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I have never felt better about the Giants’ chances

Oct 26, 2010, 10:33 AM EDT

espnseries01

Yes ESPN, the motley crew of baseball experts who gave you this, is now predicting that the Rangers will beat the Giants in the World Series. Although, I see they’ve made a change in the lineup to get one dissenting vote in there, so as to not be completely humiliated again. As a Giants fan, having nine of 10 ESPN baseball writers go with the Rangers makes me very happy.

Apparently, however, the betting public agrees, at least for Game 1. At Bodog Sports (via Sports Radio Interviews), the Rangers with Cliff Lee on the mound are at -133, meaning that one would have to bet $135 to get a return of $235. The Giants are at -113 for Game 1 ($100, $213 return).

Here’s today’s World Series preview, via AOL Fanhouse. Seems like everyone’s picking the Rangers. So I’ll raise my glass and drink once again to being the underdog.

If ESPN writers picked The Civil War:

  1. lewp - Oct 27, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    To my good friend, and Giant lover Rick,

    Rick, I realize you are an ardent Giants fan and congrats to your team for making the trip to the World Series, but to place the Giants as the underdog to my Texas Rangers is a mistake. At least the Giants have won the Series before, The Rangers have never even sniffed the playoffs until now. Well, they did reach the playoffs some 12 years ago and then the bullies that are the NY Yankees stolle their lunch money and told the Rangers to go home.

    We’ll see how this plays out, but I don’t any jinks’ here so I’ll predict the Giants win, and hope my Rangers can squeeze out the Series win. Good luck (not really) and Go Rangewrs!

  2. lewp - Oct 27, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    Giants baseball… torture?

    It’s a fun rallying cry, but you want torture?

    Torture is waiting 39 years, as Texas Rangers fans have, for your team’s ship to come in.

    Torture is night baseball in Arlington when the game-time temperature is 99 degrees.

    Torture is not signing your No. 1 draft pick because Bud Selig won’t give you your weekly allowance.

    As the story goes, it was San Francisco broadcaster and ex-infielder Duane Kuiper who popularized the notion, “Giants baseball: torture.”

    The angst is duly noted. But let’s not have to compare old war stories, shall we?

    The Rangers are playing in their first World Series. The “tortured” Giants franchise will be participating in its 18th.

    The Giants had Bobby Thomson and the famous “Shot heard ’round the world.”

    The Rangers had Justin Thompson and the famed “rotator cuff operated upon annually.”

    The Giants had Barry Bonds. The Rangers had Bobby Bonds. I’m told that Barry was actually more likeable.

    From the Giants’ beautiful red-brick stadium, AT&T Park, you can smell the fresh air drifting in off the waterfront.

    From the Rangers’ ballpark lately, you can smell the Dallas Cowboys.

    So don’t try to sneak the word “torture” past longtime fans of the Rangers.

    In baseball, one team’s torture is another team’s treasure.

    It is staggering to note, though, that in the 50-plus years since the Giants franchise moved here from New York, the team is yet to win a World Series.

    Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey — they all failed to bring a World Series title to the Bay.

    Mario Mendoza, Benji Gil and Adam Eaton failed, likewise, for the Rangers. Oh, the anguish.

    At AT&T Park on Tuesday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was asked about the revolving door that eventually shaped his pennant-winning ballclub.

    “When you have a lot of changes, it takes everybody to buy into what you’re doing,” Bochy said. “And as I’ve said before, it changed some roles with some of the players, and I’ve really admired how they’ve handled it. It’s not easy when you have to check your ego aside and ask what’s best for the club. And these guys did it with the changes that we made.”

    Rangers manager Ron Washington also had a selling job to do on his AL champs. None may have been bigger than before the ’09 season, when the club asked team captain Michael Young, coming off a Gold Glove season at shortstop, to move to third base to make room for a rookie.

    The rookie, Elvis Andrus, is already one of the best shortstops in baseball at age 22.

    “What I mean by ‘Rangers baseball,'” Washington said Tuesday, “is if the game says you’ve got to bunt, you bunt. If the game says you’ve got to hit a ball to the right side, you go to the right side. If the game says you need to tag up and go from first base to second base on a deep fly ball, you do that.

    “Whatever the fundamentals of the game of baseball, that’s Rangers baseball. Whatever the game asks you to do, that’s Rangers baseball.”

    How his eager, precocious team will do on baseball’s biggest stage is going to be one of the prime storylines of this World Series.

    Baseball’s record books are full of pennant-winning teams whose bats were dead on arrival at the Fall Classic.

    On paper, the lineups couldn’t be more dissimilar. But even with Cliff Lee pitching tonight against San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ starting rotation in the Series seems deeper, tougher.

    Not exactly torture, though.

    “This is what you strive for every year,” Bochy said. “It goes back to when you’re a young kid, playing Wiffle Ball in the back yard or Little League. Whatever it is, you’re always picturing yourself being in the World Series.

    “This is what the game is about, and it means a lot to me. It’s been 12 years since I’ve been here, and you realize how hard it is to get here, you know, starting from spring training. It’s not easy.”

    Washington was asked whether the World Series is as special to its participants as it is to the fans.

    “This is what you go to spring training for,” Washington said. “It just means everything to me. And you know, it means everything to my players.”

    Two teams, two franchises, both long-starved for a winner.

    Something has to give.

    • Rick Chandler - Oct 29, 2010 at 11:10 AM

      Thanks Lewp, for the well-written comment. No matter which team wins, it will be worthy.