The San Francisco Giants are The World Champions!
Because, apparently, I can hurt my team's chances by writing a blog post (or by wearing or not wearing clothing I've deemed lucky or unlucky, etc.).
That doesn't matter now - the pain of 2002 is now just a memory, and the joy of watching THIS TEAM ride this out, play together and utterly DOMINATE in the World Series is ... it's incredible. Never had the chance to experience this in baseball, and it's been years since I really experienced it in football.
But in fact, that's what makes this doubly special - of all the Giants teams I've rooted for, the fact that this team was the one that broke through is amazing because I expected it the least.
The Giants didn't just win this one - they flat out dominated the Series, outscoring the Rangers 29-12, and absolutely shutting down feared sluggers Josh Hamilton, Vladmir Guerrero, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler, among, well ... the whole frickin team. If you were going to do a position-by-position fantasy draft of each team's offense, the ONLY Giant that makes that final roster is Buster Posey. And they outscored that offense by more than three runs a game.
Their offense was so strong that their crazy closer Brian Wilson was really only needed tonight (he pitched in two other games, but not in save situations). "FEAR THE BEARD" was clearly a storyline of the post-season, but this "ragtag bunch of misfits" on offense made him secondary. (Though he controlled the post-season, is just weird in the best way and a major part of the way I'm sure I'll remember this title run.)
And right now? This moment?
THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ARE THE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!
A few more photos I appropriated from across that world wide web:
MVP Edgar Renteria -- and seriously, who would have called that? Three DL stints during the season, and really only in the Series at all because of how awful Pablo Sandoval played. Fate's tricky - Renteria's three-run HR off Cliff Lee was all the offense the team would need to clinch the World Series title, and his Game 2 HR off C.J. Wilson helped begin the offensive explosion of that win. Crazy game, baseball.
I love this. Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner - two rookies and future stars - celebrating a World Series win in their first season. Amazing.
One nice thing about the Fox coverage was showing each position players reaction at the clinching out. This was a great one - so hard not to like Cody Ross.
Tim Lincecum could have been named MVP, and flat out confused the Rangers, continuing the incredible shutdown pitching performance of the entire Giants squad. Two Cy Youngs, a great post-season performance ... the world is Timmy's, we just live in it.
Two huge parts of the playoff run and World Series victory (so nice writing that), Cody Ross and Matt Cain each take their turn with the trophy. The rest of the country found out about Cain this post-season, and Ross -- the NLCS MVP -- hit in ten straight post-season games and will certainly be the right fielder next year. And with Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner and Jonathan Sanchez (the ancient of the four at age 27) all signed through 2013, this pitching staff could continue to dominate for years.
Yes, that's Will Clark - in uniform (pants), no less - celebrating with the trophy. A Special Assistant (or whatever his title is) to the Giants, The Thrill was asked in a post-game interview whether he minded celebrating this for the first time while not as a player - and he laughed, said, "Heck, no!" and held up his beer that he was drinking out of a Gatorade cup. Love The Nuschler.
Maybe my favorite photo I've seen yet - so happy for Aubrey Huff, a gigantic part of this season and someone who came up huge in the first playoff series of his 11-year career. Posey got his ring in his first season. We call a photo like this a "nice juxtaposition."
I'll undoubtedly write more later - but this has been an amazing ride with a crazy, fun team, managed deftly by Bruce Bochy, who I'm also thrilled gets his ring. This is a team whose core strength is a dominant pitching staff - and they're all young and locked up on the team.
World Series Champions. It feels pretty damn great.