Monday, October 29, 2012

A New Reality

Full disclosure: I am a Giants fan. It's a lifetime deal; I have as much Johnnie LeMaster and Frank Linzy in my DNA as I do Pablo Sandoval and Sergio Romo. I have the ticket stubs, season-ticket invoices, blankets and Croix de Candlestick to prove my oft-misplaced loyalty.

There were some lean years. Very lean years. And then there was the epic release of 2010, the first-ever San Francisco Giants title.

And now, this. The beyond-improbable comebacks in the National League Division Series and National League Championship Series. The uproarious Game 1 spanking of Tigers ace Justin Verlander along with the utter, complete, and permanent redemption of Barry Zito. The sacking of the Motor City en route to the sweep none of the "experts" saw coming.

I certainly don't pretend to speak for every Giants fan, but I know this: many of us are on strange ground now. The reality we've known for all those years has shifted. No longer are the Giants a bunch of near-missers or lovable losers. When you win it all twice in a three-year span, you're doing something deeply and fundamentally right.

Of course, the Baseball Gods are fickle. So many things large and small can dictate the outcome of a game, a series, a season. There are no guarantees of future performance. Yet there it is: two titles in three years.

So the question is: how do we adjust to this new reality? Do we end up like Yankees fans, who simply expect a championship each year as a sort of birthright? How about those Red Sox fans, who wore the team's historic futility like a hair shirt for years, then seemed to reverse it so the scratchy side was out once the team had some success?

Or do we stay the course and maintain a healthy sense of amazement at whatever good fortune falls our way? I think you can see my mindset.  I hope I can maintain it.

Now, another championship next year might change things...


Jerry Boutry said...

Stan, your not so ambiguous feelings about FOX is comforting to us non-media people who really, really, REALLY do not like the FOX broadcast!

MGL said...

Much of my life supporting the Giants has been spent looking up in the standings at the Dodgers and Reds, or across the bay as the A's brought home four World Series titles. Occasionally the heart would be lightened with the arrival of a John Montefusco or a Will Clark, only to have hopes dashed again. I've lived through seasons when only about 900 fans would show up for a game at Candlestick. So I receive quizzical looks when I try to explain to friends not of the Bay Area the significance of a World Series title in San Francisco, let alone two. It is something that many of us thought as likely to find as a winning lottery ticket, or a unicorn. Yet here we are. It is real. Yes, we still have a troubled economy. And some of us will, of necessity, be unhappy with the outcome of next week's election. And unfortunately many of us cope with unemployment or other difficulties, in our own lives or among family and friends, that some days seem just too heavy to be fair. But on this day we can say that fans of the Orange & Black were rewarded as it seemed only fans in other cities could be. Let us enjoy and make memories of today, for we know not whether it will come this way again. Go Giants. And thank you.