As a sports writer, I’m not always a homer. It really depends if my team’s involved or not. Especially if they’re winning. Why should I be any better than Charlie Sheen?
Last night’s Giants’ game was amazing. Shades of Bobby Thompson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” not that I’m old enough to remember that. But I’ve seen the film.
Here are four reasons why this year’s version is my favorite Giants team of the new millennium (whether they win the World Series or not):
1) I know who the major players are. In 2010, Posey, the Panda and that longhaired pitcher Tim Lincecum were all new to me. The only players I was familiar with were Barry Zito and Brian Wilson. Even then, I only knew about Brian Wilson because everyone in the world did, thanks to that odd beard.
And who the hell is Bruce Bochy? I thought he managed the Padres?
Sure, I knew Posey, Lincecum and the Panda in 2012, but I still wasn’t familiar with Hunter Pence. He’s on the Astros, right? Is he any good?
2) The 18-inning game against the Washington Nationals — along with an iPad — gave me time to catch up with the entire 2014 roster. Did you know Brett Bochy, Bruce Bochy’s son, is on the Giants’ inactive roster? And Travis Ishikawa made his major league debut with the Giants in 2006, and even won a World Series ring with the team in 2010 before being sent down to the minors a year later. After a stint with the Brewers, he came up to the majors again with Pittsburgh this year, but was released again before resigning with the Giants in April.
Oh, and in the last three games of the 2014 regular season, Ishikawa was moved from first base to left field. Just in time for the playoffs. Wonder if that’ll work out?
3) Game four of the NLCS series. Especially the sixth inning. Amazing. Best game I saw all year until …
4) Game five of the NLCS series. Improbably, Ishikawa hits a walk-off home run. There are five home runs in the game, three by the Giants, two by St. Louis. Despite all that offense, the game was largely a pitchers’ duel between San Fran’s Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainright of the Cardinals.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the World Series, but I love this team.
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Of course, like most true baseball fans, I’m happy to see the long-suffering Kansas City Royals make it to the big stage.
Besides, back in the ’70s I used to hang out with a guy whose brother was on the Royals. A big blond carpenter who stood about 6-2, lived in El Segundo and looked like he could knock a ball out of the park himself (in fact, he did play some minor league ball). What was his name again?
Oh, I remember now. John Brett. No shit.