For everyone that talks about baseball being a dull sport, I hope they were planted in front of the TV watching last night's Phillies-Giants tilt.
It was an incredible game that wound up crowning the San Francisco Giants as National League Champions, sending the unlikely group to the World Series.
As many have pointed out, the Giants are a pretty interesting team. They have tremendous pitching. Tim Lincecum is one baseball's best. Matt Cain is a very good, dependable pitcher. Jonathan Sanchez, despite the wildness that was on display last night, has been quite effective early in his career. Madison Bumgarner came into the year as one of baseball's best prospects, and hasn't disappointed. And then there's Barry Zito, who holds one of baseball's worst contracts, but rebounded this year to post solid numbers.
But all of that is why the Giants have confused me the last few years. Every year, I look at them at the beginning of the off-season and wonder what they might to do to find solutions to their weak offense so that they can take advantage of this amazing bunch of pitching talent while they have them all under contract. They always seem like the perfect fit for the big offensive free agents, and yet every year as of late, they pass up on them in favor of mediocre, stop-gap bats.
This year, it all came together. One of those "mediocre" bats they picked up this off-season was Aubrey Huff, who turned in one of the best seasons of his career. Pat Burrell, who was picked up the Giants after being cut by the Rays early in the year, managed to turn his career around with a good showing the rest of the way.
And then there's Buster Posey, who I'm not sure much more can be said about. One of the game's best prospects going into the year was incredibly impressive once he got his shot. The only young player I've ever heard get compared to Derek Jeter (in a positive way) in terms of character and talent, gave the Giants a huge boost, and became that impact player they haven't been able to sign in free agency.
Today though, I don't think Giants fans care how it all came together, as they're still enjoying the fact that it did. Congratulations, San Francisco - you're four wins away from letting this unlikely group of youngsters and old castoffs shock the baseball world.