OK, great. The team with the stupid beards won another World Series. Let’s all punch ourselves in the face.
Yes, the Giants won their second World Series in three years last night with a 4-3 win over Detroit in 10 innings, sweeping the favored Tigers in just four games.
And because of their dominance in the Fall Classic (probably the most boring World Series since the ’83 Phils-Orioles matchup), and their second World Series title in three years, the word “dynasty” is being thrown around.
Describing San Francisco as a “dynasty” sounds stupid, especially to Phillies fans, who just came off a string of five straight NL East titles from 2007-2011.
Unfortunately, it may be an apt term to describe the magic the baseball angels have seen fit to grant the Giants.
For half a decade, the Phils were the gold standard of the National League. And for all the world, it sure looked like they were headed for dynasty status.
But it didn’t happen. A loss to the Yankees in the 2009 World Series, two subsequent years of falling short in the playoffs, followed by 2012’s disappointment, prevented the Phillies from going down in the annals of The Big Red Machine, the Joe Torre Yankees and Cito Gaston‘s Blue Jays.
The Giants, meanwhile, now join those teams in elite company.
And man, does it sting.
But are the Giants really more of a dynasty than the Phillies? While San Francisco has won two out of the last three World Series, the Phillies were NL powers for five straight years and also went to two World Series. The Phils have a far superior core group of players, and one could argue, were more dominant during the regular season than San Francisco during their run.
The only thing the Phillies lack is that second World Series ring.
But that thing, is a big thing.
San Francisco has done something special, and Phillies fans are going to have to hold their noses and accept it. Only four other teams in the last 40 years have won multiple World Series so close together. The early ’70s Oakland A’s, the mid-’70s Reds, the early ’90s Blue Jays and early “00s Yanks.
And really, they’ve done it with far less talent than the Phils have had over the last six years. But that’s what makes a winner. The Giants as a whole were better than the individual parts that made up the team.
Where the Phillies have failed, the Giants have succeeded.
And of course, San Francisco is not without some stars of their own.
Catcher Buster Posey should be the MVP of the National League this year and is already the best young catcher in the game. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was benched during the 2010 playoff run, is a terrific hitter and was named World Series MVP. And of course, there is the homegrown pitching of Matt Cain, Sergio Romo, Madison Bumgarner, and Tim Lincecum, who had a rough year but is a two-time Cy Young Award winner.
But what has made the Giants really good were the shrewd moves of general manager Brian Sabean. Moves Ruben Amaro was hopefully paying attention to.
All came up huge in the playoffs.
But this isn’t a story of a team that snuck into playoffs and went on a run. The Giants won the NL West with 94 wins, third-most in the National League behind the Nats’ 98 and the Reds’ 97. They won their division by eight games.
In fact, I felt they were underrated coming into the playoffs, which is one of the reasons I picked them to beat Detroit in the World Series before the postseason began.
In case you care, my picks: BAL over TEX, ATL over STL; WAS over ATL, SF over CIN, NYY over BAL, DET over OAK, SF over WAS, DET over NYY.
— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) October 5, 2012
World Series pick… Giants over the Tigers in six games. MVP: Buster Posey
— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) October 5, 2012
One also can’t ignore that lady luck apparently loves this baseball team. The Reds’ Johnny Cueto lasted just two batters in Game 1 of the NLDS. Barry Zito somehow managed to actually be a positive asset to the Giants, compiling a 1.69 ERA in three playoff games, while striking out 13 in 16 innings. Kung Fu Panda hit three home runs in a single game.
And perhaps most importantly, the Giants were fortunate the Tigers had to sit around and wait for about a week before the World Series got started. Detroit clearly was rusty through the first three games, and that rust absolutely killed their offense.
But what San Francisco has done defies logic. They came back down 0-2 to the Reds in the divisional round to win three straight games in Cincinnati. They were down 3-1 to St. Louis before staging a miraculous comeback in that series. Then, they dismantled a lethargic and comatose Detroit team in four straight games.
They won seven games in a row in this postseason.
The Phillies had no such luck in 2010 when they lost to the Giants. They had even worse luck in 2011 when, behind one of the best starting pitching staffs in a generation, failed to win a single playoff round.
Playoff baseball, in this age of so many teams and series, is such a crapshoot. So the fact the Giants rolled sevens two out of the last three years is even more remarkable.
The funny thing is, the Phillies have tried to emulate the Giants’ blueprint. Amaro has tried hard to make his team all about starting pitching, sometimes to the detriment of the offense.
But while it hasn’t worked for the Phils, it’s worked beautifully for San Francisco.
So, as we sit here, awaiting our own doom and destruction from a weather system that intends to kill us all, we must also sit and watch and read about another World Series win by the stinkin’ San Francisco Giants, baseball’s newest dynasty.
Yeah, I felt dirty typing that.