Geez Louise, so much has happened in the last few months that there's no possible way to summarize what has occurred in one backward-looking blog, but suffice it to say that it was a dazzling experience, and our ears are still ringing with the glorious cheers and chants of our fellow man. We here at The Pitch & The Diamond were lucky enough to attend a few playoff games at AT&T Park, and they were fantastic, as I'm sure you can imagine. So much history transpired in the 2012 season that the list of memorable and indelible moments is quite lengthy, but here goes: Matt Cain's Perfect Game; Angel Pagan breaking the franchise record for Triples; Melky Cabrera dominating and leading the league, then getting busted for juicing, and the Giants' subsequent galvanization as a team and winning run of 30-15 after his suspension; the acquisition of Marco Scutaro who went on to lead the Giants on and off the field; sweeping the Dodgers in a three-game series with three consecutive shutouts, which had never been done before; winning the NL West over the Dodgers; going down 0-2 vs. the Reds in the NLDS and coming back to win three elimination games in a row to advance to the National League Championship Series; The Reverend Hunter Pence's motivational speeches and the "Rally Throng"; going down 1-3 vs. the Cardinals and winning three MORE elimination games in a row to win the NLCS and clinch the National League Title; defeating Justin Verlander and the Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series on the back of Sandoval's three home-run game; and of course, sweeping the Tigers in four games to win it all. And then, today, there was a Parade down Market street, which we attended and enjoyed immensely (after waking up at 5:30am to get a good spot on the parade route). We know we missed a memorable moment or two there, but wow. Whatta season. Let's do it again next year! And also, Brandon Crawford, you are our hero. LET'S GO GIANTS!!
Also, just a thought: It's pretty incredible that in roughly six years the Giants have gone from a perpetual 'also ran' to one of the best teams in the league, if not the absolute best. A big, big part of that is management: eight years ago, Brian Sabean, the GM, set out to build a team around pitching and defense, in due deference to AT&T Park. He actively moved away from the "Big Slugger" model we followed in the Barry Bonds era, and starting drafting pitchers like Cain, Lincecum, & Bumgarner as well as drafting or acquiring solid defensive players that can hit for average and get on base (Posey, Crawford, Belt, and pretty much every other Giant on the 2012 roster). Less than a decade later, voilá! Two Championships in three years. Amazing. Indeed, we Brazillionaires managed to go to a couple of playoff games, and we had a blast, but the Giants never would have given us the opportunity had Sabean not engineered the aforementioned paradigm shift... We here at The Pitch & The Diamond watched many of the 2012 playoff games at Danny Coyles, a pub in the Lower Haight here in SF, and it was quite the scene. Loud as hell (mostly because of us, haha) with a super positive energy, and everyone in the bar was totally, completely into it. Cheering every pitch, every play, every throw. SO fun. And when we won? Total delirium! Pandamonium! Yelling, screaming, liquids flying through the air, hugging total strangers, jumping up and down like little kids... sports ecstasy! So awesome. I have a feeling we'll be doing this again once or twice in the next couple of years, too. And it's all because of Brian Sabean.
Oh, and here's a couple of quick jokes for you true Giants fans out there:
Q: How do you spell "Cody Ross" in Spanish?
A: M-a-r-c-o S-c-u-t-a-r-o!
Q: What's the difference between a "Giant Dog" and a "Dodger Dog"?
A: You can't get a "Dodger Dog" in October!
Q: How do you spell "Dynasty"?
A: B-u-s-t-e-r P-o-s-e-y!