The All-Star game. The greatest of the great, coming together to play the highest quality baseball the world has ever seen. Mike Williams. Tony Womack. Chris Brown. That one guy with the mustache. They've all passed through baseball's most fantastic of exhibitions and entertained us all.
And this time it matters. Again. Sort of. We can't forget that. Jason Schmidt is our lone representative, and the Giants don't really want to see him pitch on one day's rest. It's hard to imagine anyone associated with the Giants wanting to see him pitch. It's hard to imagine a team coming into tonight with less to look forward to (non-Royals division)
The Giants All-Star memories of the '80s seem to begin and end with Atlee Hammaker. Everyone remembers the grand slam from Fred Lynn, but it's easy to forget Hammaker allowed three earned runs on top of the grand slam, and only pitched 2/3rds of an inning. Ouch. Chili Davis and Bob Brenly were the representatives when San Francisco hosted the '84 game, also known in some circles as "the coldest night of a six-year-old boy's life". Notable highlights from the rest of the decade were Will Clark's first All-Star game, and an inning of scoreless ball in 1986 from Mike Krukow, who set down Cal Ripken, Jesse Barfield, and Frank White in order.
The Giants All-Star memories of the '90s were a combination of Clark in the beginning, Barry Bonds for the rest of the decade, and a whole lot of bad pitching. Jeff Brantley gave up the only two runs of the game in 1990. John Burkett gutterballed three earned in his appearance in 1993. Beck did fine in 1994, but Shawn Estes hit a bump on the road to the Hall of Fame, giving up two runs in 1997.
Which brings us to the aughts. The highlights from this decade:
2002: Bonds hits a home run, after being robbed by Torii Hunter earlier in the game. Nen gives up a run on an Omar Vizquel triple. The game ends in a tie, with both Giants contributing to the most embarrassing moment of Bud Selig's career. Sweet. Possibly the best Giants showing in recent memory.
2003: Jason Schmidt is the first Giants pitcher in a decade, and only the third Giants pitcher in 20 years, to pitch a scoreless inning. He also drilled Edgar Martinez in the head. So even when the Giants get a good performance from a pitcher, something else has to balance that out. If Schmidt pitches a scoreless inning tonight, for instance, he'll probably forget to clean the lint trap in the dryer and burn PNC Park to the ground. So it goes.
2004: Esteban Loiaza - a daredevil who likes to pound rum and Tabs in his Ferrari while driving over 120 mph- wasn't able to deweenie himself long enough to pitch to Bonds. Weenie. Bonds didn't get a hit in the game.
2005: Moises Alou doubled in his only at-bat, and came around to score. The pitcher was Joe Nathan. You hear that Minnesota? Put that in your pipe and smoke it! We're even now.