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2012 mlb all-star game

Melky Cabrera Is Your National League Hero

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 10:  National League All-Star Melky Cabrera #53 of the San Francisco Giants attempts to give a five to American League All-Star Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees after Cabrera hits a two-run home run in the fourth inning during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) No love from Cano.

For those of us who follow the Yankees closely — and a lot more closely than we follow the San Francisco Giants — it was a bit befuddling to see "Melky Cabrera, starting All-Star." Even when Melky was playing well for the Yankees during his five years in the Bronx, he was never considered much of an All-Star, or even a potential one. He was always the extra outfielder, the one who could (sorta) play center, the one you knew eventually the Yankees would trade because he always seemed the odd man out. The main reason there was sadness when he was inevitably traded in December 2009 was that he brought back Javier Vazquez. Well, since he's left town, he's been amazing.

Cabrera, who is slugging 100 points higher than he ever did in New York and leads the majors in hits right now, singled and scored in the first and hit a two-run homer in the fourth to lead the National League to an 8–0 win last night. It earned him All-Star Game MVP honors — only one Yankee and one Met has ever won the award; Jon Matlack in 1975 and Derek Jeter in 2000 — and secured home-field advantage in the World Series for the National League. It's the third consecutive year for that. For those who don't think that matters, well, it probably doesn't, but it sure did last year, as David Freese will happily remind you.

The game was essentially over about fifteen minutes in, with the National League exploding for five runs off poor Justin Verlander. That left plenty of time to doodle around and see how everybody local was doing. R.A. Dickey pitched one scoreless inning, Robinson Cano got booed again (and ignored Melky's attempt to high-five him), Chipper Jones received a standing O, Derek Jeter got a hit (his eleventh All-Star hit ever), and Tony LaRussa made three pitching changes in the ninth inning. It's like he didn't want his last game to end.

That was about it: It was a minor night, all told. But it was silly fun, like all All-Star Games are. And now, if the Yankees make the World Series, it will begin and perhaps end on the road. But it's good for the Mets!

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Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images