This has been the summer of my baseball discontent. We’ll get into the reasons for that in a moment. Despite that, I still sat down for my annual viewing of the MLB All Star Game last night. Granted, because of errands, watering the grass, and kids controlling the TV, I wasn’t able to tune in until the 4th inning. Which seemed appropriate for this season. Hey, at least I turned it on!

I never got going with baseball this year. The season began with the Royals alternately getting crushed and rained out over the first week. Also, there was a sporting event in San Antonio that week that occupied much of my attention.

Soon came spring break prep and spring break itself. After our return, spring sports. Next looking at houses and getting ready to move. A few times in April and May I would try to turn on a Royals game, only to be thwarted by our endless network issues we were experiencing at the old house.

The team was shitty, I was busy, and the feed locked up constantly. It was easier to do other things where I had watched the Royals every night for the past five or six years.

If the Royals were just bad I may have tried harder to build the habit back up. But, man, they’ve been terrible. I figured there would be bad stretches this year but I’m still waiting for the first good stretch. There’s almost a majesty to how bad they’ve been. And it will likely get worse as the team tries to move a few pieces over the next couple weeks and begins calling up more guys who have no business playing in the major leagues.

So rather than devote too much time to the big league club, I’ve been following the experts on Twitter and paying attention to blurbs in other sources about the next crop of prospects. As I followed Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Yordano Ventura a decade ago, now I’m tracking Nicky Lopez, Nick Pratto, Khalil Lee, and Seuly Matias.

I don’t have a ton of confidence that Dayton Moore is going to get much back for Moustakas or any other players he decides to trade this month. But I’m hopeful that this year’s draft was solid and next year’s very high pick will result in the next future superstar for the organization. And hopefully it won’t be another 25-year wait for them to be in a pennant race again.

Once I turned on the game, it eventually got pretty fun. At least if you like home runs in dramatic situations.

Otherwise I was, as usual, annoyed with Fox mic-ing up players every inning. I was annoyed with commercials for football. And I became annoyed with Joe Buck’s endless slobbering over all the “good guys” in the game. At first I kind of chuckled, because who doesn’t love Jose Altuve? But a few innings later Buck had labeled at least three other guys as “as good a guy as you will find in the game.” Everyone he labeled may, indeed, be a great guy. But it felt forced and pushed upon Buck from above rather than organic.

I was also a bit put off by the endless pushing of connections between the game and the military. Listen, honoring the troops is awesome and anyone who serves deserves respect and recognition. But it seemed like every five minutes here came another forced military tie-in to the game.

That combined with Buck’s identification of all the good guys in the game seemed like a concerted effort to say “Hey, we’re not the NFL!” Which, as much as I’ve grown to dislike the NFL, feels unnecessary.

I could expound further on this topic, but I think Drew Magary wrote way better than I can about it just last week in his weekly politics column for GQ. I recommend checking it out.

Patriotic Correctness Will Doom Us All