By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

If you find yourself at a cocktail party -- or by the water cooler or at the bar or across from someone on a first date -- and you want to wax wisely about the state of Major League Baseball at the All-Star Break, the conventional wisdom is very simple: "We're all talkin' 'bout Dontrelle Willis." You can't go wrong with that as your analysis.

But if you're looking for a few hip catch-phrases to throw in the mix, use the list below of what's hot and what's not in baseball at the break to fuel your conversation:

WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT AT THE ALL-STAR GAME
Category Hot Not Hot
One-name phenom
Dontrelle

Rocco
Bandwagon team Red Sox Twins
Roto monster Carlos Delgado Derek Jeter
Icon Italian Sausage Rally Monkey
Breakout hitter Melvin Mora Josh Phelps
Hat Pinwheel 'Trucker'
Closer One By committee
Due for hardware
Manny Ramirez

Roger Clemens
Historical homage 500 HR 300 W
Trade bait Sidney Ponson Frank Thomas)
Villain Underachievers Free-spenders
Already sick of... Pujols hype Dontrelle Mania
Managerial mind Felipe Alou Art Howe
Fan problem Drinking (Cause) Storming field (Effect)
Bat incident
Hitting mascots

Corking
Pitching duo Prior-Wood Schilling-Unit
Dream WS scenario Cubs-Red Sox Braves-Yankees
Asian import Hideki Matsui Kazuhisa Ishii
Wonderpitcher Esteban Loiaza AJ Burnett
Endorsement deal Credit cards Trading cards
Medical situation Corey Patterson's ACL Mike Piazza's groin
Bronx zoolology Torre in Torre out
Brothers Giles Giambi
Road-trip destination Wrigleyville San Juan
Bill James Beane
Clutch closer
Eric Gagne

Any Red Sox reliever
No. 1 starter Roy Halladay Any Tiger
Movie subject Stat heads Rookies
Rivalry Twins-Royals Piniella-Salon
Player fashion statement Flat-brim hat Chains
Wily GM Ken Williams Jim Bowden
Prospect Joe Mauer, Twins "K-Rod," Angels
Player angst Beanings Steroids
Just-say-it, don't-get-it Saber-stat "EQA" "OPS"
Jersey
Mark Prior

Sammy Sosa
Relocation Mon to DC Mo to NY
Seats Fenway stools Shea crap

It wouldn't be a Hot/Not list without a few picks from Page 2 to carry you through the rest of the season:

PAGE 2's PICKS
Category Hot Not
NL East Braves Phillies
NL Central Cubs Astros
NL West Giants Dodgers
AL East Red Sox Yankees
AL Central White Sox Royals
AL West Mariners A's
NL Wild Card Phillies Mets
AL Wild Card A's Twins
NL MVP Mark Prior Albert Pujols
AL MVP Manny Ramirez Alex Rodriguez
NL Cy Young Dontrelle Willis Russ Ortiz
AL Cy Young Jamie Moyer Roy Halladay
NL Rookie Dontrelle Willis Hee Seop Choi
AL Rookie Hideki Matsui Rocco Baldelli
World Series Champ "New Saber" Red Sox "Old Saber" A's

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning.




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THE HOT LIST