Boy, bet the Rangers are thinking, “WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RAINOUT?”
Oh, it rained all right. It rained baseballs. With Giants’ bats serving as the storm clouds,
AT&T Park was drenched with a downpour of offensive mayhem in each of the first two games of the 2010 World Series. Practically every Giant who picked up a bat turned into Cody Ross at the plate, even Ross himself.
Stifle that laughter. I’m well aware these Giants, save for their eye-popping August series vs. the Reds, rarely put together consecutive strong offensive showings. I know as much as anybody that games the Giants reached 10 runs usually followed four games in which they totaled 7 runs and preceded four games in which they’d score about 6 runs.
I don’t know precisely what incited the 19-run barrage against the backpedaling, reeling, shell-shocked Texas Rangers, who are NOT as bad as they played in San Francisco.
It could have been the presence of the greatest hitter of all-time, one Barry Bonds, in the seats that only someone with Bonds’ bank account could afford. It could be the red-hot Freddy Sanchez coughing all over his comrades on the team bus. It could be that since there’s NO chance of any testing being done during the game’s prime event, the Giants are shooting themselves up with any and all steroids they can get their hands on (no Jose Guillen remarks; he is mixed up in an HGH scandal which is entirely different and will be discussed later).
It could be an obscure alteration or observation by Bam Bam Meulens. It could be tightly-wound balls. It could be the transitional start time thinning the oft-thick AT&T air.
Or it could be the Rangers’ gawful middle relief just isn’t up to snuff. It was as easy as those guys failing to throw strikes, leading to walks and juicy fastball counts. Our guys still had to capitalize, and that they did. And THEN some.
Cliff Lee. Cliff Lee. Cliff Lee. Marcia, Marcia, MARCIA! During the ALCS, the Yankees, most notably Nick Swisher, went on record disparaging the media for shoving Lee in their faces. You see, reporters seemed to believe the Yankees’ knees literally trembled over the prospect of facing Lee—about two games before he was scheduled to pitch—and, suffering a dearth of meaningful questions, bombarded them about it. It was a rare time you’ll ever see me siding with the Yankees (though I was happy when Lee beat them, naturally). Postseason legends like John Smoltz and Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson have all hung up their spikes, and baseball hasn’t quite filled their void. Josh Beckett sort of filled the role for awhile, but overall, he’s not on the same plane as the aforementioned trio. Building Lee up to be an October legend is great for storylines, perhaps even justified—7-0 all-time before Game 1 against S.F. is nothing to sneeze at. But even legends are fallible, and I don’t appreciate the Giants being given barely a chance to even score against Lee, let alone win.
I’m from the Gary Radnich (a Bay Area sports-talk legend) mold, though I’ve never explicitly heard him say what I’m about to say about Lee, I’ve heard him say it about others like him.
Lee was drafted by the Expos and acquired by the Indians in 2002; he remained an Indian until mid-2009 when Philly got him—only to swap him again after the World Series to Seattle. A disaster area from Opening Day on, the Mariners moved Lee to the Rangers in mid-2010. In most of those years he was very good to great. In the playoffs, he was even better—undefeated, in fact.
I gotta say though—if Lee were THAT good, if he were good enough to have every pundit, every blogger, every schmoe with an outlet for his opinion giving the Giants no chance to go ahead in Game 1, THREE TEAMS wouldn’t have gotten rid of him in a year’s time. You could argue that three teams COVETED him because he IS that good, but don’t teams covet other players who NEVER get moved? Of course.
I’ll close my Lee thought with this: Eric Byrnes, the now-retired outfielder who began 2010 as a teammate of Lee with Seattle, filled in on KNBR (the Giants’ flagship station) recently. He told of facing Lee in a simulated game and facing Rangers Game 2 starter C.J. Wilson in a real game shortly following that—and while careful not to tarnish the halo over Lee’s head, Byrnes said outright that Wilson had better stuff. That was all I needed to hear.
About the Author
Written by Joseph Davis
I've been a Giants' fan since 1990; I still remember my first game at Candlestick as if it were yesterday (Robby Thompson homered and the Giants downed Houston 7-3). Pushed for us to get that elusive championship and at last we GOT IT! You can see me on the softball field every week sporting my orange and black, and I'm raising my little girl to not follow in her A's-fan-mom's footsteps!