Anybody else moving a little bit slowly today? Um, me neither. Bright and chipper, that’s me! I definitely didn’t drink multiple Anchor Steams at Bar 821 before sharing a bottle of champagne with my fiance last night. And I definitely didn’t fall asleep on the couch watching highlights of the game, until my fiance came out to the living room and dragged me to bed. Nope.
Even with less energy than usual, everything is wonderful today, yet still hard to believe. Maybe it will really hit me when there’s a ridiculously huge and loud parade tomorrow passing directly in front of my office.
I wondered if there was some way the Giants’ first San Francisco World Series championship would be anticlimactic. Not even close. I’ve heard Red Sox fans saying that while 2004 was amazing, it hasn’t been the same to be a Red Sox fan since because the pain that bonded everyone was gone.
God, how lame is that? We don’t have anything to whine about anymore, so let’s whine about not having anything to whine about!
Unless you really think the Giants needed to win the World Series at home, everything about this was perfect. No Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore running around during the dogpile/celebration, filming a mediocre movie based on a classic sports book about a completely different sport. The photo of Tim Lincecum with one finger in the air (not the middle finger for Tim, who showed a surprising amount of restraint regarding usage of the “eff” word last night … wait, actually Lincecum couldn’t help himself during a postgame interview) on the front page of the Chronicle (which I bought two copies of this morning) said it all.
It makes sense that the weather today is spectacular in the city. No wind. Not a cloud in the sky. And now a World Championship to warm this place all winter long. All from a team that was built contrary to how each successful Giants team has ever been designed. However, those past Giants teams, who paired amazing lineups with patchwork pitching staffs featuring guys like Kelly Downs, Atlee Hammaker and Ryan Jensen.
No offense to all the other pitching staffs in franchise history, but Tim Lincecum’s performance was the capped a postseason where the pitching staff never looked nervous. They pitched their hearts out, and announced their arrival as the best staff in baseball on a national scale. And in the drug testing era, where huge sluggers are becoming a rarity and every team races to hoard the most arms, that’s saying something.
Besides perhaps Barry Zito, every pitcher on the team heads home after the parade with a good taste in their mouth. Even Sergio Romo and Ramon Ramirez pitched a perfect 2/3 of an inning each in their last appearances.
Jonathan Sanchez slowed down at the end, but he was the team’s best pitcher in September and the first part of October. Madison Bumgarner goes into next season as a man to be feared, not some kid who needs to be babied. Matt Cain is the team’s leader, a guy who would have been at home pitching 50 or even 100 years ago.
But Lincecum. Wow. If he can take care of the blister problem to the point where his slider becomes a weapon he can use all season in 2011, and we might be looking at his best season yet. Since he’s already had two Cy Young seasons he’s the undisputed ace, but with three other Cy Young candidates right behind him the internal competition on this team is going to be amazing to watch.
Sorry, enough about next year. We have plenty of time to fire ourselves up about this team’s ever-so-bright future. Now the task becomes trying to make sense of what just happened. The Giants have taken over the town. In the process they’ve reminded an entire region what it’s like to be a champion, meaning everything is going to change. The other teams’ mediocrity won’t be so easily forgiven. Coverage of the Giants is going to be magnified by a factor of ten. Ticket prices, unfortunately, will probably soar (hopefully runs at free agents like Carl Crawford will follow … sorry, had to).
Fans are greedy by nature, and because how we giddy we all feel now, we will want to experience this again and again.
And now, after this team came in and thumbed their noses at history, and all those years like 2002 that could just as well have been curse words, we’re going to expect to win. No more rampant pessimism. Tough losses won’t be torture anymore, just small speed bumps on the way to a win the next day. And speaking of the next day, tomorrow looks like a great day for a parade. Hope to see all of you out there.