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I almost don't know what to do without the daily dose of box scores, game stories, speculation, trade rumors...

At the same time, the All-Star break is supposed to be a break from all that, and I'll take it as such.

Watching the Home Run Derby last night was kind of odd, after having attended last year's event at the Cell, so it was interesting to compare.

It really is a made-for-TV event -- I wrote last year that it would have been nice to hear the ESPN commentary during the event, and they apparently fixed that problem in Houston, because you could tell that the interviews with the players, etc. were all being piped over the PA system at the Juice Box.

They shouldn't have bothered. The ESPN interviewers asked the most vapid, silly questions -- you could almost see Willie McCovey cringe when he was asked "Which of your 521 career homers was the most memorable" -- and I wound up with my attention drifting, leaving the room a couple of times, and I actually fell asleep before it was over.

Sure, there were impressive drives hit, particularly by Miguel Tejada, who wound up winning the whole thing. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal last week proposing that MLB scrap this event, or they could scrap the silly celebrity softball game, and replace it with a "pickup" game -- the concept being that all the living Hall of Famers who wanted to play, would simply show up and "choose sides", and then play maybe five or six innings. That would be fun, and considering the reception that the living members of the 500 HR club got last night, perhaps it's something that MLB ought to consider.

The only other thing I want to write about today is the talk that the Illinois Republican Party might tab former Bears coach Mike Ditka to replace the resigned Jack Ryan as their candidate for Senate.

Come on, people. Ditka wasn't that good a coach. One Super Bowl appearance with a team that talented? Sure, he's been a successful businessman and TV commentator, but he will be 65 years old in October, his wife doesn't want him to do it, and he has absolutely zero political experience.

This is simply a ploy to get some attention by the GOP for a race that they are destined to lose. Before this is turned into a Saturday Night Live parody of a Senate race, please -- pick someone else.