Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction

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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.

Bochy, Melvin need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y

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AP

Bochy, Melvin need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y

These are difficult, which is to say battleship-gray dull, days for the Oaklandcisco Giletics. They go out, they lose three of every five times they play, they disappear again. It’s like watching Nerf whack-a-mole.
 
Which is why, in these final 40 games, both Bob Melvin and Bruce Bochy need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y we can linger on, at least for a bit. The transition from the end of the Warriors season (and the subsequent fetishizing of everything they do) to the start of football training camp has been too easy, and baseball’s window to captivate the easily distracted has pretty much been closed.
 
And this is why we enjoyed Cincinnati second baseman Scooter Gennett, pitching in a lost-cause game Tuesday night (the Reds have given up double digits 20 times this year, so that’s not a big enough thing), referred to his speed gun rating in the mid-90s, which was corrected by reporters to the more accurate “68.”
 
Gennett’s response? “Yeah, I don’t believe that. I think the radar gun might be broken or something. That, Statcast, off-the-bat speed, all that’s fake news.”
 
Perfect, and perfectly timely, too.
 
Then there is manager Terry Collins of the injury ravaged New York Mets, who is so bereft of players that he had to play catcher Travis d’Arnaud at third base but also needed to find a way to avoid having the ball hit to him. So he had d’Arnaud switch with second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera every time a right-handed hitter came up for the Yankees. So you get a box score that looks like this.
 
This is also the game in which Aaron Judge hit a 457-foot home run AND set a record for consecutive games with a strikeout, with 33. His season has fallen into a chasm since the All-Star Break, thus making him the latest “face of baseball” to find out that this “face of baseball” thing isn’t such an easy gig after all.
 
Besides, the new face of baseball is Scooter Gennett, whom the Giants or A’s should absolutely pay Giancarlo Stanton money to get in 2018. I mean, this is a guy who gave a fake name to the cops because his mom brought him to a stationhouse once to scare him into wearing his seatbelt -- when he was still watching Muppet Babies.
 
If that’s not the true face of baseball, there is none at all. Billy, Bobby, make this happen, or resign.

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.