Aaron Rowand

First post-Barry Giants team with an identity

You know what they say: you never want to get in a home-run hitting contest with the San Francisco Giants.

What’s going on here? Did we really watch last night’s game and end up surprised that Edgar Renteria didn’t come through, that he struck out to end the game? Even Aaron Rowand’s homer last night was a gift from a replay system that probably consists of the umpires sharing an order of nachos in the clubhouse while pretending some guy in New York is reviewing homers all night in some underground lair with 16 TV screens. Of course the Giants are a flawed team, and of course they had no chance a night later against Josh Johnson of all pitchers…

But tonight was a nice reminder that this season is not just about Buster Posey. 20 games is an important milestone for any hitting streak, whether it’s a rookie’s or Paul Molitor’s. But tonight’s game was about Aubrey Huff’s opposite field double in the first inning. It was about Matt Cain striking out Cody Ross in the 7th when a small part of all of us wondered whether he’d drill him in the ass.

Then Juan Uribe hit a 400-foot bomb off Brian Sanches, Rowand did his best to fend off Scott Podsednik with a sharp single up the middle and Edgar Renteria was able to not only drill a cathartic homer to left, but remember to style a little as well in response to Ross’ affront to the unwritten rules.

Then, when the game seemed like it couldn’t get any more symbolic of the Giants’ newfound hope and swagger, Brian Wilson made official his transition from UFC to the WWE.

You’d think Wilson was probably getting a sizable bonus from Mr. Knight for wearing shoes the color of a 1989 Body Glove t-shirt, but Nike probably realizes Wilson would wear neon spikes for free. Forget the cleats, though (although it’ll be interesting to see how MLB deals with the first complaints, which will definitely come the next time Wilson faces the Dodgers). How about that undershirt he wears? How long does it take for him to get just the right tear for just the right xtreme v-neck? Doesn’t that undershirt make you wonder what bands Wilson used to write on his binder while in high school (Puddle of Mudd?)? And how many buttons is Wilson going to leave unbuttoned on the jersey by the end of the season? Six?

It’s all adding up to the first Giants squad in quite a long time that not just matters, but make sense. There’s no way they get Jose Guillen now; chemistry has undoubtedly become one of this team’s strengths. They’re probably getting Podsednik, though. And it will probably be Nate Schierholtz who gets the shaft. And not because he didn’t hit enough home runs (although if he did, there would be no reason for this team to carry Pat Burrell), but because he didn’t steal enough bases. With Eugenio Velez probably out for the season, the Giants don’t have anybody that can steal a base when they need one other than Torres, and he can only get on base so many times per game.

But we’ll worry about that tomorrow morning. For now, let’s focus on the fact that around 37,000 fans sounded like a soccer crowd in Liverpool at times on a Tuesday night against the Marlins, and that wasn’t because they had bobble-heads in their hands, but because the team on the field has become the source of an infinite number of interesting stories every night. Before the season, the thought that such an exciting, emotional win could come without Tim Lincecum or Pablo Sandoval involved would have sounded insane. The craziness seems to have only just begun.

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