SPORTS WATCH | Kudos to the Giants, but Let’s not Take it too Far
by Gus Jarvis
Nov 01, 2012 | 1171 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Well, that was about as lame as a World Series could be. Unless you are one of the growing number of smug Bay Area baseball fanatics or a fan of long forgotten, old-time New York baseball, this year’s World Series was just lame.

I will go ahead and admit that the San Francisco Giants pulled off a feat that is pretty damn remarkable and yes, they deserve to be World Series champions again but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

For most of the regular season, the Giants were similar to the New York Football Giants in that they weren’t exactly the best team – shaky at times – but when it came down to playing well under the pressure of the postseason, they found a way to win a championship. 

It wasn’t exactly a pretty road to the World Series for the Giants but it was undoubtedly a glorious one. In the National League Division Series, the Giants faced a possible sweep by the Cincinnati Reds but somehow dodged elimination by winning three games in a row.

Then, after the Giants trailed the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in the National League Championship Series they roared back to win that series and then swept the Tigers in the World Series. In the postseason, San Fran won a total of six elimination games – talk about exciting baseball. The Giants’ road to the World Series was better than the World Series itself.

By winning their second World Series in three years, people are starting to throw the “dynasty” word around like they were the Dallas Cowboys of the early 90s. I know ESPN was doing it because it makes a good headline. But really? A Giants dynasty? Lets not go that far yet. I’m not exactly sure what the definition of a dynasty is these days in sports, but winning two World Series in three years does quite do that. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I hate the Cowboys and I am more willing to call their three Super Bowl championships in the early 90s a dynasty. (I know, I know winning two World Series titles in three years is really unheard of. Over the past 90 years, only three other National League teams have done it. Still, lets not call it a dynasty. It sounds stupid and smug.)

I am willing, however, despite how painful it is, to call the Giants’ postseason pretty damn special. It is one for the record books. While the World Series sucked, the Giants run to the Fall Classic was historic.

The Giants join the 1985 Kansas City Royals as the only two teams to win six elimination games on the way to the World Series. The Giants were the first National League team to sweep a World Series after winning three straight elimination games. The only American League team to do so was the 2007 Boston Red Sox. (More on this later.)

And, of course, ESPN.com reminds us that sweeps in the World Series by National League teams are also historic. Over the past 90 years only four National League teams have done it including the 1954 Giants, 1963 Dodgers, 1976 Reds, and the 1990 Reds.

OK, so all of this will add up in the history books proving that the Giants 2012 World Series run was as good as it gets. Truly historic.

But the thing that sticks in my mind after this lousy World Series is that while one team found some fire and a will to stay alive, the other team wilted while waiting for the series to start. Truth be told, the Detroit Tigers were as cold as ice when the World Series began after they handily swept the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Meanwhile the Giants were riding an adrenaline high from their near death time and time and time again, and at that point nothing could stop them.

I know exactly the feeling Tigers fans are feeling right now. Their team had what it takes to win a World Series – on paper, they were the dominant team – but it all went cold in the mid-October shade as they waited on the Giants.

Back in 2007, the Colorado Rockies had an even more memorable run to the World Series when they won 21 of 22 games going into the playoffs and then swept their way to a National League Pennant. While the Red Sox clawed their way through their playoffs, the Rockies’ bats went cold and just like that, they were swept by the Red Sox in the World Series. The Rockies went from the hottest team in baseball to the coldest team in baseball. I could hardly believe it. Here you are, on the biggest stage in baseball your team can’t buy a run. I don’t know how you coach against the phenomenon, but boy, somebody should try to figure it out and figure it out fast.

In the end, the Tigers hit .159 as a team in the World Series and scored a total of six runs – the third lowest output by an American League team in World Series history, according to ESPN.

I went into this World Series hoping for two things. One, that it would go seven games, and it would be exciting as hell. There’s nothing better than great baseball in late October, early November. Two, I wanted anyone but the Giants to win. Neither happened. I’ll do my best to delete this World Series from my memory.

I’ve had people tell me that I should be proud of the Giants because they are representing the National League West and that somehow I should be proud they are representing that division so well. For some reason, that just doesn’t work for me.

Being proud of the Giants is like being proud of the Raiders after they win a Super Bowl just because they are in the same division as the Broncos. That makes me want to puke and so does this notion that the Giants are now a dynasty.

Kudos go to the Giants, but let’s not take it too far.

 

Gjarvis@watchnewspapers.com

Twitter: @gusgusj

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