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Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013 6 years ago

Star dudded: Don't put me in, coach

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So Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game 2013 is set to air Tuesday, and I know what you’re thinking: “Mike, what position will you be playing?”

But no, no, no. Stop it; you’re going to make me blush. Unfortunately — and I hope you’re sitting down for this one — I think I might actually skip the game this year.

Yeah, I mean, sure, they offered me a roster spot — well, a couple roster spots, that is (I keep telling them one player can only play one position at a time, but they just won’t listen to reason). This year, though, I decided to do something noble, instead. No, I’m not stepping down to give some scrappy, bright-eyed rookie a shot in my place. Don’t be ridiculous.

It’s just that I’ve got other plans, OK?

You see, my coed, recreational, slow-pitch softball team also plays that night. And a committed No. 9 batter like me? I couldn’t possibly let them down.

But just between us, I’m really doing it for the prestige. Not following? I’m not surprised. Let me break it down for you.

Remember when Woody Allen skipped the Oscars when he was nominated for, and then won, best director for “Annie Hall,” just because he already had plans to play clarinet with his friends that night? Well, that’s me this year. I’m Woody Allen on clarinet — except a tad less Jewish and just a smidge more neurotic.

Everyone will show up to the game murmuring about how little I care for titles and glory, and all the while my public image will be soaring — and not just for today, either.

For decades, people will hear about the guy who snubbed the All-Star ballot, simply because he didn’t need the league’s, or the fan’s, or anyone’s approval. “See that square-jawed hero over there?” fathers will whisper to their sons when they pass me on the street. “He once turned down a spot on the All-Star team just because he didn’t want to disappoint his softball pals. Now that’s integrity!”

Little will they know.

You’ve got to understand, I’ve been strategizing this move for months with my entourage of agents and promoters. When you’re on the cutting edge of a high-risk, dog-eat-dog industry like the small-town community newspaper game, you’ve got to have street smarts. You’ve got to be savvy. And if you want to survive, you’ve got to be cutthroat.

That’s how I came up with my anti-publicity campaign. The idea is simple: Everybody wants what they can’t have; right? Well this year, they can’t have Cavaliere. And oh, how it will eat them up inside!

So, I’ll see you in the history books, Ormond Beach. Because a guy like me, I’m in it for the war, not the battles. I’ll be known as a genius recluse in no time, someone who’s above all the phony glitz and glamour, someone who really knows himself. Someone free from any silly delusions of grandeur.

Also, I’ll be available before the game for autographs Tuesday, even though I won’t be playing. Just come by with a pen — don’t worry, I’ve got my trunk literally filled to the brim with personal headshots.

BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

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