It's been a while since we went with the grab-bag approach, so in an effort to stave off atrophy of that muscle, let's dig right in.
-- What was more acute: the pain of seeing the Giants offense muted once again Wednesday night, or the joy of hearing that Brian Wilson peed down his leg for the Dodgers and kept the Giants in first place? If your answer is the former, you're taking this all too seriously. At least at this point in the season.
-- Taking nothing whatsoever away from U.S. goalie Tim Howard, who was nothing short of phenomenal in the World Cup loss to Belgium on Tuesday. But it has to be pointed out that quite a few of his record 16 "saves" weren't really saves in the true sense of the word. The goalie should have to, like, move to get credit for a save.
-- That said, good lord was Howard a stud in that game. The stops he made that absolutely were legitimate "saves" were so spectacular that it's no stretch to imagine more than a few kids previously oblivious to soccer's inherent excitement to take it all in and think, "I'd like to try that."
-- Last soccer item: Don't be that guy. Or that girl. Don't tune out because the U.S. is out. You didn't stick with it through the U.S. run out of patriotism alone. You got sucked in by the game itself, and the game itself gets better form this point forward in the Cup.
-- If Shaun Livingston stays healthy for the Warriors, Bob Myers will have another Carl Landry/Jarret Jack pickup on his ledger. Myers does under-the-radar very, very well, and Livingston fills a number of Golden State needs -- if it's a stand-alone thing. If it's a precursor to the Kevin Love deal getting done, and Klay Thompson is part of that deal, Livingston won't be under the radar. He'll be under the gun. And so will Myers.
-- LeBron James to the Warriors? Yeah, right after the Giants give up San Jose to the A's.
-- Speaking of the A's, does anyone really think that lease extension is going to play out the way it's been drawn up? Given the level of acrimony associated with getting it "finalized," you just know someone's going to cry foul in a few weeks or months and challenge its veracity in court. And Al Davis will be having a good laugh somewhere, his legal legacy shining bright.
-- No charges for Aldon Smith in the bomb-threat thing, but from this angle there's still a bomb ticking. Its name is Aldon Smith.
-- I lied about the soccer items being done. Sorry. But if anyone thinks MLS is going to get anything more than a cursory, temporary bump in the wake of the World Cup, they haven't considered this: Chris Wondolowski is a recent MLS Player of the Year, one of the league's top scorers and talents. And he hardly got any run in the World Cup; when he did, he gagged away a shot at the quarterfinals. The real American talent is in men such as Howard, who makes his living overseas. Watching an MLS game after the World Cup winds down is going to feel like watching Edie Brickell after Janis Joplin leaves the stage.
Mychael Urban, a longtime Bay Area-based sportswriter and broadcaster, is the host of "Inside the Bigs," which airs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on KGMZ "The Game" (95.7 FM).