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Posted by Bob Ryan, Globe Staff  July 11, 2007 11:07 AM

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Hold all calls. We have a winner. Jim Leyland is my favorite baseball manager.

I should have known he'd manage a modern All-Star Game with some common sense. God bless him for allowing Dan Haren and Josh Beckett to pitch two innings apiece. God bless him for having four pitchers left. We could have gone 16, 18, 25 innings... whatever it took.

And God bless him for leaving himself with a position player who didn't belong in the game at all. Yes, Michael Young has been an amazingly unsung player for several years. And, yes, he did win the 2006 game with a clutch ninth-inning triple. But he was not All-Star worthy in 2007.

Meanwhile, we have yet another case of Tony Being Tony (TBT). This TBT moment was Mr. LaRussa's curious decision to keep Albert Pujols safe and sound for the senior prom. Aaron Rowand is a good player. BUT HE'S NOT ALBERT PUJOLS!!! I think you know where I'm going with this.

All in all, it wasn't a bad All-Star Game, as modern All-Star Games go, although I am wondering what Pete Rose and Ray Fosse thought of A-Rod's lady-like attempt to score on that base hit. Of course, Fox had to tease us with an 8 p.m. airtime for a game that wasn't begun until damn near 9 p.m. Eastern. But that's TV. What else is new? So much for generating young fans east of the Mississippi.

Can't wait 'til Jim Leyland returns to Boston (ALDS? ALCS?). I'm buying, believe you me.

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Bob is an award-winning columnist for the Globe and the host of "Globe 10.0" on Boston.com.

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