It’s March Madness season, and since there’s no actual March Madness — as the coronavirus outbreak has effectively suspended all sports — it’s really just bracket season.
Brackets are the best, because they’re just an excuse to cram a whole bunch of questionable opinions into one spot so that everyone can tell you how dumb you are.
I live for this kind of stuff. It’s why I got into this business.
There were three things that made it very difficult to create this bracket.
Challenge #1 - Defining the goal
There’s a lot of different ways to interpret a World Series bracket. The best players, who were also on the World Series teams? The best players in the World Series? Your favorite players from the World Series teams?
Ultimately I settled on this: The players that most tell the story of the three World Series. It’s why Travis Ishikawa is a high seed, even though he was far from the most valuable World Series Giant. Can you really tell the story of the trophy triplets without him as a central character?
On the other end, Matt Duffy is omitted, despite being one of my favorite Giants of all-time; he has a mere two plate appearances in the World Series.
Even these parameters are highly subjective. Ishikawa is a critical part of the World Series story largely because of his work to send the team to the World Series. Where do you draw the line? I have no clue.
In summation, you’ll probably see things way differently than I did.
Challenge #2 - Picking the field
The Giants sent 49 different players to the 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Series (only counting WS rosters). So in order to make a bracket, I had to either add 15 names — coaches, broadcasters, etc., — to get to 64, or subtract 17 names to get down to 32.
I opted for the latter, and then subtracted an 18th player so that I could put Bruce Bochy in the fold.
So, apologies to Joaquin Arias, Matt Duffy, Mike Fontenot, George Kontos, Jean Machi, Jose Mijares, Guillermo Mota, Xavier Nady, Juan Perez, Ramon Ramirez, Hector Sanchez, Nate Schierholtz, Hunter Strickland, Andrew Susac, Ryan Theriot, Eli Whiteside, and Barry Zito.
And no apologies to Aubrey Huff.
UPDATE: It is apparent that I made an inexcusable error by leaving Zito off, so now it’s apologies to Aaron Rowand instead.
Challenge #3 - The 1 seeds
Picking the 1 seeds is always a hard task, and always one that will get criticism. So I invite it.
In my estimation, there were six Giants who all deserved those four spots: Bruce Bochy, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, and Pablo Sandoval.
I had to eliminate two.
First I eliminated Sandoval. Despite having one of the greatest single-game performances in World Series history, and despite being on my very short list of favorite Giants, he feels a little bit 1B on the list of most important World Series Giants. His peak was never quite as good as the other five. Their chapters are bigger.
Next up was Matt Cain, which, yes, I hated doing. But Cain’s best years were behind him for much of the Giants title window, and unlike the others who made the cut, he wasn’t on all three rosters.
Anyway, here it is. Fill it in, or make your own, or, most importantly, tell me how dumb I am.