By TED SILLANPAA
Friday was, until Saturday, the best imaginable day for fans of the San Francisco Giants, right? The team led the World Series 2-0 heading back to play the Tigers in Detroit. Not a thing to worry about. Fans had nearly 48 hours to savor the Giants’ miraculous postseason run.
KNBR’s Marty Lurie still fielded telephone calls Friday from fans who wanted to talk about, honestly, whether or not the organization should retain rightfielder Hunter Pence or re-sign second baseman Marco Scutaro for 2013. The Giants were in Detroit working out, enjoying the national spotlight, two victories away from a second world championship in three years, and there were Giants’ fans who chose to gripe about Pence’s batting average, Scutaro’s age and what 2013 will bring.
That’s insanity. Sheer fan’ish insanity. The Giants have made the idea of taking them one game at a time an utterly joyous experience over the last three weeks. Who in their right mind would pick the off day before Game 3 of this World Series to start griping and moaning about … anything?
The 24 hours between the beginning of Game 3 and the start of Game 4 should’ve been, were for the right-thinking fan, euphoric. The Tigers can certainly rebound to turn the 2012 World Series into the worst nightmare in Giants history. The Giants proved in Cincinnati and again against St. Louis that anything can happen. It’s not really that hard for a team to win three postseason games in a row, even three played on the brink of elimination. Still, the Giants are sending Matt Cain to the mound in Game 4 to try to finish a World Series sweep.
The Tigers are struggling at bat against pitching that is actually superior to that which the Baltimore Orioles threw at the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966. (Yes. I’m positive. Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker and Dave McNally were dominating a virtually punchless Dodgers’ lineup. Sure, they had to out-pitch Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale … but, they didn’t have to face Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder & Co. I remember. Well. My mom wrote notes to my teacher excusing me from school to get home in time to watch what, in 1996, were World Series day games. The actual hero of that series was Baltimore reliever Moe Drabowsky. OK. I know. Nobody cares.)
Twenty of 23 teams that have taken a 3-0 World Series lead swept the World Series. The Giants should’ve been floating on a cloud from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. It can’t be better for Giants’ fans, right?
Late in Lurie’s show on KNBR after Game 3 he fielded back-to-back calls from fans who wanted to ask him his thoughts about the Giants possibly passing on the chance to re-sign centerfielder Angel Pagan in order to sign free agent Shane Victorino. If there’s a guy on the planet not worrying about anything but the San Francisco Giants here and now, it’s Marty Lurie.
I would’ve shouted, “Are you crazy? Who cares? Call back in January!” Lurie fielded another call from a guy wondering why the Giants might not consider letting Pence and Pagan go to “get really serious” (caller’s words) and sign free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Right this second, this Sunday, the Giants can do anything to be any better than they have been for the last three weeks. If they can finish off the Tigers, they will be champions of the baseball world. Then the party will start in earnest. Don’t these fans realize that a team can’t BE any better than the world champion?
What’re they thinking? And, what makes them think anyone else cares what the 2013 Giants will look like with the 2012 Giants on the verge of making magic?