Potent quotables: Lincecum wants starting nod

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It would mean a lot — the hard
work paid off. If I do happen to start, it will make up for the fact I
didn’t even make it to the field last year.”

– Tim Lincecum, who missed last year’s All-Star game due to illness, would love to start for the National League this year.
He extended his career-best scoreless streak to 23 innings in a 9-0 win
over the Astros on Saturday. The All-Star rosters will be announced
today at 1 p.m. ET.

“Johnny and I have a great
relationship. I’m glad he called and apologized. I’ve always respected
his opinion. But he’s not in here on a day-to-day basis, so he can’t
really know what’s going on.

– David Wright acknowledges John Franco’s apology. The former Mets closer questioned Wright’s leadership in an interview with Sirius XM last week.

“Give the young man a chance. I know
he’s struggled, but let’s give him a chance. He’s done it in the past,
and there’s no reason he can’t get it done now. Let’s not look at this
every at-bat, every game. Let’s sit back and watch this and see what
happens.”

– Lou Pinella has some supportive words for Alfonso Soriano.
Moved to sixth in the batting order, Soriano is hitless over his last
four games to drop his batting average to a season-low .223.

“We just want him right when he comes
back. As long as he feels good, that’s all that matters. It’s hard to
predict. We just gotta wait and see how he’s doing. If that means a
couple of extra days, it’s another couple of days.”

– Ron Washington comments on Josh Hamilton’s rehab.
He is 2-for-20 in a four-game rehab stint and could join the Rangers
this week. The slugger underwent successful surgery on a torn abdominal
muscle on June 9.

“You hate to put labels on guys, but he has a chance to be someone very special.”

– David Eckstein thinks rookie shortstop Everth Cabrera has the goods.
The 22-year-old was 2-for-3 with three RBI, including a go-ahead RBI
single, in a 7-4 win over the Dodgers on Saturday. Cabrera is batting
.306 with eight RBI, four stolen bases and 14 runs scored in his first
62 major-league at bats. He was a Rule 5 selection from the Rockies
organization in December.

Madison Bumgarner began his rehab assignment yesterday

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Giants ace Madison Bumgarner tossed three no-hit innings yesterday in his first minor league rehab start with the Giants’ Arizona Rookie League team. He struck out two and walked a guy, while sitting in the 88-91 m.p.h. range on his fastball.

Bumgarner, who is coming back from a sprained left AC joint in his shoulder suffered in a dirt bike accident in April, will return to San Francisco to throw a bullpen session and then go back on the road for more rehab games. That’s a lot of traveling, but the Giants obviously want to monitor his progress. At the moment he’s expected to build up his strength for the next several weeks and, hopefully, return to the Giants’ rotation some time after the All-Star break.

Of course, there shouldn’t be too much of a rush. The Giants have lost five in a row and 12 of 13 and currently sit in last place, 24.5 games behind the Dodgers. At this point Bumgarner rushing to rejoin the Giants is like an Australian soldier getting a wound dressed to hurry back to the Gallipoli Campaign.

Is it really that weird that Cody Bellinger does not know who Jerry Seinfeld is?

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Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been tearing through the league so far this season, blazing a 50-home run pace despite not even making his debut until April 25. His Dodgers are winners of 10 games in a row, sit in first place and have the best record in the National League.

But not everything is rosy in Cody Bellinger land. He’s now at the center of controversy after he revealed on SportsCenter on Friday night that he doesn’t know who Jerry Seinfeld is. Or, at the very least, that he could not put a face with that familiar-sounding name and that in no event did he know why he was famous.

People have been going crazy with this, acting as if he’s from Mars or something for not knowing who starred in one of history’s most popular and influential sitcoms. His teammates, especially, have been getting on his case:

I dunno. On the one hand, sure, the show was amazingly popular and has been in heavy syndication for like 20 years so it would be hard to miss even for a young guy like Bellinger. And, of course, the catchphrases and bits of the show that has seeped into the popular culture have given it a longer shelf life than most TV shows ever manage.

On the other hand the thing ended when he was not yet three years old. For him, “Seinfeld” was like “The Beverly Hillbillies” for someone my age or “M*A*S*H” for someone born in the early 80s. Those shows were just as popular — actually, they got higher ratings and were seen by a larger percentage of the population than “Seinfeld” ever was — and they were just as heavily syndicated for the decade or two after they went off the air. We don’t get on the case of players born in the 70s or 80s for not knowing who Alan Alda or Buddy Ebsen are. And if it’s about the catchphrases, substitute in “Happy Days” and “Welcome Back Kotter,” each of which created a cultural footprint larger than the show itself. Would we freak out if we found out that Jayson Werth — born in 1979 — had never heard the phrase “Up your nose with a rubber hose” or “Sit on it?”

And that’s before you acknowledge how much more fragmented pop culture and entertainment is now. I was 12 in 1985 and back then I had little choice but to watch “M*A*S*H” reruns at 7pm while I was waiting for prime time. It was either that or “Wheel of Fortune” I guess. As a 12-year old in 2007, Bellinger could’ve easily avoided “Seinfeld” reruns. He could’ve avoided TV altogether and just been online. My son is 12 now and he hasn’t watched an actual TV show in years. It’s all You Tube and stuff. The idea that there is any one thing or even a handful of things that, culturally speaking, we can all agree upon or which can serve as a common touchstone is an increasingly obsolete idea.

Maybe “Seinfeld” is different. Maybe this is not the same as not knowing “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “M*A*S*H”. I floated this whole idea on Twitter yesterday and people were outraged, so perhaps something else is going on here that I’m missing. But personally speaking, I feel like we should all calm down a bit about Cody Bellinger and the “Seinfeld” thing. Maybe we should acknowledge that the stuff we like is not going to be culturally prevalent forever. And that young kids like Cody Bellinger are going to be the ones to inform us of this inescapable fact.