When the Giants won the World Series in 2010 (it still feels weird typing that), I spent quite a bit of time writing about my history with the team. Now that they are back in the Series, I figure I should say something, but I don’t want to repeat myself.
The Giants came to San Francisco in 1958, just before I turned five years old. They were in the World Series in 1962, and weren’t eliminated until the last pitch of the seventh game. They didn’t get back to the World Series for 17 years. When they finally made it, in 1989, the Series was interrupted by a massive earthquake, and the Giants were swept in four games. They didn’t get back to the World Series for 13 more years. They led the series, 3 games to 2, and were 8 outs away from winning the Series at last in Game Six. They lost the series in 7 games.
And then, in 2010, they somehow won the World Series. Before the 2010 season, the Giants had played 52 seasons in San Francisco and had only been to 3 World Series, losing them all.
Yet now, they are in the World Series for the second time in three years. Youneverknow.
There’s no point in trying to describe the emotions of the past couple of weeks. It’s not the same as 2010. Oh, in both cases, I assumed from the start that the Giants will lose. But in 2010, the feeling was “oh no, not again”. In 2012, it’s more like “I really want them to win, but if they don’t, we’ll always have 2010”. Where this shows up is in a certain giddiness that I didn’t feel for one second in 2010. That year was a nightmare in so many ways. It was, as locals came to know it, the year of Torture. This season is summed up by Hunter Pence, who has been awful since he joined the team, but who has a gift for inspirational speeches. Even when he hits a homer, he looks awful doing it, and when he’s not hitting homers (which is most of the time with the Giants), he looks ludicrous. And yes, a part of me is frustrated. But another part of me finds Pence’s at bats funny, and the worse he does, the funnier they are. He’s a reminder of the days when the Giants sucked.
And, of course, he had a key double last night that cleared the bases, and in the box score you see 2B and 3 RBI, but it was the looniest, awfulest 3-run double in baseball history, as Pence, in the process of breaking his bat, managed to hit the ball three times, which made it squiggle kind of like a knuckleball, resulting in some poor defensive play by the Cards. That double was the 2012 Giants.
How will they do in the Series? Of course I expect them to lose, that’s part of being a Giants fan. I don’t think they’ll win any of the games Verlander pitches, which means they have to pretty much win all the rest, and that’s asking a lot. But if there’s one thing we know from the 2012 Giants, it’s that youneverknow.
One last note: I’ve got a better chance of making the Giants WS roster than does Melky Cabrera. But holy cow, that is stupid. Just to pick one player at not-so-random, Guillermo Mota has been on the post-season roster so far, and his place on the depth chart is “fourth-best right-handed relief pitcher”. That job is unnecessary. Add the irony that Cabrera is out so the Giants can play the We’re Moralists card, while Mota served a 100-game suspension this season (twice as long as Melky’s), and … well, I bet there will be at least one time in the World Series where the Giants would benefit more from having Cabrera on the roster than Mota, while there were never be a time when Mota’s presence is the reason they won a game. I don’t harbor any ill feelings towards Mota. It’s not his fault the Giants have done this to themselves.