On paper San Francisco shouldn't have won the World Series, but the game isn't played on paper.
By YONATAN SREDNIPublished: NOVEMBER 2, 2010 22:44Advertisement
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 a dream.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 World Series.They rode the underdog label all the way to the title.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.None 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.
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