Last Saturday, shortly after I got home from watching Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, I logged into Twitter and saw a Tweet from Rob Neyer, saying he would be on ESPN Radio shortly, taking questions. After a few tries, I got through, and I asked Neyer his thoughts on if there could be a Rangers-Giants World Series. He said he thought there was a good chance, and while it made me smile, I remained skeptical. I’ve been skeptical all season, and I suspect I may be a skeptic at heart. Thankfully, I now officially know nothing: The Giants triumphed 3-2 over the Phillies this evening and will face the Rangers in the Series.
It’s an improbable match-up to cap improbable seasons for both teams. I read Rangers team president Nolan Ryan saying at the start of the year that he thought his squad was good for 92 wins, and that sounded like crazy talk. Granted, Sports Illustrated predicting great things for the Mariners on the basis of obscure defensive metrics sounded– and proved– crazier still (even if I went along with it at the time) but I would not have picked Texas to so much as win the AL West. None of the teams appeared good enough really, and the fact that one is now playing for the championship defies logic, conventional wisdom, and definitely sabermetrics.
The Giants were another story. While I told people from the outset of this season that the Giants looked like a 90-win club, I figured they wouldn’t do much beyond win the NL West. They just didn’t seem to have the offensive star power. In fact, when San Francisco dipped to around .500 at the beginning of July, I feared this was only the latest in a long line of laughably inept predictions, like when I said the Niners would win the NFC West in 2004 and watched them go 2-14, or when I thought Barack Obama should be Hillary Clinton’s VP in 2008. Heck, even after San Francisco triumphed over the Padres on the last day of the season to win the division, I wrote a post here that ran along the lines of, Well, that was nice but nothing much will happen for the Giants in the postseason.
It never felt so good to be wrong.