'We're not the worst' banner at stake in Giants-Phillies series


'We're not the worst' banner at stake in Giants-Phillies series

Nobody is paying much attention to this, and for good reason I grant you, but the Giants could end the suspense over which bad National League team is the worst National League team this weekend.

Plan your snacking regimen accordingly.

San Francisco beat Philadelphia last night, 5-4, to widen its stranglehold on 14th place in the National League to four full games. Further success this weekend could widen that to five or even eight games, and that would almost be enough to create an impromptu parade around the ballpark.

The Giants’ future is too amorphous to consider quite yet – we know this by the absurd suggestions that they could be the next home for Giancarlo Stanton.

And you thought the Warriors-to-chase-Paul-George stories were absurd.

But we digress.

The Giants are still figuring out what a rebuild would look like, and how that rebuild would manifest itself, but until it does, there is still the Ypres-like slog of the 2017 season to endure. And this weekend right here is about all that is left.

There is no spoiling the Dodgers’ march to regular season glory. There are no postseason awards for any individual to chase. Catching the Padres for fourth seems increasingly unlikely.

Now there could be a question about whether Bruce Bochy wants to return but none about whether the Giants would do anything to him, and if you need something to chew on, Bobby Evans’ longterm future as general manager might be sufficiently gristly, though we doubt it will result in anything.

There is only the raising of the “WE’RE NOT THE WORST” banner over the promenade in right field. And this looks like the weekend when it can be best be decided. Like we said, snack accordingly.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL


Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction


Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction

Marshawn Lynch gave America five minutes and thirty-three seconds of his time, did not amplify on his posture during the pregame of Friday night’s game in Arizona, and dropped a “Peace, out.”

Now how much Marshawn Lynch can you get?

He talked, thereby satisfying people. He didn’t not talk about the National Anthem, the country, current events or anything remotely close to any of it, this disappointing those same people. He crossed the myth about elephants and mice with the popular Oedipal reference to make a new Marshawn Moment, which ranks up there with the tennis shoe hanging from the telephone wire retirement announcement.

And yeah, that is so much Marshawn Lynch, too.

Lynch, ultimately, interacts with the amalgamated media rabble (my ID number is #287,449/A) by reminding it how much control he exerts over any such interaction, and by giving it only his presence rather than his attention. He is phenomenally predictable that way, and it is to our shame that we keep thinking he will break the pattern out of some misplaced sense of obligation.

He is, in his own way, a recluse in full view. He insists on being the master of his surroundings in a business with many assumed masters – coaches, front office people, fans, marketers, media, even the oft-repeated myths of the game like one’s responsibilities to the greater amorphous whole. I even suspect he has the power of invisibility, like Doctor Fate, Martian Manhunter or The Watcher.

In which case he should gain about 7,500 yards and score 130 touchdowns and be able to sit whenever he wants for more reasons than his own. After all, America tends to bend its willingness to accept eccentricities like his when he is helping their team entertain them successfully.

After all, we know what our true cultural priorities are.