- Friday, November 5, 2010 10:50 AM
- Written By: Larry Yee
We were supposedly underdogs, written off by all but the Giants’ faithful through that tough August stretch. ESPN’s Rob Neyer liked to remind everybody how unlikely it was, not just that we were there, but we were winning.
The Braves had the better rookie, you know, the guy who ended up going 2 for 16 in the NLDS. They had the well-tested stalwart of many playoff teams, Derek Lowe. They had the hottest pitcher in the second half, Tim Hudson, though if you listened to ESPN, anybody besides one of the three Giants’ aces was hot in the second half. But they couldn’t field and the experts said we “Brooks Conrad-ed” our way into the Championship Series.
The Phillies had Vegas behind them, as well as the best trio of pitchers in the National League. We beat each one of them, making Halladay look particularly human after his no-hitter. They had more run-producers than Japan has car-manufacturers. Howard, Utley and Werth were going to crush the ball like Redskull supposedly could crush Captain America. But they couldn’t hit and the experts said the Phillies were just cold at the wrong time.
Then the Rangers came along and they had fact behind them. The American League was stronger, they beat the Rays and the Yankees, and so what were the measly, lightweight Giants going to do? The likely AL MVP had caught fire and Nelson Cruz was on his way to setting postseason hitting records in the middle of the powerful Texas lineup. But they couldn’t hit either.
Tim McCarver said during Game 5 of the World Series, “This may sound simplistic, but the Rangers aren’t hitting because the Giants are pitching well.”
It’s us, not them. The Phillies weren’t cold, we just pitched better. The Rangers weren’t cold, we just pitched better. The experts, well, the experts finally said the Giants were clicking and deserved it.
To me, the Giants run through the playoffs to their first trophy on the West Coast was about respect. We didn’t have any coming into October. The Padres had handed us the division and we were a likely sweep from the Phillies away to heading back home and enjoying the view from our barcaloungers. But we won. And we kept on winning. And along the way, we picked up more and more support and respect (as well as several million bandwagoners) on our way to the World Series.
Tim Lincecum, the ace of the Giants’ staff was the reigning two-time Cy Young award winner, but Lowe was playoff-tested and wily, and Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee were machines that had no match. A funny thing happened. People seemed to forget that Tim Lincecum was good, writing him off and taking the other guy almost unanimously. Timmy beat each one of these guys. That in itself, sums up this whole experience. We were forgotten or unknown. Just ask Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, or Cody Ross or any of those other misfits. But we sure as hell won’t be forgotten anytime soon. And people better start learning our names.
The San Francisco Giants have won the World Series.
A blogger by the name of “Grant” on McCovey Chronicles, a San Francisco Giants blog, suggested writing that very sentence a few times. He said it would feel good.
He lied. It doesn’t feel all that good.
It feels great.
It feels surprising.
It feels frickin’ awesome.
Having followed the Giants since second grade, I only can claim ownership of this team for 13 years. I’ve only listened to Kruk and Kuip just over a decade. I’ve only known the teams of the late 90s and the 00s. My heroes are Bonds, Schmidt, Nen and Snow. My heroes are Timmy, Matty, Bum and Posey. So, no, I can’t say I’ve been as title deprived as the oldies that have followed the San Francisco Giants since their very first parade down Market Street. I might not have had to deal with the torture of the 50s and 1989, but I was there for 2002. But, I can still say, with evidence, (I ran around the block of my apartment, then carried a Giants flag through Safeway) that I was more than happy when the Giants won.
I had a choice Wednesday morning. I had one class to attend that day, a two-hour lecture. My other option was to ditch the class and go into the city I grew up in, the city I called home, and join the celebration along Market Street. A minute after the party in front of city hall ended, I realized I had made the right decision. I hadn’t been there for the first parade, but I can now say I’ve been to the other parade, the championship parade.