Yes, I've been remiss in not commenting before now on the San Francisco Giants' inspiring victory over the Atlanta Braves in the National League Divisional Series. But an awesome experience it was, although "torture" has become a word very familiar to Giants fans this year.
With the Giants, nothing comes easy. They're not one of the great teams in baseball history; they're not the 1961 Yankees or the 1970 Orioles or the 1975 Reds or the 1984 Tigers or the 1986 Mets or the 1998 Yankees...they're not even the 2004 Red Sox. They have a great, albeit inconsistent, pitching staff. Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies in the NLDS, but Lincecum's 2-hitter against Atlanta - with 14 strikeouts - just might have been a more dominating performance. On any given night, Matt Cain can look like Dwight Gooden at his best. Jonathan Sanchez...well, he pitched a no-hitter, something not even two-time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum can say.
And then you think about players like Buster Posey and Madison Baumgarner. These are the kind of players about whom you can honestly say, the sky is the limit. Either or both might end up in the Hall of Fame. Either or both could be a flash in the pan. Right now, they are key cogs in the machine, players that could either be heroic in a critical point of the series yet to come, or the goat that people will remember for decades to come. And that is part of what makes baseball so special - you just never know.
Part of this is entirely selfish on my part, because right now a Giants win would mean a lot...but flawed though it is, there is something about this Giants team that makes me think it is the one that is going to take it all. I've had dreams - while asleep, and while awake - that the Giants are going to win the World Series this year, in Game 7, against the New York Yankees. And it will be someone like Travis Ishikawa, or Pat Burrell, or Freddy Sanchez, or Aubrey Huff, to get the hit to do it. Players who won't make the Hall of Fame, but who have played key roles in making this Giants season as special as it has been.