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All-Star winners and losers

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More Pesavento – The AL heat is on

PITTSBURGH – The 77th All-Star game was not merely won by the American League for the ninth straight time that a decision has been reached. Sometimes winners lose, sometimes losers win, and sometimes those not involved in the decision at all get pulled in as well.

Let's sort it out, shall we?

ALL-STAR WINNERS

Michael Young, Texas Rangers – His two-out, two-run, ninth-inning triple off Trevor Hoffman won the game for the AL and earned him the game's Most Valuable Player award and a new Chevy Silverado. It's hard to stomach watching a rich guy win a free car.

Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox – The first baseman went 2-for-2, including a ninth-inning single that kept things alive for the AL and set up Young's heroics.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees – Tied Dennis Eckersley's All-Star record with his third career save (the others coming in 1997 and 2005).

Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox – Claiming injury allowed the mercurial outfielder to miss this snoozer. I'm sure he was watching on TV. Riiiiiight.

American League contenders – The Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox and Detroit Tigers all got a boost from Young's triple, which awarded the AL representative home-field advantage in the World Series. The team with the home edge has won 17 of the last 20 Fall Classics.

Carlos Beltran, New York Mets – Played all nine innings, the first time a player has gone the distance since Ken Griffey Jr. (AL) and Ray Lankford (NL) did it in 1997.

Freddy Sanchez, Pittsburgh Pirates – The scrappy shortstop made three sparkling plays in the field, shoving Mets third baseman David Wright out of the way to catch a foul popup in the fifth inning, spearing a Mark Loretta line drive to end the fifth and, while playing second base, taking a hit away on a ground ball up the middle in the eighth.

The Clemente family – Bud Selig honored the late Roberto Clemente with the commissioner's Historic Achievement Award for his humanitarian efforts. Clemente was the award's 10th recipient.

ALL-STAR LOSERS

Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres – Hoffman, who has one blown save in 25 chances this season, blew one Tuesday night, making it 10 straight years (including the 2002 tie) that the National League has come away from the All-Star Game without a victory

TV viewers – It was a boring game. At least those in PNC Park could divert their eyes to the scenic Pittsburgh skyline.

Carlos Lee, Milwaukee Brewers – With Beltran on second base as an insurance run and two outs in the ninth inning, El Caballo popped out to Young in short right field.

The Mets – New York won't have home-field advantage when it makes the World Series. Need another reason to think the AL wins the title again?

The umbrella-less – Light rain fell through most of the game, making the Primanti Brothers sandwiches awfully soggy.

Kayakers – Sorry to the brave souls beyond the right-field wall afloat in the Allegheny River. There were no splash hits.

Fox television – Not only was the game boring, it also only lasted two hours and 33 minutes, the shortest All-Star game since the Cincinnati contest in 1988 (two hours, 26 minutes).

The players who didn't playMark Buehrle, Bobby Jenks, Francisco Liriano, Jonathan Papelbon, A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Redman, Chris Capuano, Chris Carpenter, Nomar Garciaparra, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, Jason Schmidt, Dan Uggla and Carlos Zambrano.

Liriano, Minnesota Twins – Yes, we know he's already on this list, but he flew all the way from the Dominican Republic on short notice and manager Ozzie Guillen didn't even play him. Thanks, Skip.