The Giants posted an increasingly rare win last night, and in doing so, they also broke out of their recent hitting funk. What? One unearned run doesn't qualify as a slump-buster? I think for this team we should make an exception. Hell, it's more than they scored in 10 innings the night before. One run in 20 innings, and the team is 1-1. Can't do better than that. No, really, you can't. Do the math.
Brad Hennessey continued his extremely effective pitching of 2006, shutting the Padres out for 5.2 innings and even put up nice peripherals for the doubting statheads among us (H/IP: 2/5.2, K/BB: 3/1). So all us Giants fans are much happier today, right? Well, maybe not. It seems there is a radical splinter cell among us, actually rooting for the team to fail.
Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. For you to fully understand where I'm coming from on this issue, I need to go back and start at the beginning:
I think deep down we all knew pretty early on this season that this was not a championship squad. There were some folks putting up the good fight. The ones saying, "With a nifty move or three at the deadline they could conceivably make a run. Anyone can take this division, and after that the playoffs are a crapshoot. Blah, blah, blah." (Blahs added for effect) I tried to think positively like that for awhile, but to do so I had to suspend my disbelief more than when I see an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It's been pretty clear for some time this just isn't that kind of team -- all the signs were there. (Get it? Signs? Like the Shyamalan movie? Okay, sorry, back to the post.)
As a matter of fact, I was so convinced this team had no chance at a postseason run the last week of July that I found myself secretly tempted to hope the team might fall just far enough out of contention to convince Sabean to either resist trading more prospects for spare parts, or (gasp!) maybe even consider selling off some of our own veteran free agents-to-be for some young blood which might infuse energy into the club. Some people who frequent this site were not so secret about those same temptations. Some took it beyond the temptation stage, and according to them, actually rooted for the Giants to fail. Judging by some comments left over the weekend -- both here and over at El Lefty Malo -- some are still doing it, this time for the princely sum of a slightly higher draft pick. While I completely understand the motivations behind this, and agree that this might be in the Giants best long-term interests, I can neither condone, nor partake in this activity.
The problem with this lose now/win later concept is that while it can exist in my head, it's just not in my heart. In my heart, I simply cannot bring myself to actively root against the Giants. Ever. Like most of you, my DNA has an interlocking SF encoded into it. No matter who's wearing that uniform -- even Gary Carter or Orel Hershiser -- I must hope for their success. I have no choice in the matter. No matter how much better off I think the team would be in the long run if they could just have one ugly losing streak, once the game starts I instinctively root for them to win. In a crucial spot with men on base, a Giant hitter loops one into the alley, and I can't root for it to be caught. That is treasonous activity, and not only would my soul turn to dust if I ever actually did it, but upon my death I would be transported to a fiery Hell, probably located somehwere deep inside Tommy Lasorda's rectum.
Still, I was quite conflicted as this battle raged on inside me as the trading deadline approached. I was sure this Giants team wouldn't amount to anything, and I didn't want to see a Jonathan Sanchez for Sean Casey trade further endangering their future. I endured the same moral dilemma while following the 49ers last season, wondering if the best move in the long run was to tank it down the stretch. It's an awful, dirty feeling. The only thing I can really compare it to is a strange internal conflict I felt a few years ago. To fully explain it, I have to return to the first time I ever fell in love, back in my college days. Being young and head over heels in love, we... let's see, how shall I put this... We had sex. A lot of sex. I mean, like, a lot. In fact, we did little else. Morning noon, and night, sex, sex, sex. I'd wager that half the sex I've had in my entire life ocurred in the year or so that relationship spanned. During that entire time, my girlfriend wore a perfume which I found particularly enchanting, called Sung. It's a fairly rare perfume, so after we broke up I rarely smelled it on a girl. But because the sense of smell is very powerful when it comes to rekindling past memories and feelings, every time I did come in contact with a girl wearing Sung, without fail I found myself sexually aroused, regardless of their looks.
This strange phenomenon was seriously put to the test when I went to eat at a cafeteria a few years back and noticed as I was paying for my meal that the woman working the register was wearing Sung. While my hormones had their usual Pavlovian respose to the smell and began doing jumping jacks inside me, my eyes had the exact opposite reaction. After all, I was staring face to face with an woman who was about 70 years old -- and kind of a hard 70 at that. As I paid for my meal and the woman counted out my change, I could feel the civil war taking place within between my brain and my loins. This caused the same kind of internal conflict I described above, the logic I try to live my life by attempting to fend of my natural, most animalistic instincts. In the end, I did what I always try to do when faced with a serious dilemma -- I made the choice I felt I could most easily live with, and didn't look back. Luckily for me, that old gal was a real wildcat in the sack, so I never regretted the decision one bit.
COMMENT STARTER: I truly hope nobody around here actually roots against the Giants -- that it's really all just a lot of talk -- but be honest, were you at all tempted by the same treasonous thoughts at any point this season? Have you ever entertained such thoughts? If not, are there any circumstances under which you could see yourself thinking this way in the future, or is it just too damn wrong?