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3 Stories: All-Star Marketing, Free Agents Cash In, Megatron Speaks07:26
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Calvin Johnson dominated defenses for nine years, but stepped away from the game to preserve his already-damaged health. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Calvin Johnson dominated defenses for nine years, but stepped away from the game to preserve his already-damaged health. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The MLB's Midsummer Classic is coming to San Diego and ... well, we don't really care anymore. Should the All-Star break become just a break? That's first on this week's Three Stories You Should Know.

Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com and Shira Springer of the Boston Globe joined Bill Littlefield.

1. An All-Star Headache  

In the good old days, the MLB All-Star Game served to enlighten fans to the mysterious talents of players from the opposite league. Craig Calcaterra believes that now, interleague play, cable TV and free agency have stripped the exhibition of much of its novelty. These days, little remains beyond a marketing parade, which he might be ready to rain on...

The All-Star Game has become nothing but a vehicle for Major League Baseball to partner up with its corporate sponsors. I think we would be better served at this point if they just wrote checks, gave all the players a few days off and let us all come back next weekend for fresh, actual, meaningful baseball.

2. Free Agents Strike Gold

Over the past week, NBA free agents have signed mammoth contracts that seem to vastly outsize their values. (Mike Conley, who's never been an All-Star, resigned with the Grizzlies for 5 years, $153 million). Shira Springer questions whether all this money floating around is good for the NBA.

The bigger picture that I am concerned about is what does this mean for the NBA? What happens when you have a player who's making lots of dough and is not getting the playing time that he expected to get when he signed his big contract? And I fear that NBA coaches are ultimately going to be the ones who pay, down the line.

3. Megatron's Human Body

Calvin Johnson, who retired last March after his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl selection, recently revealed the ugly toll nine years in the league took on his body. Bill Littlefield wonders if this story will change anything, or if "Player Retires Early Because Body Is Broken" stories are just becoming part of the normal NFL news cycle.

We report these stories just like we report mini camps and the draft and which coaches are being fired and which ones are being hired. It's just become another thing that we report and then move on from. And, in a way, that strikes me as not only terribly sad, but utterly irresponsible.

More Stories You Should Know:

This segment aired on July 9, 2016.

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