Tim Lincecum goes to the All-Star Game and doesn't play.
Are you kidding me?
There's no good explanation for Charlie Manuel's decision not to use Lincecum in the Midsummer Classic. The Freak is the two-time defending NL Cy Young Award winner and the kind of player fans love to watch. Younger fans, in particular, gravitate toward the guy with the flowing locks and the skate-punk mystique. Plus, the dude can pitch a little.
Yet somehow, nine pitchers not named Tim Lincecum managed to get in some work. What was Manuel thinking?
Many people fault baseball commissioner Bud Selig for the "this time it counts" baloney, making the All-Star Game into a contest to decide home field advantage for the World Series. That's still a dumb idea, but the truly damaging aspect of it may now be coming to the surface. If baseball people like NL manager Manuel perceive the game as anything more than an exhibition game to showcase the sport's most popular stars, the fans lose.
Unfortunately, Giants fans will have to wait until next year to boo Charlie Manuel (the Phillies played their lone series in San Francisco two months ago). It's OK. I can wait, just like Lincecum did last night.