Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for their second World Series Championship in three seasons. In doing so, the nation has seen a cast of characters in the spotlight like Marco Scutaro, Sergio Romo, Tim Lincecum (pitching mostly in relief during the playoffs and doing so effectively), Hunter Pence and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval, who crushed three homers in Game 1, a continuation of an outstanding October.
As a Royals fan, it’s always tough to celebrate another team’s win, because I want to see my team win, but the drama is always interesting. Then, thoughts turn to how the Royals can be in the locker room, dousing each other with champagne in their brand new championship shirts and hats.
Maybe it even gives some validation to the idea of sticking with a general manager, as Sabean has, at times, been criticized for the contracts he’s offered, the trades he’s made and the moves he hasn’t made. While other GMs like Theo Epstein and Billy Beane are touted as geniuses, Sabean has had a bounty on his head even as recently as in the middle of 2010 as they were on their way to the World Series title. Maybe we should lighten up on Dayton Moore?
Okay, probably not, but there may be a lesson there.
Now, the offseason officially starts. Trades will be made (and in Moore’s recent history, it’ll probably happen pretty soon). Players will leave, new ones will take their place. The countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting starts now.
People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. – Rogers Hornsby
Whenever the World Series ends, I always remember one of the more dramatic series in history. In 1991, the storylines were ripe with magic as both the Braves and Twins went from worst to first and met in the World Series. Of course, the game went a full seven games, capped off by an extra innings masterpiece by Jack Morris.
After that series, which featured so much great baseball, CBS ran the credits and a narration of prose by former MLB Commissioner Bart Giamatti in his piece “The Green Fields of the Mind”. Over the last few years, I’ve tracked it down to read it as soon as the World Series – and the season – comes to an end.
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. – “The Green Fields of the Mind“
I recommend that you read the full piece. It’s melancholy, but that’s how sports turn out. Only one team wins the title, and 29 others exit off the stage. Their fans sigh and look towards next year. We all know it going in and yet it still surprises me how much of a void there is when there isn’t a game on that night or when you have to wait months to see the players hit the field again.
I’m jealous of Giants fans. I’m jealous of Tigers fans. But it’s not time for jealousy. It’s time to look out the window and wait out winter.
Only about 109 days until pitchers and catchers report.
(I want to thank Twitter follower @jvpeter for the find of this video. It hadn’t even occurred to me to look for a reading by Giamatti of his work.)