Love them or hate them. Giants fans from New York to San Francisco are happy to have a winner. Since moving from New York to San Francisco in 1958 the Giants have had some talented teams. From Mays and McCovey. To Will Clark and Matt Williams. Then to Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent. Anyone of those talented teams would have won a World Series.
As the San Francisco Giants they made it to three World Series before this year. They lost in seven games to the New York Yankees in 1962. They were swept by their crosstown rivals the Oakland Athletics in 1989. They blew a 5-0 lead in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series to the Anaheim Angels, who would go on to win Game 7. It hasn’t been a great history in San Francisco, but at some point they were due.
In essence when you think about baseball, you can’t always assume the best teams on paper will be there in the end. The Giants were an after thought during the regular season. I had them finishing second, but not making the playoffs. The main reason why I had them that high was because of their pitching. That wasn’t overlooked by anyone I don’t believe. That’s why they are champions today.
Not since the Florida Marlins championship team of 2003 has a World Series champion had so much home grown talent in the pitching staff. Tim Lincecum is a legitimate big game pitcher. Postseason experience has been thrown out the window as long as you have great pitching. Matt Cain is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Remember he was an established starter before Lincecum. Jonathan Sanchez struggled late in the postseason, but he is a hard throwing left-hander that most teams covet. Madison Bumgarner, another hard throwing left-hander, was phenomenal in the NLCS and World Series.
Hitting was their glaring weakness throughout the year, but it came together at the right time. Aubrey Huff received no other offers in the off-season than the one from San Francisco. He had never played in the postseason before and was playing like a savvy veteran. Edgar Renteria, who was the hero of the Florida Marlins 1997 championship, had another fantastic World Series and was the MVP. Cody Ross, who was waived by the Marlins during the regular season, was eagerly claimed by the Giants. His impact was felt immediately down the stretch and when they played the Phillies in the NLCS.
They had some characters on this team and none more crazy than their closer Brian Wilson. Now you have to be a little crazy to be a closer in baseball. Wilson takes it to a whole other level. I like that though. And so does their manager Bruce Bochy who is one of the most underrated managers in the game today. I knew the San Diego Padres made a mistake letting him go, but the Giants were happy to bring him in after seeing the success he had with the Padres for over a decade.
Say what you want about the 2010 San Francisco Giants, but you can’t deny that they beat the Atlanta Braves in four games during the Division Series. They beat the two time National League champion Philadelphia Phillies in six games during the Championship Series. Then topped it off by beating the offensive juggernaut the Texas Rangers in five games during the World Series. They were underdogs throughout the playoffs. But in the end they were the best team in baseball.