Saturday, October 23, 2010

Half Right

I may very well be the only person outside of Texas who picked the Rangers to reach the World Series back in August. I'll pat myself on the back for that one. I did not however pick the Giants. I didn't even think they'd make the playoffs.

Now, instead of just one team who has no business playing in the World Series, we have two. Am I happy about this? I'm not sure.

For some reason, I've been having a hard time getting behind the Giants this year. I remember rooting for them with vim and vigor in 2002, but this year... I just can't do it. I've been thinking about why that is.

Part of it is the collective denial Giants fans expressed around Barry Bonds steroid use. I've never seen so many people stick their fingers in their ears and sing "na na na na I can't hear you." I mean, I think you can be loyal to someone while still admitting to their faults. Giants fans live in some fantasy land where it comes to Barry.

Part of it is that I am now married to an A's fan, which has made me more of an A's fan. They would be my AL team. Being raised a Chicago baseball fan, where as a fan of one team you are duty bound to hate the other, I find it difficult to root for the Giants even though around here people do root for both teams or at least root for one and are apathetic towards the other. I can't comprehend that.

Most of it though comes down to petty jealousy. I'll admit it. In 2002 when the Giants came within a few outs of winning the World Series, the Cubs hadn't been anywhere near a World Series since I was 10. I didn't have expectations that the Cubs ever would.

Then came 2003 and the Cubs came within 5 outs of going. That was their year. Had they won, the three longest droughts in baseball would have ended in successive years (Cubs in 2003, Red Sox in 2004, White Sox in 2005). It was perfect, and they were robbed. Then 2007 and 2008. Two years with so much promise snuffed out in the postseason so abruptly. Not to mention the poetic symmetry of 2008, the centennial of their last Championship. But no, it was not to be.

I've come too close now to win vicariously through another team. I don't want the Giants to win the World Series. I want the Cubs to, goddammit. I'd even be happy if the Cubs just went to a World Series. I mean, why should Giants fans get the thrill of the fall classic twice in less than ten years and three times in my lifetime, when the Cubs haven't been in a World Series since my dad was 10 months old?

Especially this year when the Giants have a team that barely made the playoffs. The Cubs can finish 2008 with the best record in the league and get swept out in the first round. The Giants clinch a playoff spot on the last day of the season, not so much winning the division as benefiting from the Padres collapse, and somehow they make it? I just don't get it.

I'm not sure I can bear to watch.


I also take exception to headlines and scroll text I've seen that say "Giants to first World Series since 2002". Eight years does not merit a "first sense" qualifier.


Now that some time has passed (I'm adding this bit the next day), I might be able to come around to root for the Giants by Wednesday. We'll see.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.