This is a post that will mention the 2002 World Series. Specifically, the sixth game of said World Series. You are right to fold your computer into a little square and eat it if you want. No one should talk about that game ever again.
However, Game 6 of the 2014 World Series is officially a year old. The Giants lost. By, like, a billion runs. Here, look at the carnage:
That's not a GIF. That is a video of space-time bending, and the play happening over and over again, a moment stretching into the infinite void. That play is still going on, and it will never end, and if it never ends, then Game 7 never happens.
Or, if you're a literalist, fine, here's exactly what happened:
My memory was of the Royals hammering the ball around the ballpark. This was not exactly the case, as there were a lot of just misseds and aw dangits mixed in. The look and body language of Brandon Crawford after the billiards trickery of Eric Hosmer was sublime. We all felt just like that, Brandon.
The Giants were blown out, the Royals were confident, and the fans were rabid. Game 7 looked like it was going to be a tough, tough slog. Tim Hudson was starting, and it's not like the Giants could bring back Madison Bumgarner on just two day's rest and assume he would be effective.
Still, the mood at the time: Well, let's just see. Maybe that had to do with the confidence that swells after two recently successful and surprising postseason runs, but even though I saw a couple "IT'S OVER, IT'S ALL OVER" tweets -- not just from Bryan, either! -- the mood on the street wasn't quite as dire. Maybe that's just myopia, but it was the theme of the Game 6 recap:
Don't like me talking about that Game 6 of the 2002 World Series? Grow up. Tim Hudson isn't thinking about it. He was busy not appearing in Moneyball. He probably doesn't even know who won that World Series off the top of his head, not without a few seconds to think. No, if the Giants are going to lose tomorrow, they'll lose because of baseball crap. They'll lose because they can't hit Jeremy Guthrie, or because Hudson explodes, or because the Giants are 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The Royals will win because of their superior baseball crap.
The mood wasn't hopeless. It was defiant. Now let's look back to Game 6 in 2002. After the universe pulled your internal organs out of your nose, one by one, you learned somehow that a tired Livan Hernandez was going to start. In retrospect, it's not much different than a tired Tim Hudson. At the time, I figured the Giants were doomed, but I would have to watch anyway. It turns out the Giants were doomed.
Which brings me to my uncontroversial thesis: Losing by 10 runs was the best thing the Giants could have done. They had moved on to Game 7 before Gregor Blanco struck out to end Game 6. And maybe if the Giants didn't care, or they weren't thinking like that, most of us sure were. Alright, get 'em tomorrow is much, much more pleasing than that look we all had in 2002, the one that Wily E. Coyote gets after the ACME product backfires, where he's completely burnt and then falls into a pile of sad ashes.
Mostly, though, I wanted to poll all of y'all. Let's get some unscience in here, and we all know the best way to do that is with an unscientific poll. How did you feel after last year's Game 6? You can be honest, we know how it turned out, and we're all friends here. Well, I hate three of you, but the rest of us are all friends. Your options:
Cautiously optimistic in 2002, pessimistic in 2014
This would be a rare one, I would think, but I'll bet you people do exist because the scars from 2002 still glow read, and you didn't have them before.
Cautiously optimistic in 2002, cautiously optimistic in 2014
This could be because you are dumb. Or! It could because the success and 2010 and 2012 unraveled your cynicism, just like it should have.
Pessimistic in 2002, cautiously optimistic in 2014
This combines the feeling of the soul-spindling of 2002 with the cynicism-unraveling described above. This is where I was. Also, I should point out that cautiously optimistic is kinda sorta synonymous with "not completely deflated and terrified." It's a fine line.
Pessimistic in 2002, pessimistic in 2014
You know only one way to sports. This is how you sports. There's no shame in it. Sports like no one is watching, in my opinion.
A year ago today, the Giants lost a very, very deflating game. Then they came back and had a very, very fun game! In the middle, I was worried about Game 7, but I wasn't distraught. Oh, what a different feeling from 12 years earlier. Your experience might be different, and we would love to read about it on the Internet.