As usual, I missed the entirety of the All-Star Game, undoubtedly because I have not found a way to relate its meaningless spectacle to the numerous meaningful events that happen during a season. I did, however, check in on a few of the highlights. It's good to see that Papelbon continues to do his best to make his work look easy on paper - one inning, no runs, no hits, no walks, one strikeout, all in 10 pitches - while inducing heart attacks in real time. It's also good to see that Carl Crawford can still make great catches look easy, and that despite his years of calling basebal, Tim McCarver still isn't sure when someone gets robbed of a home run by a great catch. I know it's tough, Tim, but trust me: that ball was on its way out of the bounds of the playing field.
Also, while the National League continues to lose these games, whether they "count" or not, is it really fair to say there's a lack of parity between the two leagues anymore? To choose an arbitary starting point: since the Fenway-hosted game ten years ago, the AL has only beaten the NL by more than three runs once: the 9 to 4 blowout in Houston, when a post-Yankees Clemens and a pre-Yankees Pavano gave up the lion's share of the earned runs for the NL and bad fielding gave up the rest. The remaining nine games include five one-run victories and the one infamous tie; hardly a situation of dominance.