It's hard to believe I have not written a blog entry since the NLCS but as you can imagine, I've been a little, uh, busy.
The Giants pulled a fast one on everybody and went ahead and did the unthinkable. They did not fuck up. They exceeded expectations. And they won the whole goddamn thing.
San Francisco has reverted to the hippie days of free love. You couldn't start a fight right now if you went up and kicked somebody in the junk. Everyone is soaking in the victory of these 2010 misfit castoff CHAMPIONS. And love is in the air.
While some are writing this 2010 squad has exorcised demons of past failures, I say they simply have helped the catharsis of the fans and the city. The memories of '62, '87, '89, '93, '97, '00, '01, '02, '03, and '04 will always linger. McCovey and Mays still never won a ring in SF. Will the Thrill and Matt Williams and Kevin Mitchell never got that final champagne shower. And Bonds, Kent, Snow, Aurilia, Woody, and Nen were never the last ones galavanting around the mound.
But you know what? This was pretty special. No doubt those past teams might have been better on paper than this squad. Well, at least on the offensive side. I really think the core of this team, the pitching, will have them contending for the next 3-4 years until Lincecum and Cain get to free agency when the team will be forced to choose one or the other. But the starting pitching, not even mentioning their astute closer and relatively reliable set-up group, might be the best in SF franchise history. So sure, the previous pennant winning or playoff calibre teams might have seemed better on paper at a glance but really, none of those staffs could compare with what the Giants trotted out there every 4th game this October.
Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and Bumgarner.
And that is inevitably what won the championship. The line-up hit just enough. But it was the pitching that got them TO the playoffs and it's what got them the championship Giants fans and San Francisco have been thirsting for since 1958. It even satisfied some long time New York Giants fans.
Which is what also makes this championship so special. This team helped TWO cities celebrate. Lifelong Giants fans in New York who never forgot their allegiance to their original New York team, never adopted the other New York baseball teams, and who hadn't experienced a win since 1954. And San Francisco which hadn't experienced a championship of any kind since 1994 when the Niners last won the Lombardi and who had never got the euphoric feel of winning baseball's last game.
When I think of this improbable World Series title for the local nine, the word special keeps coming up. How cool is it that, despite never winning a ring here as members of the 25 man roster, ex-players got to celebrate and witness that epic SF ticker tape parade? I'm of course talking about the legends in particular and specifically Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. Two Giants, nay, BASEBALL icons who are regulars at the yard and for whom this Title was shared. And of course it doesn't end with them. Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Felipe Alou, Will Clark, JT Snow, and yes, even Barry Bonds. All of these guys have been soaking up the Giants run through October and have celebrated like they were part of this team. And in a lot of ways, they were and are.
But back to the actual guys. The 25 guys that made this happen. For a team of misfits and castoffs, this city fell head over heels for them. That is odd, even for a World Series winning team, when half the roster is of guys who haven't played for the team for more than a season or two.
Yes, there is a core that should be here for the next several seasons: Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Wilson, and Posey (and, we hope, a rejuvenated, reinvigorated, 2009ish Panda).
But then there's a lot of guys that were new to the jersey. Guys the city has embraced like they came up through our own farm system even though their service time had been less than 2 seasons. Guys like: Pat Burrell, Juan Uribe, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, and of course, Cody Ross (then again, any time you have clutch hit after clutch hit in the playoffs, you're bound to earn some new fans).
And even the guys who fans had turned on got to feel the love during the playoff run. Rowand and Renteria specifically.
And that is what made this 2010 team so unique and so loved. They came together as a team despite from coming from all over, strangers who became friends who became family, and they combined to go 11-4 in the second season to capture the city a Title and the hearts of its inhabitants.
It has been an amazing ride. Torture and all.
*NOTE: With the season now over, stay tuned for rumors. I will post most valid trade and free agency rumors along with my thoughts. Even though this glorious 2010 season is over, SFGiantsGuy never rests! If you want your Giants news, keep checking in!