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Quibbling over his All-Star worthiness based on the .274 batting average, eight homers and 22 RBI is an exercise in minutiae. We’re talking about whether Harper belongs among the NL’s best at the game’s showcase exhibition, not whether he deserves to start ahead of Melky Cabrera, Carlos Beltran and Matt Kemp.

If baseball lovers/defenders can’t see the difference, it’s because history and tradition can have a blinding effect.