When you go to the All-Star Game, you don't get your midseason break when everyone else does. So after a few days of R&R -- badly needed after enduring the winds of AT&T Park -- I've got a few points stored up:
---Let's start with our pal Barry. Hey, thanks for staging your circus of a press conference in Frisco and getting me on the cover of USA Today in the midst of your media scrum. Now about that home run chase? Are you going to put us all out of our misery sometime this season? Barry's monthly averages: April -- .356-8-17; May -- .194-4-8; June -- .364-4-13; July -- .107-1-4.
He's 0 for his last 21 and homerless since July 3. Still stuck on 751, at least Barry has saved Bud Selig the indignity of having the record broken this weekend in his beloved Milwaukee home. Those Cubs fans have sure gotten their money's worth from him so far, seeing one at-bat in three days. Giants manager Bruce Bochy says Bonds is playing in Thursday's series finale but is no longer playing at all in day games after night games. That almost assures it's going to take No. 25 into August to get the five more home runs he needs to eclipse Hank Aaron. Yawn.
---I've enjoyed the free preview of MLB Extra Innings that cable companies nationwide like Time Warner have been giving this week. Would have been even better to see the Indians-White Sox games, including Tuesday's dramatic, extra-inning thriller that Ryan Garko tied in the ninth with a two-run pinch homer and won in the 11th with an RBI single. Anyone taken my advice from San Francisco and written ol' Bud with a piece of your mind on the Tribe's ridiculous blackout of the home of its Triple-A team? I'm heading to the Jake for next week's games against the Red Sox and maybe I can get someone high up on Chief Wahoo's food chain to finally give me a real answer on this topic.
---ESPN has gotten so full of itself that every single reporter in San Francisco had a good bellylaugh about the fact the network got its "Baseball Tonight" set banished for breaking the TBS embargo on All-Star selections. Speaking of the self-proclaimed worldwide leader, am I the only one sick of SportsCenter's "Who's Now" garbage?
---Bfloblog gave this corner some props Wednesday and we return the favor to our friends in the blogosphere who are a must-read every day. Sure, Kevin & Co. have some quibbles with the mothership at One News Plaza but that's no prob in these eyes. Opinions always keep everyone's passion flowing.
---The Bisons return home for the first time in 12 days when they play Syracuse Friday at 7:35 in the opener of a nine-game homestand (there's a makeup doubleheader Saturday at 5:05). Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is hot, going 7-1 in its last eight games, to knock the Bisons out of first place in the IL North for the first time since May 5. Buffalo suffered its season-high fifth straight loss with Wednesday's 12-inning heartbreaker at Charlotte and the Herd is suddenly 1 1/2 games out.