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The All-Star Break

I don't care much for the All-Star game. As far as I can tell, the only players jacked up to play in this game are the youngsters there for the first or second time, the guys who have never been there before and the older players on the way out.

Since the advent of inter-league play, the game just doesn't have the same appeal that it did when I was a kid. It was fun to see how the leagues matched-up against each other, to see who might have an advantage in the World Series come October. I don't need an All-Star game now to know that the National League sucks this year--and has for, what, the last eight years?

I don't like the whole "This year it counts!"-nonsense, either. It's a meaningless game regardless of how much meaning you try to force on it. It shouldn't decide home field advantage in the Series, especially with interleague play. This year, the American League crushed the National League head-to-head. The AL representative should get the honor. That simple.

I'm not even sure how I feel about fan voting. The average fan votes for the guys who play on his or her favorite team (if they're even listed on the ballot) whether or not they're having an all-star caliber season. I don't think you should be able to vote multiple times. This ain't no popularity contest! An All-Star appearance should be based on merit. They should expand the rosters for each team, but not feel compelled to play everyone. Hey, this game counts. And you, Mark Redman, you suck. Take a seat on the end of the bench.

I do like the fact that MLB makes the break something more than just the game on Tuesday night. But it would be so much better if they told Berman to head back to Bristol to have another sandwich and brush up on some football nicknames. I can already hear it. "Back back back back back ... that one's on its way to Philadelphia!" Good grief. I just hope Papi can go out there and win someone a house without Abreu-ing himself for the rest of the season. (I don't think Bob's hit as many HRs as he did in the first round since last year's game.)

Of course, my favorite All-Star game was the one in Boston back in 1999. Few remember the final score of that game. I'm not even going to look it up. But to see how the players reacted when Ted Williams came out onto the field ... that was priceless. And Pedro's performance? Classic.

It's moments like those that make the All-Star game meaningful.