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The Inalienable Right To Host The All-Star Game

Pablo Sandoval circles the bases after homering, blithely unaware of the controversy to come.

Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Our long national nightmare is not over, not by a damn sight, but one much smaller and more localized shared nightmare did end this week. Drew, who very selfishly and honestly to be frank very disgracefully went on vacation with his delightful family last week, returned from the beach, tan as a roasted almond and fired all the way up. This was not great timing on his part, because this week in sports was mostly pretty stupid and dangerous and disappointing and confounding, but also the odds are broadly against him in that regard. There was at least something to talk about.

Mostly, after a week trying on the host role, I was once again able to just sit back and relax as Our Big Guy guided us through a conversation about the sweaty forced umbrage regarding Major League Baseball pulling its All-Star Game from Atlanta, and his rowdy wayward son Sam Darnold getting traded, and also about what he did on his vacation. This time around, all I had to do was listen and react, baby. Push the play button, and that same experience can be yours!

If the balance between sports and non-sports in this one is a bit tilted towards the latter, it's mostly because that mixture is currently tilted in that direction within sports themselves. There is no way to talk about MLB moving its All-Star Game without talking about why they did it, and why people are sincerely or insincerely upset about it, and what everyone involved hoped to get out of it, without talking about the broader political context; the decision does not exist in any meaningful way outside of all that. So we did that. The Darnold discourse was notably less politicized, but somehow not much less depressing.

The decision to do what was mostly a two-hander this week was partially a selfish one. The fun of this podcast, at least for us, is largely that we enjoy talking to each other. Even as we begin to make our way back into the world—Drew's far enough along on his Personal Vaccination Journey that he's graduated to eating indoors, whereas mine is new enough that I still have a sore left arm and moderately foggy brain—this is still one of the most prolonged and enriching experiences of speaking out loud to another human being that I have each week. It's for work, I guess, but it's also something that has a strange sort of therapeutic value for me. So I was glad to hear the guy honking about the delightful key lime pie he got at Publix, is what I'm saying.

We were joined for the back third of the show by Defector Accomplice raffle winner Thang Pham, who braved the Funbag and the usual party-game portion of the program, and that was nice, too. Given that Thang was calling in from Australia, at nearly 2 a.m., we have no choice but to salute his hardiness and his dedication to supporting goofy websites and podcasts that ask him unanswerable questions about partying with the '86 Mets. I am grateful to Thang in particular, but also to the fact that there are somehow many people out there with similarly questionable judgment.

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