|Up goes the ante; up goes my blood pressure
||[Oct. 24th, 2010|11:59 pm]
If I hadn't watched Game 6 of the NLCS with my own eyes -- every pitch, every out, every extra-base hit and every misplay -- I don't think I'd be able to believe that the Giants are going to the World Series. In fact, I still have trouble believing it, even though all the sports channels and local papers claim it's true. You know that when ESPN deigns to mention a Bay Area team, something big's a-brewing, yet I continue to exist in a state of half-denial. Am I happy about the Giants? Certainly; I'm ecstatic. The team has done more for its fans and its city than any of us could have imagined back in May. They've gone above and beyond, and while I'm getting pretty sick of the "misfits and castoffs" label that the media so affectionately insists on repeating, the mishmash nature of the team definitely adds a new dimension of surprise and delight for what they've accomplished. So why am I still holding my breath?
It's because they're still not done. Yes, winning the National League Championship was a huge milestone, nothing to scoff at. And I don't mean that they're still not done in the sense that "There's still a long road ahead, let's not get ahead of ourselves, the Rangers will be a tough opponent," etc. All that stuff is true, sure. I mean they're still not done in the sense that they haven't won the World Series yet. They are going to, but just not for several more days.
I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago about the Giants' post-season. He was excited that they had won the division and said that no matter what was about to take place, he would be satisfied with what happened for the team in 2010. He felt that the Giants had already exceeded our expectations and that anything more than making the playoffs was gravy. With this mindset, he took a somewhat relaxed approach toward the Braves series, simply happy that the Giants were still playing a week into October. My approach is very different. Every time the Giants advance to the next tier, I feel even more invested, more anxious and, most significantly, more hopeful. It was an absolute thrill to be at the 162nd game of the season, cheering my lungs out and reveling purely in the moment, in the sheer joy of being NL West Champs. But the next day, I was looking forward to the NLDS, fairly certain that the Giants would win it while already bracing myself for the possibility that they might not. Once that series was over and we set our sights on the Phillies, my nervousness increased tenfold, but so did my optimism. Yeah, maybe the Giants squeaked into the playoffs, aided by unreal pitching and the Padres' 10-game loss streak. But every post-season win feeds my resolve that they belong here. With each step, "could" transforms more incontrovertibly into "should." And I get greedier and greedier.
No fan would ever take anything away from this Giants team. Win or lose, World Series Champions or not, they've been nothing but fun, classy and entertaining as hell. I wouldn't change a single trade or acquisition (except maybe Jose Guillen, man, eff that guy). But here they stand, on the precipice of greatness, about to fight for the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Major League Baseball team. And I can't lie -- I think they'll win it. I also can't pretend that I won't be absolutely devastated if they don't, despite everything they've achieved to this point. But ultimately, I don't think I have to worry about that second scenario. It's enough to make a gal believe in destiny.