The Giants won the World Series! The Giants won the World Series!
First time since they moved to San Francisco. Some might say that the Giants have won the Series before and that’s fair – for the players, moving from NY to SF doesn’t mean they gave up those titles. However, for the fans, it’s something new for sure.
I didn’t get to attend any of the World Series games, but I did go up to SF to watch game 1 at the Royal Exchange with some friends and the atmosphere was excellent. It wasn’t close to the park at all, but the place was packed, and there were chants of “Let’s Go Giants” and “UUUUU-Ribe” going up amongst the patrons.
The last two games I attended were during the final weekend series against the Padres where the Giants clinched the West. AT&T Park was already in playoff mode and the stadium was rocking both days.
I remember the earthquake in 1989, the first time in my lifetime that the Giants made the World Series. I learned about baseball earlier than I learned how to play chess, but I wasn’t really paying much attention to the Giants being swept by the A’s in 1989.
The first year I really remember is 1993, when the team won 103 games but didn’t even make the playoffs. Fast-forward some years to 2002 when I was at a wedding reception while Game 6 against the Angels was going on. There weren’t really any smartphones back then, so I would sneak out to the car every so often to listen to the radio … and then I heard Felix Rodriguez gave up the homer to Scott Spiezio and the Giants collapsed (and went on to lose Game 7 too).
Here are some interesting statistics I noticed:
– Pat Burrell had a grand total of 0 hits in the World Series, despite starting 4 of the 5 games and having 15 plate-appearances (he did have two walks). In 2008, he was on the Phillies World Series winning team, and he had 1 hit in 5 games there (19 PAs, 5 walks). So he now has more World Series rings than hits in the World Series!
– Despite a couple hiccups along the way, the Giants pitching in the postseason was historically amazing. The Giants’ ERA from September onwards was 2.30, second best ever in the history of the game for a team’s last 44 games. (WSJ article here).
– The Giants had an opening-day 2010 payroll of about $98.6 million. However, that includes guys like Barry Zito ($18.5 million) and Mark DeRosa ($6 million) who didn’t make the playoff roster. Looking only at the playoff roster, the Giants fielded a team that they paid about $82 million for (opening-day payroll wise, that’d be right in the middle of the 30 MLB teams). I highly doubt that they’ll trade Zito, so the 2011 payroll will definitely move back up above $82 million.
The Rangers had a 2010 opening day payroll of about $55 million. Their playoff roster was a bit higher at about $65.5 million.
– And it’s certainly a good thing that the game isn’t played in the heads of the ESPN experts – they might be looking for a takeback right about now. Actually, that goes for the talking/writing heads pretty much everywhere.
Haters gonna hate.