Whodathunk it? I had almost as much fun watching the sports pundits after the game than watching the game itself. Well, almost. The Giants had no chance, nada, zilch, zero, of beating Cliff Lee in game one of this World Series. None! I mean, after all, Cliff Lee had never lost a playoff game. Won 10, Loss 0! Whew, who wants to go up against those odds? I almost believed it myself. So after the game, when the pundits came slithering out from under the rocks, it was just a lot of fun to listen to their enlightened jibberish. I believe it’s called “eating crow”? As Joe buck said in his post-game commentary, “Don’t listen to us folks. We don’t know anything!”
The thing that puzzles me about the Giants getting absolutely no respect before the game, and still now, even after the game, is the way they made it to the World Series in the first place. This is a team of self-proclaimed misfits and oddballs, picked up from the trash heaps of other teams, a couple of rookies, and one helluva pitching staff. In August, this team was 6 1/2 games behind in the NL West, but they scratched and clawed and fought off not only the San Diego Padres, but also a very good Colorado Rockies team to prevail. They willed their way to the NL West Championship. They were the underdog as they advanced to the NLDS against Atlanta, under the leadership of Bobby Cox, destined to extend his career a few more games. But, once again, against the odds, the Giants won the National League Division Series against Atlanta!
So now the pundits had a ball! I mean now the Giants had to face the Philadelphia Phillies, defending National League Champions, two years in a row, and World Series Champions only a year ago! Their ace, Roy Halladay, as good as it gets, pitched a “no hitter” against the Cincinnati Reds, enroute to the NLDS this year, and the Reds were no pansies. To solidify the belief, earlier in the year Halladay had thrown a perfect game! And it wasn’t just Halladay, they also had to face Roy Oswalt, a fastball pitcher who the Phillies acquired from Houston specifically for this reason, to dominate in the playoffs. Again, Phillies fans lost a lot of money through their bookies over this series. Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies and won the National League Pennant in 6.
So what’s it going to take? Headlines all over the country projected the Texas Rangers to win the World Series. Everywhere except in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even the Los Angeles papers ….. (whoops forget it, that’s Dodger country, doesn’t count! i.e., LA Times article today by “Bill Shaikin ~ San Francisco takes advantage of a less-than-sharp effort by the highly regarded left-hander on a night when Tim Lincecum is not exactly crisp.”) Cracks me up, but you know what? He’s right! And that’s baseball folks! And you know what else? The SF Giants may NOT win the World Series. But if they do, it will be because they WILLED it, and not because of anything the Rangers and pundits have to say. Baseball, don’t you just love it?
- “Texas Rangers – San Francisco Giants in World Series” and related posts (oddjack.com)
- 2010 World Series: The Giants Offense, Cliff Lee, and Other Game 1 Highlights (bleacherreport.com)
- Giants out to exploit Rangers’ boldness (mlb.mlb.com)
- World Series Game 1: Why Offense Ruled and Pitching Drooled (bleacherreport.com)
- Giants defy odds to take early Series lead (guardian.co.uk)