All-Star Game still stuck in the middle

The Midsummer Classic still straddles line between meaningful game and exhibition

Originally Published: July 14, 2009
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

ST. LOUIS -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has been to one All-Star Game in his career, as a coach for the American League squad in 2002. Things began auspiciously when Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki sent his teammates bounding up the dugout steps with the most profane and rousing pep talk since John Belushi declared war on the Vernon Wormer regime.

"I remember Ichiro saying in broken English, 'Let's go whip somebody's ass,'" Manuel said. "That might sound corny or whatever, but when ...

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