The 2019 MLB All-Star game is tonight, and if you don’t find yourself titillated, it’s probably clear why. The Giants have played 815 innings of baseball this year, and they are represented at the Midsummer Classic by 36.1 innings of them.
Yes, reliever Will Smith is the only Giant playing in the All-Star Game, meaning San Francisco’s odds of being a storyline tonight are about as high as my odds of making next year’s roster.
But it wasn’t always that way (and the optimist in me is contractually obligated to inform you that it won’t always be that way, either).
There have been times where the Giants dominated both the storylines, and the game itself. Specifically in 2012, when the Giants had as good of an All-Star Game as one could possibly have.
Unlike this year, the Giants sent four players to the contest - and all four were starters. And all four did spectacular things.
Buster Posey started at catcher, and while his statistics weren’t impressive (0-2 with a walk) he saved at least seven lives, and inspired millions to chase their dreams, simply by his mere existence.
Bust Posey has that effect on people, and this was 2012 Buster Posey, en route to an MVP award and a 171 OPS+.
Matt Cain was trusted with starting pitcher duties, and calmly threw two scoreless innings, allowing just one baserunner, while retiring Robinson Cano, Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista, Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, and David Ortiz.
Pablo Sandoval started at third base and immediately made an impact. He came up to bat in the first inning with the bases loaded, and he brought everybody home with a triple.
It was a beautiful moment that only got more beautiful with time.
Sandoval’s three-run three-bagger came off Justin Verlander, who looked utterly perplexed that he’d been bested by the Panda.
Just a few months later, Verlander would recreate his All-Star Game face as Sandoval trotted around the bases for the second of three times in Game 1 of the World Series.
And then, of course, there was Melky Cabrera, who started in center field, went 2-3 with a home run, and won All-Star Game MVP. Cabrera would be suspended shortly after, and miss the rest of the season, but he was a part of the Giants taking home all three of the season’s MVP awards.
It was a good game, and a good year.