The Bleacher Report...By
As a die-hard Dodgers fan, it is hard to say the words "The Giants are World Series champs."
Yet, not only were they champs, they made the rest of the MLB, and especially the Dodgers, into chumps.
They showed what a real team is all about. It is not about how much money you have to spend, and not about free-agent mercenaries like Manny and the like, and not about individual performance or dictatorial managers and selfish rich-guy management.
It is soley and purely about teamwork. It is about what we are supposed to teach our kids every day when they head out to play teeball and Little League.
As we hopefully leave the steroid era behind, we can perhaps gain a glimmer of hope from San Francisco's new champs. First, you gotta hand it to their general manager. We Dodger fans can only squrim at the idea of an ownership who will go out and get the players necessary to fill voids in the lineup and on the field.
You have to marvel at and applaud the Giants ability to scout and then sign such players as Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum (who the Dodgers passed on, by the way). These guys came out of their system, an almost passé way to view team-building. The Giants proved that this old-school way of building a team is a great way to build a foundation.
A lot of teams pooh-poohed Lincecum, the slight pitcher with the huge stride who is on his way to the Hall of Fame. As for Posey, well, he truly is "The Natural," and bravo to the Giants for finding him and signing him...then bringing him up this year. Without Buster, the Giants would be...a bust!
You cannot say enough about the entire Giants pitching staff, from outstanding starters to strike-throwing middlemen to tough and obviously eccentric closers...the best staff in the bigs.
You gotta love the makeshift yet somehow glued-together nature of the Giants team. It may start from the top with Bruce Bochy, who made swift moves (benching Sandoval for instance) to shore up his infield, or maneuvering and empowering his fantastic pitching staff.
He knew that he didn't need a lot of runs per game with a staff whose ERA was record-breakingly low, but somehow he got the key hits and the runs to edge the Padres, beat the dynastic Phillies, and then crush the wannabe Rangers with the impressive line-up.
Huff, Uribe, Renteria, Rowan, Burrell, Ross, Sanchez...are you kidding me? Then again, why not? Each has a pedigree of his own. Each has shown in the past that he can hit. Sanchez has won batting titles. Renteria has been with World Series Champs before. Huff has always been a solid hitter, and so has Burrell and Rowan and Ross. Put them together and you have Giant Goulash...a stew that comes together in a delectably winning fashion.
These "misfits" roughed up Halladay AND Lee...take that!
Some have said it is the worst lineup to ever win a World Series. Better to say it is the best "team" to have won it in a very long time. They gelled like no other team has done in quite a while, and they were a juggernaut that few saw coming.
Now, when you think of the word Champion, you can think of this year's Giants team.