It no longer counts: All-Star result won’t matter in October

It no longer counts: All-Star result won’t matter in October
American League's Seattle Mariners Robinson Cano (22), rounds the bases after hitting a homerun in the tenth inning, during the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI (AP) The new All-Star Game rules were picture-perfect for Nelson Cruz.

Yadier Molina didn’t mind them, either.

And come Game 1 of the World Series in October, no one will be harkening back to how a play here or there at the Midsummer Classic might have ultimately played a role in deciding baseball’s champion for 2017.

World Series home-field advantage is now decided by winning percentage and no longer by the result of the All-Star Game – and not coincidentally there were no shortage of hijinks at Marlins Park on Tuesday night. Cruz got a photo with plate umpire Joe West before an at-bat, Molina was high-fiving opponents after a home run and someone stuck a used piece of chewing gum on the hat of unsuspecting American League manager Brad Mills.

”I tried to do it in 2013 but I couldn’t do it,” said Cruz, who planned the stunt pregame. ”This time, if I had to take a picture with someone it was Joe West. He’s the legend.”

The AL beat the NL 2-1 in 10 innings.

Odds are, the shenanigans like what Cruz pulled off will be remembered a lot longer than that score.

”That was one of the best moments in the game,” said Robinson Cano – whose homer in the 10th inning gave the AL the win, exactly 50 years to the day after Tony Perez hit what had been the last extra-inning home run in All-Star history.

Cruz walked to the plate with his phone – ringer on silent – in his back pocket. He wanted to take a selfie with West, but his batting gloves made maneuvering the buttons impossible. So he handed the phone to Molina, the NL catcher who was wondering what was happening before he agreed to take the photo.

The loquacious West, who recently worked his…