By Dan Roche

SAN DIEGO (CBS) – It’s been a fun few days so far here at the All-Star festivities in San Diego.  Here are some thoughts and observations:

  • San Diego should host the All-Star Game every year. Beautiful weather (highs in 70’s, lows in 60’s) guaranteed, really nice people, and a small city that makes it feel like an even bigger event.
  • I am going to miss David Ortiz. At the All-Star Game, he’s the perfect host. He greets everyone with a smile or a joke and makes you feel right at home. He really appreciates being here and his love for the game shines through. The guys on the Red Sox all said he gave them advice on how to treat the All-Star festivities. He also led the cheerleading in the Home Run Derby while praising how great the next generation of players truly are. He will be missed.

David Ortiz cheers during the Home Run Derby at PETCO Park on July 11, 2016 in San Diego. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

David Ortiz cheers during the Home Run Derby at PETCO Park on July 11, 2016 in San Diego. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The adding of a clock to the Home Run Derby was exactly the change the event needed. It doesn’t drag any more and you know it will take less than three hours.
  • Giancarlo Stanton. Wow! He almost hit a 500-foot homer (497 feet) and made it look effortless. He’s a monster who hit 61 home runs in three rounds to defeat defending champ Todd Frazier. I think I would pay to watch Stanton take batting practice every day at Fenway Park too.
  • Lots of talk out here about the trio of young Red Sox players – Bogaerts, Bradley, and Betts. The cool part for me is just how much they enjoy being around each other and playing the game, Ortiz says he just feeds off their energy. I also like that they all respect the game and play it the right way. And, the Sox are going to need them for a playoff push.
  • Also nice to see legitimate prospects like Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi in The Futures game.  Moncada is a switch-hitting beast who’s not that far away. With his power and speed combo he looks like a “can’t miss” kid.

    Yoan Moncada of the Boston Red Sox and the World Team hits a a home run during the 2016 All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

    Yoan Moncada of the Boston Red Sox and the World Team hits a a home run during the 2016 All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • Benintendi also intrigues me, but in a different way. He may take a bit longer, but he’s almost Pedroia-like in size and stature where you’re saying to yourself, “How does this kid do it?” I’ll be curious to see if Dave Dombrowski gives in to the temptation to trade him for a top of the line pitcher.

    Red Sox prospect Andrew Benintendi at the 2016 All-Star Futures Game in San Diego. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    Red Sox prospect Andrew Benintendi at the 2016 All-Star Futures Game in San Diego. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • And if you’re one to dismiss the importance of an All-Star Game, never forget how important it is to the player and his legacy. Sounds sappy but it’s simple – when a guy’s playing days are over, he shall forever be remembered by how many times he was named an a All-Star.
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“David Ortiz, 10-time All-Star and 3-time World Series champion.”

“Derek Jeter, a 14-time All-Star.”

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And it’s the first thing that you read on all the Hall of Famers plaques in Cooperstown.

“Carl Michael Yastrzemski, 18-time All-Star.”

So, if you read or hear guys complaining that they got hosed in the voting process for the All-Star team think about why. It means everything to a player. It puts him in a different category too. He’s not “just another MLB player,” he’s an All-Star. Huge!

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Enjoy the All-Star game – and remember, like it or not, it counts!