Some thoughts on the All Star Game (or, as I like to call it, Yankeepalooza):

– Fantasia Barrino can sing — twits like me who watch American Idol can testify to this. But she murdered the National Anthem so badly that I’m certain somewhere around the mid-point the powers-that-be considered raising the threat level. Myself, I voted for John Stevens.

– I still can’t believe the guy in the Taco Bell Million Dollar Pitch contest managed to get five balls in the strike zone. For about the first six pitches or so, he looked like a guy who’d never held a baseball in his life, let alone thrown one.

– That bit with Muhammad Ali? Cringe inducing. I watched him throw fake jabs at Derek Jeter (who, in turn, didn’t know whether to shit or wind his watch) and felt my stomach knot. Then I saw the group photo, in which most of the players looked nervous to get too close to him, and actually had to leave the room. I will add, however, that Dirt Dog’s photo caption today on this very subject is flat-out hilarious.

– I actually loved the promos for this year’s game, with the various players driving around in Caddys with oversized speakers strapped to the roofs like some sort of old timey campaign gimmick. The way they incorporated it into the pre-game opening, and the nod to “The Blues Brothers,” was equally cool.

– That “I, Robot” tie-in? Ugh.

– Bonus points: Unless I missed it, I didn’t hear Smash Mouth’s “All Star” once.

– The game itself? Yeah, it was cool. Home runs from Manny and Ortiz. Is it Thursday yet?

– Future rumor of the day: Piazza’s ultimate revenge was tipping off each batter to Roger’s pitches.