(Eds: With AP Photos.) By JIM LITKE AP Sports Columnist Nice to see retirement hasn't dulled Tony La Russa's competitive edge one bit.
Fewer people than ever care who wins the All-Star game, even with home-field advantage in the World Series hanging in the balance, but he still does. And while La Russa knows absolutely no one tunes in to watch the managers manage, he still can't help himself.
Remember that when you see the Giants' Matt Cain on the mound starting Tuesday night for the National League instead of overwhelming fan favorite R.A. Dickey of the Mets. Here's hoping that the game is half as competitive as La Russa envisions and there are still enough viewers hanging around by the middle - let alone at the end - to admire his handiwork.
Dickey, a 37-year-old journeyman whose late-in-life mastery of the knuckleball has been the best and most unlikely story of the season so far, seemed like the perfect choice to start what is essentially an exhibition.