* Maybe the Dent fiasco will finally make baseball realize that fan balloting is for the birds. Personally, I like the system Joe Falls outlined in The Sporting News for picking the All-Star teams. He would leave it up to the managers. Just 10 days before the game they each would select 25 players, none from his own team. In addition, they would vote on five stars whose past achievements possibly more than their present ones make them popular fixtures in these mid-summer showcases.
* As incredible as it seems, the National League has won 18 of the last 19 All-Star Games and now holds a 33-18-1 advantage. In three of the last four years, the Nationals have come up with the winning run late in the game, last year winning on Mike Schmidt's two-run, eighth-inning homer.
* Denny Lewin, the producer of ABC Sports' coverage of the All-Star Game, says most people believe baseball is easy to televise. He begs to differ. ''Quite frankly, I find football much easier than baseball,'' he told the Monitor. ''In football the game is fairly set. The ball is moving from right to left or left to right; you've got X number of downs; and the ball is going to be thrown, run, or kicked - those are your basic options. But in baseball every situation is different. The ball can go almost anywhere on the field.
''I shouldn't say this, but I will. You're probably better off watching a football game at home than in the stadium, because you can probably see the game better. I'm not sure that's true in baseball, because in baseball you have the disadvantage of documenting a play where part of the action may happen 300 or 400 feet away from the other part. There's no good way to bring that perspective - of an outfielder making a play while the runner circles the bases - to the viewer. In football, though, you focus almost exclusively on the ball whether you're at home or in the stadium.''