San Francisco Giants 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
I am certainly familiar with the well-worn idiom that “seeing is believing,” but
even after watching the San Francisco Giants win their first ever World Series
title this week, I still don’t believe what I saw.
Maybe I am sleep
deprived; after all I have spent the better part of the last three weeks rising
in the middle of the silent Israeli night to watch the playoff and World Series
games live on television or the internet.
In fact, maybe it truly is all
I mean, sure the Giants have outstanding young pitching and
played stellar defense all year, but they weren’t supposed to outscore slugging
teams like Philadelphia and Texas.
This Giants team averaged nearly six
runs a game in the World Series against the Rangers, when they came in normally
scoring barely half that many.
I won’t short-change the young studs in
the Giants' starting rotation: Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and most amazing of all
21-year-old rookie Madison Bumgarner, but even shutdown pitching and gold glove
defense won’t do it alone, you’ve got to put some runs on the board, and the
Giants did that – big time.
But the real story of these San Francisco
Giants is that they were not a team built on just one or two players. A new hero
emerged seemingly every game.
Could anyone have predicted that the
Florida Marlin’s late season cast-off Cody Ross would become the NLCS MVP? Would
anyone in their right mind have guessed that oftinjured, 35-year-old veteran
shortstop Edgar Renteria would hit two critical home runs (one of them in the
deciding game) to take home the World Series MVP trophy, becoming only the
fourth player all time to notch a second World Seriesclinching RBI (the other
three being Lou Gherig, Yogi Berra and Joe Dimaggio)? Maybe thirteen years ago
when he won it all with Florida, but in 2010? No way.
But that’s exactly
how this surprising juggernaut champion operated. They only clinched a playoff
spot on the final day of the regular season.
They mounted comeback wins
against Atlanta in the NLDS, surprised the two-time defending NL champion
Phillies in the NLCS, and thoroughly shut down the slugging Texas Rangers in the
They rode the underdog label all the way to the
Much ink has been spilled trying to explain how the 2010 Giants
team was vastly inferior to the past Giants World Series teams of 1962 (led by
Willie Mays & Willie McCovey), 1989 (Will Clark & Kevin Mitchell), and
2002 (Barry Bonds & Jeff Kent); alas, now the final word is out.
of those other teams ever won the World Series.
“Not bad for a bunch of
castoffs and misfits,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said with his tongue firmly
planted in cheek. His team came together and played solid baseball and that’s
why they won.
So, even though on paper the Giants shouldn’t have won, the
game is not played on paper, rather on the diamond, a few of which the 2010 San
Francisco Giants will be getting fitted for in the very near future.