By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Oh yeah, and a chance to play baseball.
On this night the Red Sox, managed by Ken Griffey Sr., out-slug Brooks Robinson's Black Sox, 15-11. Williams slashes two doubles. Mavs owner Mark Cuban gets a couple hits. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware is the Most Valuable Player, mostly for his over-the-head Willie Mays catch.
Modano modestly wins the Home Run Derby with nothing more than a can o' corn to medium left-center. Cuban, who received the night's loudest ovation, fouled a couple into the stands. But neither Daniels nor Stackhouse nor Howard nor Darrell Armstrong (so defenseless that he became the first player on record to square around to bunt in a Home Run Derby) gets a ball out of the infield. It's OK; fella named Michael Jordan couldn't hit a lick either, and he retired with six rings.
The Mavs, somber upon arrival, laughed and played catch and signed autographs and goofed off and generally acted like the kids they were helping. For fleeting moments, they remembered their past and forgot their present.
"We'll be fine," Howard says. "Right now it's just good to get away from everything and laugh a little."
On Saturday the Mavs were supposed to play to hundreds of thousands of parade fans.
Instead, they played baseball.
Let the healing begin.