(Gary Sheffield and former Big Red Machine SS Davey Concepcion share a pregame laugh, wondering just what the fuck Mike Piazza was doing with that drum stick last night.)

American League 7, National League 3 (through 8 innings)

Joe Buck’s “feelings have softened” towards Kenny Rogers in the wake of the latter’s contrite press conference, “against the advice of his lawyer!” Buck reminded us. “The whole ‘distraction thing’ was really blown out of proportion,” claimed Buck, who previously did his fair share of blowing.

Kevin Kennedy, always quick to sympathize with a member of the fraternity, concluded his on-air interview with Rogers by stopping the departing Rangers hurler — so they could shake hands on camera. That’s where Jim Gray is always fucking up — fewer “when did you stop beating your wife?” questions and more public displays of affection are clearly required.

Kennedy took a few shots at Pedro Martinez during his migrane-inducing pregame yap with Jeanie Zelasko. If we’re to believe K-Squared (who managed both a Triple A and Double A All-Star Game, don’t you know), Pedro’s vacation is an inexcuseable diss to the club that signed him to a guaranteed 4 year deal. If Martinez shuts down the Braves this Sunday, I doubt his teammates, employers or fans will agree.