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All-Star Game has makings of a big yawn

My idea of baseball's All-Star Game is that the best players in the world would gather for an exhibition game for one night.

So much for that.

One by one Sunday, the list of players to miss the game grew.

I think the total is up to 16 players who will miss the game -- as of this writing. Some, like Alex Rodriguez, who will miss four to six weeks, it's understandable.

Others, like Derek Jeter, should play.

Some of the best pitchers in the game won't be there Tuesday. Justin Verlander, C.C. Sabathia, Felix Hernandez and Cole Hamels pitched Sunday and are ineligible (another bad idea by baseball -- they should at least be allowed to participate in the festivities).

Instead, players like David Robertson, Kevin Correia and Michael Pineda will be in Phoenix.

The biggest story in the first half of the season was Jeter's 3,000th hit. He won't be there, either. Instead of being celebrated, he'll be watching on TV. Apparently, he's too exhausted from the pursuit of his milestone and needs the rest.

Jeter was lauded for playing the game the right way, but this decision isn't the right one. He was selected by the fans to be in the game. Unless a player is hurt, like A-Rod, he should go.

Baseball needs to address this before next year's game or we'll see more and more of the top stars by-passing the game for a little R&R.


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I never understood the Steelers' fascination with their backup quarterbacks.

They've had either Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich for what seems like ages now.

And when the Steelers really needed a backup, Leftwich couldn't deliver.

Leftwich rambled 31 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Ravens, but other than that burst, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense in a 13-10 loss that puts them in a bad position in the AFC North.

Leftwich, with his long delivery, looks better suited for the Pirates' bullpen than behind center.

He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

The Ravens came into the game with a weak defense. The thought was Leftwich could manage the game, the Steelers could find a running back to rely on and they'd escape with a win.

It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

The Steelers are worried about Leftw…