I hate the All-Star Game. It's not real baseball. If you've ever tried to keep score of one, you know what I'm talking about. Real games don't see two or three substitutions at every position. The All-Star Game, and the surrounding festivities like the Home Run Derby, are for casual baseball fans, people who maybe only watch the World Series and two or three other games all year. These are the people who voted for Mike Piazza and Nomar Garciaparra. These are the people who buy replica Yankees jerseys with the names on the back. Makes my flesh crawl.
As a diehard, the guys I like never make All-Star Games. I like middle relievers. I like superutility guys. I like pitchers with reverse platoon splits and guys who are near the league lead in pitches per plate appearance. I like Doug Glanville and Steve Kline and Yorvit Torrealba. I get to see the Yankees and the Red Sox more than enough when they play meaningful games. No one has to tell me that Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Tejada and Vladimir Guerrero are good. I know.
Due to the vagaries of the selection system, it just so happens that my favorite middle relief pitcher, Oakland's Justin Duchscherer, is an All-Star this year. Thanks to the every-team-gets-a-player rule, so is Brian Fuentes. I will watch and hope that these guys get in, realizing most of America will be wondering what happened to Jeter.
This alt-rock combo that is "warming up" for the Home Run Derby is horrible. Let Peter Gammons sing!