Two unrelated items, both loosely Giants-related but of general baseball interest (I hope)....
1. The Giants start a series in Pittsburgh tonight; it will be the fourth consecutive series against a first place team (Dodgers, Reds, Nats, Pirates). I haven't heard anything about it, but that has to be a record, or close to it, no? It sounds like one of those things that Elias would produce and the broadcast team would use; I watched the last two games on MLB network, with the Nats feed, so perhaps I missed it.
There's no way it could have happened up through 1968, right? And it's hard to believe it could have happened in 1969-1993; it's possible, bouncing back and forth between the divisions, but still unlikely. It becomes plausible only with the three division format and interleague play. Playing consecutive series against teams from three different divisions isn't rare; the Giants have done it already quite a few times this year, and had a A's, Brewers, Fish, DBacks sequence that was four different divisions in addition to the A's, Bums, Reds, Nats sequence that they just finished. And as they showed through the current thing, you don't need to play against four different divisions to encounter four different first place teams. I'd still be more surprised if a team has ever done a streak of five than if it turns out this is the first streak of four.
2. Could the All Star Game voting break? It sure seems plausible. As you may know, it's been broken before, when Reds fans stuffed the ballot boxes in 1957. Unless I'm forgetting something (and I could be!), it hasn't happened in the modern era, but it clearly could. What would Bud Selig do if Crawford made the team? What would he do if some other team's fans wind up getting their entire starting lineup?
Now, I agree with those who say the fans have typically done a better job than what we get out of the players' vote since that began a few years ago -- in which "better" means more stars that I'd like to see. But I certainly wouldn't be surprised if that broke down in the future.Oh well; I guess I'll quit there, although I was thinking of making the case that the Panda is a legit alternative to David Wright as the starting 3B. But I'll skip that for now.