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Here's a piece of friendly advice for your television viewing: Be sure and have that copy of the television guide from Sunday's paper somewhere nearby to check out your choices, because if tonight's All-Star Game is anywhere near as stultifying as last night's Home Run Derby, you're going to want to know what time and channel the Gilmore Girls rerun airs.

With the exception of eventual winner Vladimir Guerrero's titanic 503-foot blast in the second round, and Alex Rios' burst with one out to go, also in the second round, there was little to distinguish the Derby from, say, a batting practice round.

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The venue, the cold, windy AT&T Park in San Francisco, may have been to blame, as well as the fact that big hitters like Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and David Ortiz, took a pass from the competition.

Or it may just have been part of the general slide in prestige that the All-Star Game has taken in recent years.

Players would prefer to take a fastball to the noggin these days rather than give up the three-day break the All Star Game affords, in large part because Major League Baseball has devalued what once was the most special All-Star Game of them all.

Tying home field advantage for the World Series was only the last sharp stick in the eye to the midsummer classic. The worst blow to the game came with the advent of interleague play.

When many of us were kids, the All-Star Game was the only time during the season when you got to see players from another league, so, for American League fans like me, the chance to

see if Henry Aaron, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente really were that good, was a big deal.

Now, sadly, the All Star Game is just a weigh station on the way to seeing if Luke and Lorelei will get back together on Gilmore Girls. That's about the only drama you'll see tonight on television.

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