No one who was playing professional baseball the year that I last watched an entire All-Star Game from start to finish is still playing today. Not one single player. Which is a fancy way of saying that I haven't watched an All-Star Game in decades. Now, I understand that literally hundreds of baseball fans are thrilled that the 2013 All-Star Game is finally here. And I wish I was one of them. But I'm not.
Does this indifference make me less of a fan than someone who can ... oh, I don't know ... name the last 10 Home Run Derby winners? Or answer all-star trivia questions, like who struck out five future Hall of Famers in a row — Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin — in the 1934 All-Star Game? (It was Carl Hubbell. But you knew that.)
Actually, I'm willing to concede that my inability to cough up those sorts of answers probably does make me less of a fan than someone who knows them, in his or her bones, without having to think about it. But I long ago came to accept that some aspects of fandom simply aren't worth embracing if it means that I have to endure, rather than enjoy, three hours of a sport just because some of the game's best players are half-assedly playing for bragging rights and, ludicrously, for their league's home-field advantage in the World Series.
So. Here's hoping that this year's game is filled with drama, unlikely heroics, sparkling defensive gems, displays of power and finesse at the plate (like Cespedes' fireworks last night) and maybe even a few innings of no-hit ball. But I think I'll take a break from baseball this evening, and maybe finally check out that Errol Morris documentary from a few years back about the psycho beauty queen who abducted a Mormon missionary and made him a sex slave. Or something. I know for an absolute fact that watching that will be 90 minutes well spent. Then, when the second half of the real season begins again in a few days, I'll be ready, and rested.