If you had told me in March that the Giants would win the 2010 World Series, I might actually have believed you, because in Spring Training everything is full of hope and promise and possibility. But if you had told me in May, or June, or even early July that the Giants would win the 2010 World Series, I would have laughed in your face. After two straight Cy Young awards, Tim Lincecum was starting to look mortal; the new fifth starter was a bust; the team couldn't hit. Two of the big recent acquisitions were on the disabled list, one of them out for the year and the Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand contracts were tying up the payroll. It was team that was going nowhere. It looked like we would have another year of pitching almost good enough to make up for a terrible offense, like 2009 and 2008, just another year of frustration punctuated by moments of brilliance.
If you had told me that the Giants would win the 2010 World Series because a we signed a player no one else wanted, because a a career minor leaguer was going to become the leadoff hittter we'd been missing, because the team was going to start giving Matt Cain some run support, because we rescued Pat Burrell from the scrap heap and snagged Cody Ross from the waiver wire, because of orange shoes and beards and the Rally Thong, because Bengie Molina was traded to the Texas Rangers for a bag of chips (thereby freeing Buster Posey to become the everyday catcher), I don't know what I would have said, because it seems like a string of events so improbable as to be the only way that the Giants might be World Series champions for the first time since 1954. Especially these Giants, the self-described pile of castoffs and misfits.
And maybe that's appropriate, that the castoffs and misfits bring home a championship to a city that is known for being the home of the castoffs and the misfits. One of the things that's been amazing for me about this post-season is the way the playoff run brought this town together. I wear my Giants gear, and total strangers smile or give the thumbs up or shout "Go Giants!" And I don't remember that happening nearly as much in 2002, the last time the Giants went to the series, or even in 1989. It was this team, and I love this team, and I could not be more thrilled that these guys are the ones we'll be seeing for years to come, in reunions and highlight reels and retrospectives.
But one of the best things, for me, about this post-season hasn't been about the local aspects at all. It's the fact that I've shared the experience of almost every playoff and World Series game with my brother -- an expatriate Giants fan living in Nashville -- via text message, sending our miseries and our joys back and forth, and that's been so much fun. I hope we get the opportunity to do it again.
The city is still partying; I hear chanting and cheering and the occasional fireworks, not to mention the helicopters keeping an eye over it all. It's a glow that will last us a long time, I think, and already I can't wait for the home opener of the 2011 season, sometime in April, when announcer Renel Moon presents to us, for the first time "your World Champion San Fran-cisco GIANTS!" I can already feel the shivers traveling down my back, and I love every minute of it.
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