These past 48 hours have been absolutely insane.
It's like an emotional highlight reel for the entire 2010 season, with all the highs and lows of 162 games crammed into 18 innings.
This playoff run feels different to me somehow, and I started thinking about why. Is this team really so much different from the one in 2002, or is it my perception that's changed? The answer, as far as I can tell, is yes.
The players this year have so much more personality, and each story behind each player ranges from merely interesting to downright "cosmic tumblers" bizarre. They're a blast to watch interacting with each other, a far cry from what I do remember from 8 years ago.
But there's more to it than the names on the roster.
The last time the Giants got this far, I'd just gotten back into following baseball after a very regrettable hiatus. The '94-'95 strike came at the worst possible time, since I was young enough to simply find other things to catch my interest. I fell out of watching, playing, and thinking about baseball until the beginning of my senior year of high school, which happened to be 2002. My older brother had started watching Giants games again, and I decided to sit down and watch too. I loved it all over again. It felt so familiar that I wondered how I could have ever lost interest in the first place. To me, at that point, it was cool and exciting (of course) to see the Giants make it to the World Series. And it sucked when it got cancelled.
But I'd missed out on the triumph and heartbreak of the recent years. I didn't watch as the Marlins walked over the Giants in the '97 NLDS. I didn't see the Giants keep coming so close, only to fall just short. I knew Barry Bonds had gotten the HR record, but I didn't see any of that unfolding as it happened. I'd missed out on so much of the recent history that while I thought Giants Baseball was fun, exciting, awesome, etc, there wasn't the same meaning that there was for so many others.
But I was hooked nonetheless. I watched every game I could from then on. It's amazing, by the way, how people will slap the "bandwagon" title on someone so quickly. "I don't remember you caring about the team a year ago... Let's see how long this lasts." But I didn't care. I was in. From the wire-to-wire run in '03, to the debut of Buster Posey, and everything in between, this was epic.
Now that I'm seeing another postseason, it's just so much bigger and better.
And if this is how I feel, I can only imagine what it's like for the fans that have been there for it all.
So what about you guys? Does this run feel different to you too, and why or why not? Is it the team that is so different, or is it the past teams that led up to this one that makes the difference?