Freud: The Giants win … again
October 30, 2012
I had the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers in the Fall Classic in this space on April 5. Thank you. (Look it up, people.) I merely picked the Tigers because it’s bad luck to pick your team to win it all.
And with that, the Giants are lords and masters of all they survey for the second time in three years.
A few thoughts as I bask in my glory:
• To those of you said it was a fluke that the Giants won in 2010, hang your heads in shame. I heard you, and you have been proven woefully ill-advised. A team doesn’t win in a fluke, not with 162 games and three rounds of playoffs.
It wasn’t a fluke when we beat the Phillies in Philadelphia with Ryan Howard at the plate in 2010. It wasn’t a fluke that we outclassed the Rangers in every way that year as well. It wasn’t a fluke that we clocked the Detroit Tigers. The doubters may shut their yaps now.
• I said it in 2010, and it is just as true in 2012 … pitching wins. The really funny thing here is that Giants pitching was better in 2010, and even better in 2011 than this year. (Look it up, people.) San Francisco’s staff seemed to have hit a wall in September, and we’re still trying to figure out what happened to Tim Lincecum this year, although manager Bruce Bochy had a master stroke moving him to the bullpen.
Good pitching beats good hitting. I really enjoy hearing baseball analysts say, “It’s strange how the Reds/Cardinals/Tigers bats have gone silent.” It’s called pitching and a bullpen.
There’s a reason the first thing big-money teams will do this offseason is run after Zach Greinke and Kyle Lohse.
• The Giants now have more World Series titles (seven) than the Los Angeles Dodgers (six). San Francisco has more titles than the New York Yankees this millennium. (The millennium started in 2001, so, too bad, Yankees fans.)
• Speaking of the Yankees, you need a team, not a collection of all-stars to win. During the Yankees’ run in the late 90s, the New Yorkers were a team, complemented with free agents. The base of that crew was Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams and so on. They all came through the Yankees system. By the end of this year, Jeter was the only one left.
The Giants’ rotation? Homegrown, except for Zito, who was a dreadful free-agent signing for the first five years of his seven-year deal. Look at the lineup. Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford all are Giants draft picks. We got Hunter Pence primarily for a catching prospect Tommy Joseph. The latter was expendable because Posey’s pretty good. Angel Pagan came from the Mets for Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres. (Call the police.) Gregor Blanco was a minor-league free-agent deal.
And we give our thanks to the Colorado Rockies for Marco Scutaro. (Infielder Charlie Culberson will be the answer to the trivia question in the future.)
• And a team can overcome deficits like the 2-0 and 3-1 holes that the Giants faced against Cincinnati and St. Louis. However, if the Giants do this again to me, I probably will keel over.
• Giants general manager Brian Sabean gets a lot of grief in San Francisco. He doesn’t deserve it. Great job, Sabey, Sabe-ster, as Brad Pitt called him in the movie, “Moneyball.” One thing, Sabes, please don’t sign Zito to another seven years.
• Bochy? The 11th Commandment is, “Thou shall not doubt Bochy.” The Nationals’ Davey Johnson will get Manager of the Year, but …
• Let’s give a shoutout to ESPN. On the eve of the Series, 28 of their brilliant analysts predicted the outcome. Twenty-four of 28 picked the Tigers. This is the World Wide Leader in Sports? People, the question was, “Who is going to win,” not “Which team is located closer to the east coast?”
Maybe, just, maybe, ESPN might broadcast a Giants game next season. The good news is that we do play the Yankees and Red Sox in interleague play.
• Don’t be surprised if we’re doing this again. Only Scutaro, Pagan and Affeldt are free agents. And I promise to be just as gracious in victory then as I am now.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.