That's the only possible response, right? After all of the nonsense about the Giants stuffing the ballot boxes, and SILICON VALLEY creating AUTOMATED BOTS, and the horror of Matt Cain, and Brandon Crawford almost making the team … the only response is to giggle. I think.
No, wait. I will also accept lighting a cigar in close quarters and laughing like De Niro in Cape Fear. That's also an acceptable response. De Niro or hee hee. You have to pick one.
For years and years and years, Giants fans had one hope when it came to the All-Star Game. All we wanted was for Giants players to escape the All-Star Game without getting embarrassed. From Atlee Hammaker doing something that we're still talking about 30 years later, to Rick Reuschel giving up one of the longest home runs in All-Star history, it was always the Giants doing silly things in front of the world. Even when Jason Schmidt pitched two scoreless innings, he drilled Edgar Martinez in the head. Who in the hell does that? A Giant. That's who.
Instead, there was this:
Not sure who took that screenshot, but I'm grateful. The 2012 All-Star Game might as well have been three hours of Lou Seal in bondage gear, handing out stuffed pandas on camera. Matt Cain was awesome, and the best part might have been all of the long, warning-track fly balls -- the equivalent of calling xFIP at three in the morning and hanging up. It was beautiful.
His last pitch of the first inning was clocked at 95. Now, they say that Kauffman Stadium has a hot gun, as well as a hot PITCH/fx reading. But what sort of American would I be if I didn't pick and choose the evidence that supported the belief I wasn't changing in the first place? The belief is that Matt Cain is the best. A 95-m.p.h. fastball -- faster than he's thrown in years, if I'm not missing a stray pitch here and there -- in the All-Star Game would jibe with that belief.
Melky Cabrera won the MVP and the Obvious Royals Metaphor Lifetime Achievement Award in the same night. Cabrera had a single and a home run in his return to Kansas City, while Jonathan Sanchez finished the game with four walks. That beats out Johnny Damon winning World Series with both the Yankees and Red Sox. It's at least tied. I remember thinking that Melky Cabrera was going to start the All-Star Game after the Giants traded for him, but to win the MVP? Inconceivable.
Is it weird that of all the Giants, the one I'm most proud of is Pablo Sandoval? After Buster Posey walked, I was terrified that Pablo was going to swing at a return throw from the catcher. But he stayed in the strike zone, and he got the hit that busted the game open. He would have received bonus points if the ball would have gone out, as that would have taken some pressure off Hammaker in the record books, but a triple was just fine.
That was clearly the best All-Star Game I've ever watched, even if the rest of the world turned it off after the bottom of the first. Pablo Sandoval ruined the nights of a few Fox Sports executives. Is it wrong to be happy about that? As long as I'm in hee-hee-Giants-fan-jerkwad mode, I suppose it's perfectly fine. You know that triple royally screwed the ratings, hilarious pun intended.
The only way that All-Star Game could have been better for the Giants is if Clayton Kershaw stepped off the field to save a choking kid and turned into an old doctor, like in Field of Dreams. The rest of the world was bored. Miserably bored. Hopelessly bored. Giants fans weren't! Hee hee.