Not this year (but a one in 30 chance I’m wrong)

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

            I felt the chances of a

repeat championship for San Francisco in 2011 were slim several weeks ago, and their stumbling performance in their first two games against their bitter rival LA Dodgers put an exclamation point on my suspicions. On paper, it’s pretty much the same gaggle that went 51-30 the last half of 2010 and marched through the playoffs and World Series with the swagger and confidence of some of the best New York Yankees teams. But paper is all it is, and the 2011 Giants have opened with two of their most important players disabled, two others gone, and hopes pinned on a rookie prospect, Brandon Belt, who so far has been one of a scant few to show anything.

               Meanwhile, Dodger fans can get excited over the fact that they’ve won the first two from the hated rivals, and beaten their ace pitcher in the process. What Giant fans have to remember is that EVERY team is gunning for them, and are out to prove that last year’s championship was a fluke, that manager Bruce Bochy is not that much of a genius, just got VERY lucky when it mattered, and that this team will join the rest of the pack of also-rans. The Giants do have a long history of inconsistency. When they won the National League’s Western division in 2003 following their World Series loss to The LA Angels in 2002, that was the first time a Giants team had made the post-season in consecutive years since 1936-37. Compare that to the Atlanta Braves winning their division 14 consecutive years (1991-2005, discounting the strike year of 1994), and even though the team only made it to the World Series three times and only won it once, they managed to keep fans’ hopes high every year. After a dry spell, the Braves made the playoffs last year, and look poised to give their dominant division rival Philadelphia Phillies a challenge.

                It IS only two games, and there’s no reason to completely give up hope for the Giants winning their division as most of the experts have predicted for them. But winning the World Series in consecutive years? This is the Giants we’re talking about here, not the Yankees. The Yankees had a 5-year (1949-53), a 4-year (1936-39), and a 3-year run (1998-2000), and three back-to-back runs. The only other teams to win consecutive championships were both the Oakland (1972-74, the only other team to have a 3-year run) and Philadelphia Athletics (1910-11 and 1929-30), Boston Red Sox (1915-16, when they had Babe Ruth), Cincinnati Reds (1975-76), the Giants (1921-22), Toronto Blue Jays (1992-93), and amazingly, the Chicago Cubs last series victory in 1908 was a repeater.  

                   So, Giants fans, if you’re getting greedy and are liking the words “World Champion San Francisco Giants,” enjoy the year that you can say it.  2010 was a glorious year, and if you want some more “in your face” at Dodgers fans who are gloating over their role in spoiling the Giants’ repeat hopes, be confident that it’s not THEIR year to shine, either, that if the Giants don’t win their division, the likely winner would be the Colorado Rockies. Since LA won their last championship in 1988, SF has been to the big show THREE times to LA’s none. If LA somehow sweeps this four-game opening series, then they’re allowed temporary bragging rights, but if last year’s any indicator, remember the Dodgers won 5 of the first 6 against SF, only to lose 9 of the remaining 12. It’s a long season, anything could happen, only the strong survive (Jerry Butler, 1969, Mercury Records), and a million other clichés.   

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