Let me crawl in the brain of 22-year-old Grant and explore what his deepest fears were in 2000.
What if I can't get tickets to that Elliott Smith show? This is the most important thing in the world to me. I just gotta go. Though I guess I can just catch him next time …
Man, it doesn't seem like I'm very motivated to get back into school. Am I … officially a college dropout now?
What if a girl sees me without my shirt on?
Whoa, too deep. Let's dial it back a bit.
What if the Giants scratch and claw their way to the playoffs, make it to the World Series, and lose to the *Yankees*?
This consumed my thoughts. It's what I worried about as the Giants made their second-half surge in 2000, and it's what worried me when the Giants won the first game of the NLDS. It worried me when the Giants were fighting for a playoff spot in 2001, and it worried me when they made the playoffs in 2002.
It worried me when the Giants were awful from 2005 through 2008. You mean the Giants are going to repair what's broken, and the reward my be they lose to the Yankees in the World Series?
The whole march through the 2010 season, the Yankees were staring me down. When they humiliated the Rangers' bullpen in Game 1 of the ALCS, I thought, oh no, they're coming for us. Oh no oh no oh no.
The idea of the Yankees celebrating their 359th championship while the Giants didn't have one lousy title since moving to San Francisco … it haunted me. Absolutely haunted me. I was paralyzed by thoughts of a team with so much taking the one shot away from a team that just wanted one. I wanted to believe baseball was more equitable than that, but I knew it wasn't. All I could picture was Charlie Brown on the curb, looking forlorn and defeated. That was going to be me. That was going to be us.
And just like I got over the fear about me with my shirt off -- "Look, honey! I can keep a pistachio in here! Check it out!" -- the fear about the Yankees has passed for obvious reasons. It was gone .2 seconds after Nelson Cruz struck out, like an enchantment had been broken.
Now? There isn't a team I'd rather face in the World Series. Seriously, let's go through the list:
The A's would be neat in a revenge-for-'89 kind of way, but the hype and acrimony and distractions would be overwhelming.
I'd feel awful if the Giants beat the Tigers or Rangers again. For a second. When I'm drunk and melancholy about something else. Then I'd get over it. But, still, if we're talking about an ideal matchup, that's probably not it. It's been done.
The same goes for the first-timer's club. The Mariners, Rays, and Astros have never won. That'd make me feel bad. In that rich person, "Jeez, man, that guy with the sign doesn't have a home. I should whooops green light" kind of way.
Then there's the drought club. The Orioles and Royals were bad for years. The Indians ... oh, no, the Indians ... they've been through so much. At least if the Giants lost to one of those teams, you could kinda sorta be happy for the other guys in a moment of weakness.
I ... I just remembered about the White Sox. Have they been there the whole time? Look at those little fellers go!
On and on. But now as the fan of a Big, Historical, and Arrogant Sports Franchise, I want to fight with the fans of another Big, Historical, and Arrogant Sports Franchise. I want the rest of the country to roll their eyes as Fox makes a big deal about 1962 and Mays and Ruth and Bonds and DiMaggio.
I guess we'll settle for this for now. Watch out for Ehire Adrianza, Yankees. He'll get you.
One of these days, the Giants will be good again. I might be Yogi Berra's age, but it'll happen. And I'm not going to worry too much about the Yankees in the World Series. I'll actually kind of root for it.
Hitter to watch
Have you seen how bad the Yankees' lineup is? It's absolutely deplorable. The Giants have a higher team slugging percentage despite playing in a park with an outfield that could fit two Yankee Stadiums in it.
But I'm always down to watch Chris Stewart. I always liked that guy. And I'm especially fond of him if he keeps striking out this series.
Pitcher to watch
Pettitte vs. Petit! If someone's at the ballpark, can you pick me up a Pettitte vs. Petit shirt? I'll pay you back.
Also, Mariano Rivera. Gonna miss that guy. Cutter cutter cutter cutter.
Someone posts this video: