Mitch Williams also made another statement in almost the same breath, “the best team didn’t win, but the team who played the best won”. Really? I thought it was a ridiculous statement, but chalked it up to the obvious media bias against the Giants throughout the entire playoffs. It’s only logical the best team wins. How else can you measure who the best team is? So imagine my surprise as I’m watching a rerun of the post game interviews after Game 5 of the World Series, and Brian Sabean, General Manager of the Giants, says, “The best team may not have won, but the team that played the best won.” Wow! Where did that come from? Who’s side is he on anyhow? Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m now totally convinced the “best team” is whatever team you want it to be on any given day. It’s all in the perspective folks. It’s
in the perspective of the media, players, fans, relatives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and on and on. On any given day during the 2010 season any one of the teams could have been called the best team in major league baseball ~ on that one particular day. And depending on the form of media you’re paying attention to, a bias is going to come through. And that bias is more than likely going to slant your thinking in whatever direction they plant the seeds to go.
I didn’t really want to get into this right now because I’d like to write an entire blog on “awards” later, but take, for example, the Manager of Year Award in 2010. Since the year for baseball ends after the regular season, and doesn’t include postseason, I guess you could give an argument that the San Diego Padres coach is a viable candidate. I mean, his team held first place for most of the season, not by much, but still. But what about the Colorado Rockies coach who scraped and scrapped til the very end and almost pulled it off. Wow! That was some coaching job. But to me the ultimate coaching job, scratching and clawing for every win, right up to the very last game of the season, has to be Bruce Bochy. I didn’t agree with half of his managing decisions, but, hey, what do I know? In the end he almost always made the right decision. This was particularly evident when dealing with his pitching staff. Who knew? He moved the bullpen around with such regularity you didn’t know from one pitch to the next who’d be on the mound. But it worked. So I’m not quite sure about the “best manager” criteria, but on appearance, it’s possible some of these awards might be a little more about popularity and politics than actual performance. So be it. Not so, about an entire team.
Take a look at a headline on the front page of the local paper this week. “IN THE HUNT. NINERS A GAME OUT OF FIRST PLACE.” The ridiculousness of this headline is the Niners are actually in the cellar, last place, Won 3 Lost 7! But leave it to the good old NFC West – the reporter’s right! There are four teams in the NFC West, and Seattle and St Louis are tied for 1st and Arizona and SF are tied for last. Good Grief! You think the writer might just be a little biased towards the Niners? You think?
So for what it’s worth, in my humble opinion, here’s the bottom line. The best team always wins! Always! Maybe not yesterday and maybe not tomorrow ….. but today, on that particular field, with those particular teams, umpires, weather, and a hundred other ridiculous criteria, the best team wins! Like they did in the 2010 World Series. Put it in the books fellas!
- Credit Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy for San Francisco Giants’ Success (bleacherreport.com)
- DIY Network And MLB Network Team Up For One-Hour Special “Yard War: Baseball” (tvbythenumbers.com)
- Giants Came Through for Bochy in a Must-Win (nytimes.com)
- SF Giants: Win as a team, party as a team (sfgate.com)
- Giants win stirs hope for baseball longshots (canada.com)
- Pennant without stars or pinstripes (nypost.com)