The Church of the Eternal Bleacher
What About the Giants?
In the name of Timmy, Buster and Nate the Great, now and forever, you’re safe. Welcome to the Church of the Eternal Bleacher, for the first post season service of the year. We are celebrating with our brothers in St. Louis now as we see now that the National League has captured the trophy for the third year out of four. Though I know everyone has a lot to say, sometimes one question can speak for everyone. So let’s do that.
“Someone said the Cardinals were just like the Giants were last year. Is that because the hit into a lot of double plays  during the regular season? Or was it because they won the Series?”
“Yeah, what’s up with that? The Cards had the best offensive stats in the National League. That doesn’t sound like the Giants.”
“I think what that person meant is that both the Giants last year, and the Cards this year, got red hot at the end of the season. Both were fortunate that the teams in front of them, by at least ten games in the standings, suffered a total team collapse in the last five weeks of the season. Both the Giants and the Cardinals clinched their divisions on the last day of the season, each opposed Texas in the Series, and both won.”
“How did the Cardinals do it? How did they keep coming back at the last minute?”
“Look at last year’s Giants. They had all the right guys hitting at the right times, and their bullpen was untouchable. Bochy was golden. Look what happened in game four, when LaRussa pulled Jackson and put in Boggs. Napoli hit a three-run jack. He was off on that one, and the series went seven. But the Cards were just like the Giants, playing against favored opponents, and not backing down an inch.
“What happened to the Phillies? Didn’t they have the best pitching staff in baseball?” There was widespread laughter at this last comment.
“We all know who has the best pitching staff in baseball, in the name of Timmy...well you know how that goes. The Phillies, like the Giants, have an excellent pitching staff. I think after this season, it is clearer than ever which staff is better. However, the Phillies did not lose in the fist round of the playoffs because of bad pitching. Look at that organization: They won the whole enchilada in 2008, lost in the series in 2009, lost in the NLCS in 2010, and lost in the NLDS in 2011. Who even knows if they’ll make the playoffs next year?”
“Wasn’t it sick that there were no East Coast teams in the Series this year?”
“Now Billy. You can think that, but you can’t say it. You know that fans from any denomination, even Dodgers fans, can be members of the Church of the Eternal Bleacher, so out of respect to them, let’s dispense with dissing on the Yankees today, unless of course there are no objections? In which case, let’s all give a big raspberrious cheer for the Non-Yanks and the fru-Phils, or the Phollies, if you prefer. Then we will go back to proper protocol.”
As the din finally died down, a small voice rose out of the choir area, up in the balcony. “What about the Giants?” There was a chorus of shouts, all apparently happy to hear the one question they had been waiting for.
“The Giants? What do you want me to say? That Barry Zito doesn’t care about the nineteen million dollars he is owed? That the Giants don’t still owe Aaron twelve mil? They do, and they have a bunch of tough choices to make. But don’t you get confused. The Giants haven’t gone anywhere. Buster is taking bullpen practice, and Freddy’s surgery went just fine. They have the same starting pitching and a very solid bullpen.
We saw an impressive debut from Brett Pill, and we saw the two Brandons, Belt and Crawford, and each of the three tells us that the kids are here to put pressure on the veterans. The Giants know they must score more runs, and the Giants’ ownership knows they must make an effort to provide more potent bats in the lineup, or else we will be waving good-bye to Timmy, Matt and Madbum. We don’t want to wave bye-bye to any of those three, though, because it will mean we will also have to wave hi, as they come to visit AT&T, as members of opposing teams, in the name of Timmy, Buster and Nate the Great, now and forever, you’re safe.