It seems the Giants have done it again. For the third time in the last five seasons, the San Francisco Giants are the World Series champions, besting everyone’s favorite underdogs, the Kansas City Royals, in seven games.
Honestly, looking at the composition of the baseball Giants, I am surprised by their recent run of dominance. I mean the team seems completely bereft of stars. Sure, they have some good players. Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval certainly come to mind, and Buster Posey as well. You might argue Posey is a star. Maybe he is – some sort of latter day Joe Mauer – you know what I mean, a star because of the position he plays more than anything else. I would not argue against that. But I made my point. When you talk about the best players in baseball, you rarely bring up the name of anyone who wears the orange and black.
But, maybe that’s the point. The Giants are a team, playing a team game, and they succeed in doing just that. Stars do not win championships, teams do. A great example of this is the Giants of the Barry Bonds era. That team had the biggest star in all of baseball. They also won zero World Series. So there you go.
Of course, when it comes to the World Series, the Giants most definitely have a star and he shone once again this year. Obviously, I am talking about their ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner. If the work he did in games one and five were not enough, (and it should be noted he gave up seven total hits and one run in those two games) then his performance in game seven should have etched his name in the annals of baseball history forever.
Pitching after just two days of rest, Bumgarner entered a one-run game and pitched five shutout innings of baseball to seal the victory and the title for the Giants. I came into the series, like most casual observers, hoping Kansas City would win. However, watching Bumgarner pitch that seventh game not only turned me into a fan of his, but also made me switch sides and find joy in the Giants’ win. Any team going that old school in the pursuit of the ultimate baseball prize has to be admired in my book.
So now we enter the brave new world of 21st century baseball. One, where the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox are the two best teams of the first 14 years of this millennium – a far cry from the end of the 20th Century where fans of both teams were just hoping to see them win one time before they died. Now both fan bases have seen their team win three times, and in San Francisco’s case anyway, more wins seem very possible in the near future. It’s 2014 and the San Francisco Giants are a baseball dynasty. If you saw that coming, go buy a lottery ticket.