Really, how likable are the cast-off, cut-up San Francisco Giants? And how surprised were you that they cuffed up Texas Ranger ace Cliff Lee, Mr. October Lights Out, in Game 1 of the World Serious?
New York Times lede:
SAN FRANCISCO — A gray-haired Juan Marichal stood beside the 300-game winner Gaylord Perry. Willie McCovey steadied himself against a walker as Orlando Cepeda offered support. Watching from the stands at AT&T Park was Barry Bonds. Few teams have as many living legends as the Giants, who somehow have not won a World Series title in 56 years. It was never Marichal’s turn, or McCovey’s or Bonds’s. Baseball is funny like that.
And so is the Giants’ merry band of misfits and castoffs, a charmed group of cheap free agents and waiver trades who Wednesday night ushered San Francisco ever closer to that elusive championship. They rolled over the Texas Rangers, 11-7, in Game 1 of the World Series, and in the process pierced the legend of Cliff Lee, the best postseason pitcher of recent vintage. With a six-run fifth inning, the Giants chased Lee and exceeded their total scoring output of the previous two games.
Ah, yes – Barry Bonds. The Giants have returned the Steroid Slugger to the fold, as this George Vecsey piece in Wednesday’s Times noted:
Bonds hovers over the baseball Giants. His old team did the right thing by including him as one of the four players from the 2002 National League champions to throw out a ceremonial first pitch during the Phillies series. The fans were able to indulge in a bit of catharsis by cheering for Bonds, who seemed to have eased back to the svelte proportions of head and neck and trunk of his early days with the Pirates.
Meanwhile, back in the reality-based world, the Giants just might rival the Boston Red Sox idiots of 2004 in both eccentricity and execution.
Of the Texas Rangers this time.
Now all the SF management has to do is fly Mr. Bonds to Easter Island, where he’ll fit in very nicely, and insist he stay there for the duration.