Tito Francona did the classy thing last night, giving A-Rod and Derek Jeter the chance to get parting applause from Yankee Stadium fans by pulling them from the field mid-inning, and going with Mariano in the 9th.
The preponderance of Yankee fans, though, couldn't really bring themselves to return the favor -- even though J.D. Drew saved the AL's bacon -- lustily booing Papelbon -- who didn't deserve the shoddy treatment.
Last week, Sean McAdam talked on EEI about how various changes (including interleague play and the increased movement of players between the leagues) have made the All-Star game a lot less distinctive than in the past. For some of us, Pete Rose's barrelling into Ray Fosse will remain a defining image of the mid-summer contest.
Yet the lineup of Hall of Famers brought onto the field last night (and George Steinbrenner, too) was pretty damn cool. The winning appeal to nostalgia showed how baseball, for all its imperfections, has a knack for successfully drawing on the mythic past.