Yes We Cain! The Giants are Champions Again!by Nam Le on Oct, 29 2012
A few seasons ago, the San Francisco Giants used the slogan “It’s Magic Inside,” plastering it all over the ballpark and on every street sign in order to sell seats.
After pulling out a 4-3 nailbiter on Sunday to secure their second championship in three years, those words now seem more like prophecy than promotion. Who knew an ad campaign could be so frighteningly accurate?
The Giants certainly resembled baseball playing David Blaines this October; their six escapes against St. Louis and Cincinnati, Houdini-like. But once they had booked their trip to the Fall Classic, they never even came close to needing a seventh.
In fact, before a 2-1 deficit in Sunday’s Game 4, the Giants had not trailed the entire series. And wouldn’t you know it, they wriggled out of that one two innings later with a Buster Posey home run. Even when the game entered extra innings, there was never any serious doubt that the Giants would be spraying champagne. Marco Scutaro made sure of it, singling home Ryan Theriot for what would be the winning run.
A week ago, many in the media were predicting Detroit would have an easy time against the Giants. Too much Verlander. Too much firepower, they said.
How wrong they were.
The Tigers were simply spellbound by the men in black and orange, unable to fend off the pitching wizardry of Jeremy Affeldt, Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo. As a result, Detroit offense that was supposed to bite ended up lacking any real teeth; Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder a two man disappearing act. With Delmon Young being the only Tiger to pose a threat, Detroit managed a measly 6 runs in 37 innings of baseball – a figure that becomes even more shocking when factoring the shutouts in Games 2 and 3.
Whatever it was, the Giants could simply do no wrong in this series. What a charmed life they have lived recently: whether it was Bruce Bochy making all the right calls, Brian Sabean in his personnel decisions, or Angel Pagan’s freak accident double. And as a result, they can say it proudly once again – the San Francisco Giants are world champions. The sweetest 12 syllables in baseball.
Though they didn’t begin it that way, as this postseason went on, this 2012 squad began to resemble their 2010 brethren more and more closely. Buster Posey may be the only remaining starting position player from that team, but by the time the World Series rolled around, pitching, defense and juuuuuuuust enough hitting became the team’s calling card once again, just as it had been two Octobers ago.
Credit Barry Zito – or as I have become fond of calling him, “Barry Zeroes” – for that transformation. It wasn’t until after his NLCS masterpiece that the Giants began completely channeling the ghosts of ’10, but sure enough, a closer look would show some undeniable similarities. Hunter Pence filled in as this year’s Aubrey Huff, a leader and motivator in the clubhouse. Marco Scutaro and Gregor Blanco were this year’s Cody Ross and Javier Lopez; “misfits” picked up and became key contributors. And of course, Pablo Sandoval did his best Edgar Renteria impression, slugging 3 massive home runs in the opener en route to his own Series MVP.
Though they have not overcome a 56 year title drought, and replaced rally thongs with #RallyZito, these 2012 Giants are no less remarkable, this victory no less legitimate. Their journey – overcoming the loss of Melky, sticking through the struggles of Belt and Crawford, coming back from the brink of death time and time again in these playoffs…that remains something special in itself, no matter how similar it was to the one before it. Winning always is.
Of course, the question now turns to – what next? What can they do for an encore?
How about winning it all next year and becoming a dynasty?
After the magic show that has unfolded these last three seasons, would you put it past them?