From today's Opinion Page of the NYT. Excerpted below.
They Really Are Giants
Let’s remember this later when we are locked in to professional football and the gloom of winter. Let’s remember it when rich baseball teams go on their off-season spending binges, packing the payroll with talent for their annual open-checkbook march to the playoffs.
It was their first championship in 56 years, and their first as a San Francisco team. And team they were — not a consortium of superstars, but a smooth blend of rising stars and nonstars, of rejects and never-beens, modestly compensated by Yankees and Red Sox standards, but hard-working and well-anchored by a staff of awesome starting pitchers, all in their 20s.
Thanks to them, this Series felt relaxed and fun, relatively free of the high-stakes anguish so prevalent in the playoffs. The pleasures started with great pitching: Madison Bumgarner in Game 4, his performance as majestic as his name. Tim Lincecum, all spilling locks and whipsaw arm, throwing smoke in Games 1 and 5. The black-bearded closer Brian Wilson, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth to seal Monday’s game, 3 to 1, and the Series, four games to one.
Let’s remember, too, the excellence of the Texas Rangers, who got as far as they did through heavy hitting and the ace Cliff Lee, all but invincible through the season, the playoffs and — well, for six innings on Monday night, anyway. There was even a good first pitch, by George W. Bush in Game 4: an easy strike by a former president who knows how to throw a baseball.
Excellence and ease, from teams that clicked, that was this Series. “It’s a whole different vibe since Barry Bonds left,” one Giants fan told The Times a few days ago. “People have just opened up and realized we can have fun with this whole thing.” The Giants once tried to build a franchise around Bonds, the sullen slugger, but the glue didn’t hold. It did this time, with players like the creaky Edgar Renteria, age 35, whose .412 Series average and three-run homer Monday night helped make him the M.V.P. Yes, he was a star, but just one in a constellation — of eccentrics, castoffs, teammates, winners.