Horrific Hypothetical Theatre

While researching this awesome post that you should read and love and read again and share, I went back to the ESPN staff predictions from earlier in the year. Peter Pascarelli picked the Boston Red Sox to beat the Giants in the World Series.

This brings up a couple of things. First, the top result for "Peter Pascarelli" is a a FanShot at McCovey Chronicles. He must be so proud.

But the second is that it evokes a horrific hypothetical question: Would you be less miserable with the Giants missing the playoffs entirely, or with the Giants making the World Series again, only to lose to the Yankees or Red Sox?

Argument for making the World Series only to lose:
It would have meant two playoff series wins. Two thrilling series wins -- seven memorable games, at least -- that would make us think, oh god, it's happening again. You don't have to return the endorphins. And winning a pennant is still a noteworthy accomplishment, something that will still mean something in 50 years.

Argument for missing the playoffs entirely
Dodger fans would spread the pain of a Giants World Series loss on bread and have it with tea. Rockies fans would roll around in it like it was some sort of benevolent poison oak. Diamondbacks fans would sip it, swirl it around in their mouths, and remark on the hit of nutmeg. Padres fan would enjoy it a little, but he'd be more concerned about his dentist appointment tomorrow. Dude hates dentists.

Argument for making the World Series only to lose:
Making the World Series two seasons in a row is a fantastic accomplishment, especially in the three-round era. With 2010 already banked, there wouldn't be the same sense of so-close failure that there was with previous World Series losses.

Argument for missing the playoffs entirely
Man, that'd be a lot of scratch to spend on playoff tickets, only to have Alex Rodriguez double off Brian Wilson or something and win the World Series. I mean, really think about the different ways the Giants could lose to the Yankees or Red Sox. They're all awful! They're all painful and miserable! It's not like you can concoct a scenario in which it's not that bad, and the Giants played hard, and well them's the breaks, and good show, fellas. They're all like Scott Speizio after being exposed to gamma rays, like the Hulk. And by "gamma rays, like the Hulk," I mean douche rays, like Alex Rodriguez.

Argument for making the World Series only to lose:
We wouldn't be sitting around now, waiting to watch Kyle Lohse or some crap.

Argument for missing the playoffs entirely
We would be sitting around, waiting to watch Eli Whiteside hit. Or Orlando Cabrera. Or Jeff Keppinger. And in the back of our minds, we'd be thinking about how this fragile construction is going to collapse, exposing the Giants for the weak-hitting frauds that they certainly would be. And when they lost in the playoffs, you'd kick yourself for believing in the lineup.

Argument for making the World Series only to lose:
There'd be a ton of extra revenue that the Giants could put towards next year's payroll.

Argument for missing the playoffs entirely
Hahahahahahahahaa, that last one was just a goof. Rainy-day fund, suckers!

It's harder for me to construct an argument that it would be beyond horrible to lose to a lot of the contending teams. It would have been just horrible. The Rays? Eh, that wouldn't have been as devastating. Smart team, and it would shut up the parity fetishists. The Tigers? Eh, the Tigers were so bad for so long. The Rangers? Never won before, and at least it would have setup a pretty sweet rivalry.

The Yankees? Red Sox? Maybe the Angels or A's again? I think I lean towards "just as soon not show up" when it comes to losing a World Series to one of those teams. I'll listen to arguments to the contrary.

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