A Pocketful of "Posey"

Article excerpt

QUESTION: Is it more important for the team you love to win or the team you hate to lose? Answer: It depends on how good your favorite team is. Another question: Do the baseball gods enjoy creating historical parallels for our national pastime? Answer. Yes, but only to a certain degree. Final question: When watching your favorite team ascend to the World Series championship for the first time in 56 years (and then repeat just two seasons later), how easy is it to mix hope and doubt? Answer. Very.

The Giants have been crowned lords of the baseball world for the seventh time in franchise history (1905, 1921-22, 1933, and 1954 in New York; 2010 and 2012 in San Francisco), having swept the Detroit Tigers 4-0 in the Fall Classic, but not before overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the the National League Championship Series (to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven) and an 0-2 deficit in the N.L. Division Series (to upend the Cincinnati Reds in five, the last three in Cincy).

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The Giants, who have won the most games in major league history and the most pennants in N.L. annals, closed out the postseason with seven straight victories by a combined 36-7 score. They now have won seven consecutive World Series contests (having taken the last three against the Texas Rangers in 2010). Should S.E sweep the American League titlist in its next two Fall Classic appearances--whether those appearances will occur soon, or even in this century, is anyone's guess; talk about mixing hope and doubt--the Giants will break the New York Yankees record of 14 straight W.S. triumphs set during the Joe Torre reign.

Since moving to San Francisco in 1958, the Giants have flown the N.L. flag in 1962, 1989, 2032, 2010, and 2012. No National League team had swept the Series since the 1990 Reds upended the Oakland Athletics, and the Giants became just the fifth Senior Circuit club to win two titles in a three-year period, joining the 1907-08 Chicago Cubs, 1921-22 N.Y. Giants, 1944 and 1946 St. Louis Cardinals, and 1975-76 Reds. (As for you crossover fans, this also marks the first time that the baseball and football Giants have won championships in the same calendar year.)

The Giants also are the fifth big league team--and the first since the 1982 Cardinals--to win a championship while finishing dead last in home runs during the regular season. As for deja vu all over again, in 1932, 1933, and 1934, the Yankees, Giants, and Cardinals won the World Series. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Yankees, Giants, and Cardinals won the World Series. In 1935, the Tigers won the World Series. In 2012, the Tigers lost the World Series. Chalk it off to the baseball gods having their fun.

The Giants' Buster Posey was named the N.L. MVP, becoming just the third catcher in big league history to win Rookie of the Year honors, an MVP plaque, and a World Series rifle. The other two, Johnny Bench and Thurman Munson, also were two-time World Series victors. …