Rivera Shines, ESPYs Tonight

I know we talk a lot about baseball lately – the reason is, though there is always some training camp, some trade talk, some DUI, none of America’s other major pro sports (football, basketball, hockey) are in active session right now. Even baseball is taking its annual “all-star break” this week, marking the midway point of its 162-game season.

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The one time it’s OK to cheer for the Yankees.

The all-stars themselves, though, had a little extra work to do last night in the All-Star Game, which the American League won 3-0. The highlights of the night included a triple from Detroit’s Prince Fielder (let’s just say it’s fun to watch the big fella sprint) and the salute to the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, 43, who entered to pitch his final all-star game in the 8th inning.

The Panamanian closer, who wears “42” in honor of the major leagues’ first black player, Jackie Robinson, is retiring at the end of this season. He received a lengthy standing ovation from fans and both teams, who remained in the dugouts to let him have the field and the accolades alone. He was also named the All-Star Game MVP. Rivera is a 13-time all-star, five-time World Series champ, and baseball’s leader in saves (638) and games finished (930). He is almost certain for the Hall of Fame – which says a lot since not a single player was voted in for this year.

If you do miss other sports, or just want to be entertained by host Jon Hamm, who is as funny as he is handsome on “Mad Men” (even guys will love his lunkhead lothario in “Bridesmaids”), check out the annual ESPY awards tonight on ESPN, 9 p.m. ET. Celebrities and athletes will honor one another for the best, funniest, and most courageous performances of the last year. And if you haven’t yet seen South Carolina football player Jadeveon Clowney’s mind-boggling hit (literally) on Michigan’s Vincent “I Will Never Live This Down for the Rest of My Life” Smith, here is your chance.

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