Perhaps a bit light on the links today, but it is the All Star Break, after all. A few articles on the Red Sox contingent the All Star game, some midseason media awards and some Celtics coverage make up our update today.

Tonight’s All Star Game in Detroit features an American League squad with a decidedly Red Sox feel to it. It starts with the Manager, Terry Francona, who met the press yesterday as part of his duties and to announce his starting lineup. (Note to WEEI: Do we really need to hear both the AL and NL starting lineups 1-9 every 20 minutes during the flash? How about just at the top of each hour maybe?) For the most part, articles are light this morning, but Gordon Edes turns in a terrific article on Francona. It looks at how the Red Sox skipper uses humor to defuse much of the stress that comes with his job as well as the very serious concerns regarding his health. Respect for the game is another important thing to Francona, and though he may use humor, he also is serious in his approach of the game. There was a reason, after all, that he once batted Doug Mirabelli in the third spot in the lineup. Michael Silverman has a much shorter article on Francona handling his All Star duties. Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox deservedly enjoying the spoils of their World Series victory with all the All Star honors and recognition. On the other hand, Gerry Callahan (subscription only) writes this morning that Johnny Damon is indeed a dumb-ass for his comments regarding Curt Schilling coming out of the bullpen. That’s the point and gist of the entire column.

Adam Kilgore reports on last night’s Home Run Derby, won by the Phillies’ Bobby Abreu. Massarotti also has a report on the contest, in which David Ortiz finished fourth. Ken Davis looks at the rebirth of Frank Robinson as manager of the Washington Nationals. He also declares the former Montreal Expos a big winner because of their move to the nation’s Capital. Silverman reports that Manny Ramirez is facing a fine for not appearing at the media session yesterday. Kilgore’s notebook is an extensive collection of items ranging from Kenny Rogers making his appearance, to the Yankees lamenting the absence of Derek Jeter, to the global representation of the lineups. Silverman’s notebook has John Smoltz commenting on Curt Schilling’s move to the bullpen, a Scott Boras update (Craig Hansen, Johnny Damon) and next spring’s World Baseball Classic.

With the midseason classic upon us, it’s fitting to take note of some great performances by local media members. I’m often accused of being a “hater” when it comes to the local scribes, and though that is not the case, I thought it good to stress the positive here, and present the best from the first half of the season.

Best Performance by a Beat Writer: David Heuschkel, Hartford Currant.

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