New twist for All-Star tilt

ESPN will announce teams during special

? With TV tucking more dollars into baseball’s garter, it was announced this week that most of the 2002 All-Star teams will be unveiled in a glitzy new ESPN extravaganza airing at 6 p.m. on June 30.

MLB then will toss Internet-wired fans a bone, offering the chance to elect a final position player for both the AL and NL squads in a special two-day election to be held on and

One suspects the turnout would be much higher if fans were offered a more meaningful on-line ballot. Like one to elect a commissioner, perhaps.

Credit Baseball Weekly columnist Paul White with an interesting suggestion for how fans might lodge their protest over how baseball is being run. White suggests fans speak through their All-Star ballots, and vote exclusively for contraction-targeted Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins players to start in the July 9 game in commissioner Bud Selig’s hometown of Milwaukee.

White writes, “The best players of this season would be there. They just wouldn’t start. Nobody gets hurt, except maybe for Selig’s ego and some players who don’t cash in on the All-Star starter bonus clauses in their contracts.