This might not happen again in your lifetime.
That's not a downer. That's not cynicism. That's just how this weird game works. When the Giants were oh-for-San-Francisco, you knew that baseball wasn't a socialist collective. This wasn't a matter of lining up to get your ribbon every 30 years. There's so much more to it. A team needs talent and circumstance, but in exactly the right combination. Decades can go by without that combination. Centuries, even.
This might not happen again in your lifetime.
That's what you have to think. That's how you have to enjoy it. And in the meantime, well, say, WE PROBABLY SHOULD ENJOY IT.
Take a second to remember how you felt after the Bronson Arroyo game. Dang, that felt like it was going to have that tangy, bitter, filthy taste to it for the next couple of decades. It was the Bobby Jones game of a new generation. We had a little more solace this time around because could pet our Cody Ross bobblehead and feed it a cracker. That would take some of the sting out. Some.
But … there's going to be an entire offseason to dig into exactly what happened after that. Because I don't have any idea right now. The Giants were dominated by Homer Bailey, and they won. The Giants went into the Latos den, and they did slay the Latos. They met the Cardinals, who were brushing off magic dust like so much dandruff, and they went down 3-1 with Barry Zito pitching in an elimination game.
This might not … well, it should, and we'll root for it with the same fervor that we always have. But it might not. So that's why we have to gape in amazement at this one. It happened because Barry Zito pitched out of his mind in both the NLCS and the World Series.
Barry Zito, who was supposedly on the chopping block in spring training, who was supposedly going to make $46 million to pitch for another team, turned around the entire postseason with his win in the NLCS. He turned around his whole legacy with the Giants with his performance in the playoffs.
Ryan Vogelsong was pitching on the moon two years ago. On the moon. And he crawled back, inch by inch, to be one of the best stories in Giants history. Then the story got better. Much, much better.
Pablo Sandoval wasn't doing a whole lot in October, 2010. He was on the bench for Juan Uribe, who moved over to third so Edgar Renteria could play. Sandoval sat so Renteria could star. What a noble sacrifice. But in 2012, Sandoval was the record-setter, the MVP, the guiding light of the offense.
Buster Posey didn't do much in the World Series. Then he hit a desperately needed two-run homer to propel the Giants to their second championship in three years. His second championship in three years. After suffering the most memorable injury in franchise history. He was clawing in the dirt, and no one was sure if he was going to catch another game in his life.
Tim Lincecum struggled for the first time in his career. In his life, even. Seriously, think of a little Lincecum, mowing through Pony League. Mowing through high school. Carving up the Pac-10. Embarrassing Cal League hitters. Winning two Cy Youngs. And then he struggled like he'd never struggled before. Instead of going to his corner of the locker room to sulk, he became mecha-reliever, getting sorely needed outs in relief.
If you've seen A Player to be Named Later, you'll know what this means to Marco Scutaro. If you haven't seen it, well, you can probably guess. He didn't make the majors until he was 26, didn't win a starting job until he was 28, and until July, he was playing for the Rockies. If the end of A Player to be Named Later ended with him playing for the 2012 Rockies, that would have been an artsy, ambiguous, film-school ending. Did he really make it? Define making it?
And, hell, Aubrey Huff was 0-for-1 in this World Series. But I'm happy as can be for him. What a weird, conflicting season for him. It started with him in left, there was a detour with him at second, and it ended with him as a World Series champion again.
You can go through all 25 players. You can sift through the guys who didn't make the playoff roster. Sergio Romo got to close the playoffs, NLDS, NLCS, and World Series, the same way Brian Wilson did. Ryan Theriot took the jokes about DHing, and slapped us upside the head. Brandon Crawford drew the dreaded Henry Skrimshander comp earlier in the season, but in the playoffs, he was a necessary pillar of stability.
If I attempt a full cataloging, I'll forget someone. But you get the idea.
This might not happen again in your lifetime. But it's happening right now. Again. Don't take it for granted. Between the perfect game, the impending MVP, the Dodgers/Giants rivalry coming out the right way, the comebacks in the division series and championship series, and the World Series, this has a great, great chance of being the best season of baseball you'll ever watch.
This is why you watch. This, right now. Enjoy. And thanks, Giants.