Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now is the summer of my discontent …

… made bleak midwinter by this four-day break from baseball.

Fie! you say. 'Tis the great American game's greatest night: The All-Star Game®©™, vainglorious showcase of the best and brightest.

To quote my wise daughter once again: Meh.

The All-Star Game©™® is like a dress rehearsal, a walk-through for some big event that never takes place.

It's a cream puff, enticing at first look and lick, but souring the stomach and melting the mind with regret.

It's all way, way too much talk and half-speed action. It's a popularity contest, comprising some players who deserve All-Star®© honors, and most who don't. Oh yeah!? Who says?!! Says me!

And that's the point: Countless worthless arguments about who should be an All-Star®©™, which generates hot air, which lofts the hype, which inevitably leads to someone somehow taking your money.

I'm not watching, in other words. I'm stewing instead, waiting for baseball to resume Friday.

(Stew stew stew stew.)

Better the All-Stars©™® get a nice banquet in their honor, a free suit, a trip to Disneyland™©, and let's get on with the season already.

I'll make it, though. Don't worry about me. Friday will come eventually. Meh.

I'll survive on the memory of how the San Francisco Giants retrieved their championship play right before the All-Star®© break, including a no-hitter by the fans' favorite Freak, Tim Lincecum.

Nearly two years of flabbergasting performance by the little ace vanished in one gutsy game, the two-time Cy Young award winner with the 812-step pitching motion somehow putting all 812 steps in perfect synch to pitch a nearly perfect game.

So many games Tim Lincecum has looked lost on the mound, his eyebrows upturned in supplication, his little mouth opening and closing like an aquarium fish, throwing right into batters' swings with fastballs that have become less and less fast in a blindingly brief time.

On Saturday his mouth was still going but his eyes were hard and unmoving, and three innings after he had lost his best stuff, he kept baffling San Diego Padres hitters. No no-hitter happens without a lot of help, and after third baseman Pablo Sandoval speared a bullet deep up the line and threw out the batter with a laser throw to first in the seventh inning, right fielder Hunter Pence dove to catch a line drive off the grass to end the Padres' eighth.

Pence looked like he was going to cry running back into the dugout, so grateful to have preserved Lincecum's big night.

Now, of course, the people who ruin baseball for me — the money people — talk about how the no-hitter raised Lincecum's value for the possibility of a trade.

I hate those people. Let baseball be baseball.

After weeks and weeks of horrible baseball, the Giants walloped the Padres over two games.

Sure, the Padres walloped back in the third game, the last one before the loooooooooong All-Star™© break. Sure, the Giants broadcasters resorted to their horrid habit of  wishful broadcasting:
(As the Padres' rookie call-up Colt Hynes comes in at the top of the ninth to close down the 10-1 drubbing Sunday:)
Broadcaster Mike Krukow: He's gonna have a rough debut …

Kuiper: You mean a 10-run comeback?

Krukow: That's what I'm talking about.

Friday is so far away …