The Giants aren’t in the postseason. The Dodgers still are, and even worse, they’re down 3-2 to the Cubs, which means they have a great chance of winning the pennant. This is just awful.
Because it’s the weekend and we haven’t talked about the Dodgers’ postseason run much, I would like to present you with a hypothetical scenario. The answer to this might be obvious for you, or you might struggle with it as mightily as I have. Really, it’s a window into your baseball soul, a question that can absolutely define how you enjoy sports.
It goes like this: You have the chance to put the Giants in the postseason right now. The catch is that they’re down 3-1 to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Do you do it?
The hardy optimists among us laugh. Of course they would. Not only would that mean the thrill of winning the NLDS is in our back pocket, but that there was at least one fun NLCS game against the Dodgers. And you’re offering a second chance for the Giants to win the World Series? Suck it up, weenies. Let’s win three straight.
Ah, the cynical worrywarts respond. But not only have you increased the Dodgers’ chances of winning the pennant by giving them a 3-1 advantage in the NLCS instead of a 3-2 deficit against a much stronger team away from Dodger Stadium, but you’ve left open the possibility of them celebrating a pennant-clinching win at AT&T Park. Or a pennant-clinching win against the Giants at all. You’ve increased their odds of winning the World Series dramatically just to take a stab at three wins in a row, which seems mighty unlikely, considering Clayton Kershaw would be pitching one of the games.
Counterpoint: The universe gave this choice to the 2004 Red Sox, except it was a season right after the Yankees broke their hearts in a previous ALCS, and it was an 0-3 disadvantage. They had the most memorable and unlikely postseason series comeback in baseball history, and it totally turned their franchise around.
Counter-counterpoint: I’ve never been able to find a Red Sox fan who could adequately express just how much 2003 hurt them. They were five outs away from a pennant with a three-run lead, and they had to watch their blood rivals celebrate in front of them. While that was the karmic down payment for the thrill of 2004, there would be no guarantees the Giants would have that kind of consolation prize.
I go back and forth. Part of me wants to throw caution to the wind and load up the even-year-nonsense cannon again. It’s like daydreaming about getting one more chance to play little league, man.
Another part of me wouldn’t want to give the Dodgers an extra hand when they’re facing elimination. Also, you remember how the Giants were kind of bad, right? Especially the bullpen. My word, just thinking about them pitching in the NLCS to the Dodgers gives me hives.
So I refuse to commit. But I have a poll here. For science. Do you wave a wand and put the Giants in the NLCS, down 3-1 to the Dodgers?
I just don’t know.