Passion is missing these days at the Baseball All-Star Game

Know me…

In my heyday, when I gorged on so much halcyon my mom had to pull it out of the pantry, I loved baseball’s All-Star Game.

Everyone I knew was — and most people I didn’t know. It was so good, popular, full of stars, that MLB actually had two – Game 2 was from 1959 to 1962 to help players’ pension funds, when they weren’t earning much money and had to moonlight at other jobs.

But I fell in love with it. It kind of looks like most regular season games.

The other all-star games look like bad sitcoms.

The NFL Pro Bowl is a joke and has been for decades. The NBA is unassailable. The NHL? What?

And baseball is the best of them – from Milan to Minsk – because at least the defense is played.

I can’t say how many players in Tuesday’s game (or the most popular, of course, the Home Run Derby) will make it into the Hall of Fame. But, just randomly pointing a finger at the 1965 game, let’s see the lists:

Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal, Roberto Clemente, Ernie Banks, Willie Stargell, Ron Santo, Bob Gibson, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Billy Williams, Harmon Killebrew, Al Kaline, Carl Yazstremski, Tony Olivia .

Each a Hall of Famer. And possibly more could be. Cooperstown outcast Pete Rose was there. Just like Dick Allen, who belongs.

Note that Clemente and Frank Robinson, two of the greatest players in my life, haven’t even started.

There are stars in this year’s game, but what bothers me the most is not the caliber of the athlete. It’s the passion. Kindness.

Bud Selig made a huge mistake when he said the All-Star Game-winning league pennant winner would host the World Series. But at least he sensed the problem. The event had lost its soul.

But that was absolutely not enough to motivate the players.

I firmly believe her downfall began after the 1985 game, the last Rose played as a player. I was in the 1981 National League All-Star Pavilion in Montreal and saw Pete working around the room, going from locker to locker, pumping up his teammates.

Pete knocked down receiver Ray Fosse in the 1970 deal and of course got hit with flak. But it was the winning round.

“Your job is to be aggressive and win the game,” Rose has since said. “If I hadn’t put Ray Fosse on your ass, you wouldn’t have known who he was.”

The All-Star Game wasn’t really an exhibition back then. There was no interleague play – which I can’t stand – so there was a certain ignorance, a mystery, real rivalries between players. And making the winning side the show’s host certainly didn’t embrace the bobo and make it go away.

I know it may be a popularity contest, and there’s the snub factor, but that’s nothing new.

Still, fans should have a vote. It’s not Florida.

Fernando Tatis Jr. received more than 100,000 All-Star votes, was the NL’s top shortstop voter in late June, and hasn’t played a moment since crashing his motorcycle.

They should stop this. Give the millionaires a few days off and a clipboard with what J. Peterman said to Elaine, “Thank you, for a job…done.” …

Average price of an All-Star ticket in Los Angeles: $850. See the footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Free. …

Manny Machado, Joe Musgrove and Jake Cronenworth are the three Padres All-Stars. That’s enough. …

How long will it be before an everyday position player becomes an All-Star as a
launcher? …

If Freddie Freeman gave the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech for Dick Vermeil, Canton would be inundated and totally out of Kleenex. …

The Padres can’t afford to be two things: clumsy and stupid. Oh, and they’re not mobile. …

If AJ Preller signed Charlie Blackmon, Charlie wouldn’t reach his shoe size. …

Cy Young has won 511 games, suffered 315 losses and pitched 7,536 innings. What I want to know: How many quality starts? …

The day will never come when so many people who should know better understand that no padding drills in shorts 7 on 7 are not football. …

Lamar Jackson posts “I need $” on Twitter and then says it has nothing to do with his contract negotiations with the Ravens. Interest in Lamar grows. Like his nose. …

But, when Jackson started, the Ravens won 76 percent of their games and averaged 29 points. Healthy, they’re pretty much the last team you want to play. How do D coordinators ghost Lamar in practice? …

If San Francisco somehow allows Jimmy Garoppolo to fly to Seattle, they’ll change the lyrics of Tony Bennett’s song to “morning cerebral flatulence can fill the air.” …

The Patriots send former first-round receiver N’Keal Harry to Chicago for a 7th. If Bill Belichick was just a general manager, he’d be fishing Maine lobsters. …

The Browns reportedly found Baker Mayfield too immature and wanted an “adult” at quarterback. So they gave adult Deshaun Watson $230 million guaranteed? …

I do not like it. Condoleezza Rice has joined the new Broncos ownership group. So, in addition to the rarefied aerial advantage, they now have a higher IQ. …

The home of the Steelers moved from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium. Don’t complain until you’ve tried Acrisure with
fries. …

Tiger rips PGA defectors for taking guaranteed LIV money. Has he ever played for pay? The people who made $1.5 billion playing golf shouldn’t be overshadowed. …

LeBron as Secretary of State. He knows how easy it is to get Brittney Griner out of Russia, especially when that country is at war and the United States is aiding and abetting the good guys. Wave the wand, King. …

The Warriors don’t need Kevin Durant. If they trade for him, they gon’ be serious (pardon my French) staging changes on stage, going from “As You Like It” to “The Tempest”. …

Basketball on an aircraft carrier deck in San Diego Bay didn’t suddenly become a good place to play a game. Windy until 7 p.m., then humid. …

Bill O’Reilly has started a “Concierge” program to help anyone looking for advice on anything. Alright, Bill. I would like to ask you why the hell I bothered to write this. …

NASA’s incredible new telescope will allow astronomers to approach within 500 million years of the Big Bang. I’m going to have to settle for reruns. …

America is clearly blogging. …

In its first six months of legal gambling, New York brought in over $300 million in tax revenue. And that’s without a full NFL season to count. California, with more than double the population?
Craps. …

Steve Fisher is named San Diego’s “Nice Guy of the Year”. Fine, guys, but we don’t need to be told. …

City Hall’s Ham & Eggers are expected to purchase this 1122 Fourth Avenue California Theater property. It’s old, so there is a risk of having an asbestos problem. …

Bad people are angry.