Shanoff's W.U.C.: All-Stars, Federer, McNair

Today's Calls: Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick, Rasheed Wallace vs. Jason Kidd, Hedo Turkoglu vs. David Lee, Mets vs. Phillies, Brett Favre vs. Dr. James Andrews, Steve McNair. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: The MLB All-Star rosters have something for everyone. ↵

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↵Like the "hometown hero" angle? Albert Pujols was the leading vote-getter (as he should have been, no matter where the game is being played). ↵

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↵Like the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox? Mark Teixeira edged Kevin Youkilis to start at 1B (Youk made the team anyway). ↵

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↵Like the old guys? 42-year-old Tim Wakefield made his first All-Star team ... ever. ↵

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↵Like the young guys? Felix Hernandez is 23, the youngest player on either roster (and making his first-time All-Star appearance, too). ↵

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↵Like to complain the fan voting is nothing more than a popularity contest? AL OF starter Josh Hamilton is your poster guy. ↵

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↵Like to celebrate the out-of-nowhere players who make the team? You know I'm excited to see Ben Zobrist on the AL roster. ↵

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↵Like to gripe about snubs? As usual, there are at least a few, including 2 of the starters from my NL ballot (Mark Reynolds, Pablo Sandoval) and 1 from my AL ballot (Ian Kinsler). ↵

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↵It was a crazy-busy (and immensely sad) sports weekend, led by Federer's glory and McNair's tragedy. That MLB can still have its place at the top of the conversation on the day after All-Stars are announced shows just how much this game -- the best all-star game in sports -- still matters to fans. ↵

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↵"Final Vote": How close did my MLB All-Snubs come? Close enough that all 3 made MLB's "Final Vote" ballot -- the last-gasp chance for fans to vote in one snubee in each league. Anyone who plays fantasy should vote for Sandoval (breakout season AND catcher-eligible) and, in the AL, Kinsler came closest of any Final Voter to winning a starting spot from the fans. He deserves the last spot on the AL roster. Vote here. ↵

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↵Federer edges Roddick in classic: Maybe you thought last year's Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal was the greatest tennis match ever. Well, yesterday's jaw-dropping match came awfully close to topping it -- which puts it right up there, especially that epic 30-game final set that, itself, lasted an hour and a half. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, now that Federer has passed Pete Sampras with 15 all-time Slam-event titles, can folks stop denying that Federer is the best tennis player ever? ↵

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↵RIP, Steve McNair. What an awful tragedy, on so many levels -- the circumstances of his murder, his legacy as one of the toughest players in NFL history (perhaps the toughest QB ever), his jaw-dropping career at Alcorn State, where his talent level was so absurdly high that he could go from 1-AA to the top of the NFL Draft ... to MVP and Pro Bowler and oh-so-close-to-a-Super-Bowl-champ. McNair was no longer in the NFL, but his career -- both in the pros and in college -- had earned everyone's respect and lasting memory. That is what we might look to now. ↵

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↵NBA Free Agency: Rasheed joins Big 3. Boston is doubling down on its "Aging Star" strategy, but Wallace brings the versatility to bang down low (against Shaq and Howard?) but step out and make them guard him shooting 3s. (Next up for Boston's "Aging Star" strategy: Grant Hill? This team could win the 1995 NCAA title, if not the 2010 NBA title.) ↵

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↵Turkoglu to Raptors: Wait, didn't he have a deal with the Blazers? Turkoglu is the new Boozer. There were rumors that his wife preferred Toronto to Portland, dismissed when he "picked" the Pacific Northwest over Canada. Guess we all should have had more faith in his wife's persuasive powers. ↵

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↵(Repercussion: Will the Blazers now go get David Lee? He is the best available remaining FA, fits with their youth movement, loves to play up-tempo and can immediately step in and start at PF.) ↵

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↵Meanwhile, sounds like Jason Kidd is staying in Dallas, where Mark Cuban is happy to overpay -- and Kidd is happy to accept. (Guess Kidd didn't want to play for a title contender.) ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵• Phils sweep Mets: Not even Johan can help ↵

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↵• Manny Watch: HR Saturday, doesn't start Sunday ↵

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↵• Trouble in Milwaukee? Braun calls out pitchers ↵

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↵• Injury Watch: Randy Johnson (left shoulder) ↵

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↵• Coming back today: Josh Hamilton ↵

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↵• Playoff Preview? Rangers sweep Rays ↵

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↵• Fantasy Stud: Ricky Nolasco (8 IP, 0 ER, 12 K, W) ↵

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↵Favre Watch: Just in case you haven't heard from everyone about Favre's intention to return to the NFL and play for the Vikings -- and just in case it wasn't obvious, Dr. James Andrews would like you to know that Favre indicated to him that he would like to play for Minnesota. ↵

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↵Golf: Hey, Tiger, leave something for the rest of 'em. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "He's a legend. Now he's an icon." -- Pete Sampras, about Roger Federer. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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