Friday, October 15, 2010

Who Are These Guys?

It has been four days, four glorious days, since the Giants vanquished the Braves. And for four days I've been waiting for Ed Hochuli to emerge from under the hood and take it away. But, upon further review, the Giants are still in the National League Championship Series.

I still find it hard to believe. This team that can't find a cohesive offense, that doesn't have superstar to drive it, that really has no identity at all, is four wins away from the World Series.

Maybe that's the secret.

No Barry Bonds dominating the media. No Jeff Kent spinning yarns about his motorcycle. No "Humm Baby" or "You Gotta Like These Kids" or "Gamer" marketing garbage. These guys just play ball.

Not to say we couldn't use a star or two. A couple of bats in the middle of this line-up could turn this into a truly dominant team. I like the idea of a team as opposed to the proverbial 25 guys in 25 cabs. However, I still don't trust Giants management as far as I could throw the San Francisco Belle.

We had Bonds and Kent -- and nothing to go with them. Brian Sabean has also proven he's willing to go overboard the other way, as the doomed "15 Michael Tuckers instead of one Vlad Guerrero" debacle proved.

Giants baseball is like Steve Martin's comedy. It's not pretty. It's maddening at times. Every game is a life-and-death struggle to make a walk, two ground outs and a dropped pop-up stand for nine innings. Fans know it could easily come apart at any moment.

But there are just four teams left in the drive for the prize, and this bunch of misfits is one of them.

Is it just possible that this team is the equivalent of the 1988 Dodg....Doggies...uh, Dodgeball, ...the team from LA? Everyone remembers Kirk Gibson's Bambi-esque trip around the bases but forgets that that team couldn't hit a lick. Aside from Gibson, that squad's offensive heroes were Mike Davis and Mickey Hatcher.

Cody Ross, anyone?

What does this team really have? Well obviously it's strength is pitching, but take a look at this motley crew. The four horsemen they sent to the hill versus Atlanta were a stringy-haired kid with the body of a 12-year-old who likes to smoke a little herb, a southern boy who looks like Howdy Doody mated with a dump truck, the Puerto Rican Nuke Laloosh, and a mid-season arrival who is just this side of puberty.

That group is augmented by a baby-faced catcher who appears to know everything about baseball except the meaning of the word "fear", and a closer who is a certified ninja wacko. The leaders are two college teammates who nobody wanted. The key bat in the postseason belongs to a guy the Giants didn't want but got stuck with in a botched game of waiver chess.

We won't begin to talk about rally thongs, shag runs masquerading as facial hair, and $126 million dollar benchwarmers.

It works.

God, I hate to say this, but I like this team. They induce ulcers and angina, but they're rarely boring. I just hope the powers that be understand that, regardless of the outcome, there's still work to be done.

I like winning just fine. I like excitement. But next year?  Bore me. Bore me all the way to the title.

May it be a boring quest for two in a row.


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