Pretty light day for links, as we’re in the dead zone of American sports – The baseball All Star break. Still a few writers looking to squeeze some more ink out of Manny sitting out on Sunday and Curt Schilling’s confrontation with him in the outfield. The headline of Lenny Megliola’s column (Manny Strikes Again) would have you believe he’s about to rip into Manny, but in reality it’s more critical of Schilling. File under headline writers strike again. Jack O’Connell has Schilling downplaying the onfield exchange with Ramirez Sunday. Dan Ventura has Manny saying there was no spat with Schilling. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that things are still the same in Boston. Divas like Pedro and Manny get special treatment and days off and get to leave early for the All Star break. But the twist is, Callahan said Francona did the right thing by not standing up to Pedro. He says that would’ve just alienated the pitcher. Steve Buckley has a positive article on the new and improved Manny, saying he might even finish his career here. Michael Gee (subscription only) is sick of the “nasty faux controversies” surrounding the Red Sox. Manny’s hamstrings…what if he had played and torn one, like Ken Griffey Jr just did…As for Pedro:

Those who resent Pedro Martinez for taking off early for the All-Star break are entitled to their opinion only if they've never taken a sick day due to stress, a personal day for family business, or left the office early on Friday. Otherwise, shut up.

Gordon Edes has the story that Randy Johnson will consider leaving Arizona and accepting a trade to a contender. He denies that it would take a contract extension to get him to accept a trade. Alex Speier says that this Red Sox team is just impossible to define. Christopher Price says that the All Star game needs a shot in the arm, while Dan Shaughnessy says this is baseball’s golden era. Dan Ventura looks at Roger Clemens getting the nod to start tonight’s midseason classic in his home town. Buckley also has a subscription column on the Clemens/Mike Piazza battery tonight. David Ortiz had a rough outing in the Home Run Derby last night, but as Gordon Edes reports, after his early outing he used his time to coach the eventual winner, Miguel Tejada. Out in Minnesota, they’re still ruing the day they let Ortiz walk, La Velle E. Neal III has a look at the former Twin making his first All Star appearance. Ventura’s notebook also looks at Ortiz and the Home Run Derby. Edes’ notebook takes a look at the All Star starters for tonight.

Jeff Sullivan reports on getting to meet Oil Can Boyd last night at Pawtucket. Not much has changed with the Can, who reports that it was Carl Yastrzemski who taught him how to smoke. He says Yaz smoked three packs a day back then. Wow. Kevin McNamara also reports on Boyd’s appearance at McCoy Stadium. Mike Shalin and Eric Benevides also have reports from Pawtucket, as they have details on Bill Lee winning the home run contest.

Steve Bulpett looks at the Celtics likely losing out on free agent Antonio McDyess. Despite reports that he has reached a deal with the Pistons, his agent says the Celtics are still in the picture.

Steve Conroy reports on four Bruins players who may look to file for arbitration this week.

Bill Griffith looks at a pair of sports documentaries set to debut tomorrow night, ESPN has one on Pedro Martinez, which will be it’s first SportsCentury in HDTV, and HBO will debut “Hitler’s Pawn”. John Molori’s Media Blitz takes a look at the Gary Tanguay/Greg Dickerson duo and also has some criticism of WEEI’s Larry Johnson.

FOX has the MLB All Star game starting at 8:00. FSN will once again have Bob Rodgers co-hosting with Gary Tanguay and will have Tony Massarotti in at 6:30. CN8’s Sports Pulse will have writers from Patriots Football Weekly in at 10:00 to discuss training camp, which is right around the corner.

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