What separates the baseball All-Star game from the rest is that people actually care who wins. . . .
I mean, do you remember who won the last Pro Bowl? How about the last NBA All-Star game? And you deserve a medal if you can name the teams that play in the NHL All-Star game. But you probably are aware that the Americans beat the Nationals last year. And the year before, too, after losing 22 of 25. . . .
Another thing that distinguishes this game is that the players never get to compete against each other during the regular season. . . .
The downside is that the game has become pretty much of a bore. . . .
Blame it on the domination of the pitchers over the hitters. The most anyone pitches is three innings. No need to pace yourself. Just rear back and fire. Even the best hitters are going to be overmatched most of the time. . . .
An All-Star game should be full of home runs, stolen bases, great fielding plays--and an occasional well-pitched inning. . . .
Will the friendly confines of Wrigley Field make for more excitement tonight? In the 1962 All-Star game at Wrigley, 13 runs were scored. But in 1947, only three were scored. And the wind is supposed to be blowing in tonight. . . .
All-Star break awards: American League MVP--Rickey Henderson; NL--Ryne Sandberg. AL manager of the year--Jeff Torborg; NL--Lou Piniella. AL Cy Young--Bob Welch; NL--Frank Viola. AL rookie of the year--Sandy Alomar; NL--Delino DeShields. . . .
And then there are Don Mattingly, who is batting .253; Mike Greenwell, who has hit two home runs; Mark Davis, who has a 5.40 earned-run average, and Mark Langston, who is 4-9. . . .
The best divisional races will be in the East. Oakland should begin to pull away from Chicago in the AL West soon, and nobody is a threat to catch Cincinnati in the NL West. But Pittsburgh should stay with New York all season, and there might be a photo finish between Boston and Toronto. . . .
Worst All-Star idea ever was having two games in each of the seasons from 1959 through 1962. . . .
Jerry Reuss signed to pitch in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system after turning down an invitation to play in the Dodgers' old-timers' game. . . .
Look-alikes: David Stern and Marvin Hamlisch. . . .
Cheapest seats for the Virgil Hill-Tyrone Frazier fight Saturday in Bismarck, N.D., and the Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries fight on July 4, 1910, in Reno were both $10. . . .
Where do the hooligans hang out after soccer season ends? . . .
Cal State Long Beach's George Allen, who was the only major college football coach without an air-conditioner in his office, is having one installed today. . . .
Look for an upswing in the USC track and field program, once the nation's best, now that Jim Bush has been named head coach. . . .
Jorge Paez's draw with Troy Dorsey Sunday must have been one of the toughest fights to score in years. Judge Dalby Shirley had Dorsey ahead, 116-112. Associated Press reporter Tim Dahlberg had Paez ahead, 118-110. . . .
George Foreman says he couldn't run more than three miles in 1974 when he was heavyweight champion, but now he can go as far as 16 if he stops for water a few times along the way. . . .
The Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles--endowed with Southern California's share of the surplus from the 1984 Olympic Games--is offering free clinics to 1,500 high school soccer coaches in the area. . . .
Pity the promoters of this week's Swedish Open. Stefan Edberg isn't entered. However, the Wimbledon champion will return to the site of his victory in the 1984 Olympic Games when he plays in the Volvo Tennis/Los Angeles tournament July 28-Aug. 5. . . .
Syracuse wide receiver Robb Moore is the plum of the NFL supplementary draft today, but is he worth a 1991 first-round draft choice? The Dallas Cowboys would have drafted first overall this year if they hadn't taken Steve Walsh last year. And the Phoenix Cardinals would have drafted third if they hadn't taken Timm Rosenbach. But Bobby Humphrey was a bargain for the Denver Broncos, who would have drafted 25th. . . .
News item: Diego Maradona says Argentina lost to West Germany in the World Cup final because of a Mafioso plot. Reaction: At least, he didn't blame Zola Budd.