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San Francisco Giants “It” Factor Will Tame Tigers: A Fan’s Perspective

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San Francisco Giants “It” Factor Will Tame Tigers: A Fan’s Perspective
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San Francisco Giants “It” Factor Will Tame Tigers: A Fan’s Perspective

No one can ever point to a particular moment, a singular play, a distinctive characteristic, that compels a team, unlikely to persevere otherwise, to a championship. Players struggle to define the turning point, managers surface platitudes, media conjures a variety of tipping points, but few can ever definitively point to "it," the overriding factor that propels a team past adversity, over hurdles, and through the challengers to a title.

The San Francisco Giants, only two years removed from a championship that featured plenty of magic, seem to have latched onto "it" again in 2012. Twice in this post-season, an impartial observer could have easily summoned the coroner to the Giants' locker room. They lost the first two homes games of a five-game series to the Cincinnati Reds, the second of which was a demoralizing demolition. Then, on the verge of quietly bowing out with one hit in nine innings in Game Three, they somehow survived and won the last two.

It surfaced memories of the 1986 World Series, in which the New York Mets seemed so anemic and pathetic in losing the first two at home to the Boston Red Sox, before rallying. You might remember believing the magical, dominant Mets were done. And who can forget the New York Yankees 19-8 Game Three Fenway Park drubbing of the same Sox, before Boston swept the last four?

The Giants, though, weren't finished being written off. After Game Four of the NLCS, you would have had to organize a search party to find anyone who believed the St. Louis Cardinals wouldn't terminate the Giants easily. They seemed dominant and, well, Cardinal-like. An unlikely Game Five victory behind Barry Zito changed everything.

Some will proclaim that the Detroit Tigers should have the upper hand. After all, who spanks the Yankees in four straight games - at any time during a season? That the Tigers achieved it in a playoff series, effecting an historically awful performance from the world's most successful sports' organization, is worthy of high praise. But the Giants have now survived six potentially season-ending games. For those seeking a favorite in the World Series, they're "it."

Glenn Vallach has been a New York Mets fan since foolishly abandoning the mighty Yankees in his youth after Mickey Mantle retired. Since the fond, fleeting memories of the Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee years, he sits quietly yearning for a fraction of the success enjoyed annually by the team that inhabits the borough in which I was born...waiting and hoping...waiting and hoping.

Sources:

  • · Yahoo! Sports New York Mets page
  • · Yahoo! Sports New York Yankees page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Detroit Tigers page
  • · Yahoo! Sports San Francisco Giants page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Barry Zito page
  • · Les Carpenter, Yahoo! Sports, Ten years later, Justin Verlander in Barry Zito's former role as best pitcher in baseball
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