickey's third good-to-great year in a row, whereas it's Cain's sixth. This is Dickey's first All-Star Game; it's Cain's third.

CBS Sports dutifully points out that NY should take LA's lead.

Contrary to the assertion of many Mets-related folks, it isn't a birthright for the pitcher that's having the best statistical season to date to start the All-Star Game. Oftentimes, that isn't the case at all.

Check out the American League this very year, where Justin Verlander got the start over Jered Weaver and Chris Sale, two pitchers having better statistical years than Verlander. Sale appears to be limited to one inning, making him a tough choice, but there's no reason AL manager Ron Washington couldn't have picked Weaver.

Yet, not one peep was heard from Los Angeles. Good for L.A. for understanding how this works. Or at least for not getting riled up over an unworthy cause.

According to Bleacher Report:

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.


...[P]icking Matt Cain does make sense in several ways. Some are baseball reasons. Others might be slightly off the wall.

Speaking of slightly off the wall, according to noted sports journalist Peter Gammons, the decision was made because the Giants did not want Buster Posey catching Dickey's knuckleball.

And how are baseball's notoriously eloquent fans taking the news? Let's see: