Re: Happiest/Saddest/Angriest times of being a sports fan?
41 hours and twenty minutes ago has to rank up there as the happiest I've ever been.
The 2010 World Seres Championship victory was as sweet as anything, and can never quite be replicated because San Francisco had never joined the list of cities that had won a World Series Championship. The Giants, since moving out here from New York City in 1958, never quite pulled it off, despite two nail-biting seven-game World Series stacked with drama and intensity in 1962 and 2002 (oh, and there was that 1989 "Earthquake Series" in which the Giants were swept by their cross-bay rivals, the Oakland A's).
However, I can say quite truthfully that I was never as completely close to that team as I was to this 2012 Giants team. So many rookies at key positions, such hope for the beginning a long-lasting, winning and dominant franchise built on pitching, defense and scoring just enough runs through loads of speed, high average hitting, making contact, "small ball" and two power hitters in Pablo and Posey (though we exploded quite a bit in the postseason, hahaha). To see Ryan Vogelsong get a World Series ring is remarkable. Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt. Tim Lincecum after all of his struggles all year long becoming an ace out of the bullpen of all things. Barry fucking Zito saving our asses when our backs were against the wall. Insane "Gideon" Hunter Pence rallying the troops after only being in San Francisco for two months; Marco Scutaro becoming one of the undeniable team leaders and "Mr. Automatic" at the plate after being in San Francisco for two months. Buster MVPosey returning from the woeful abyss of his catastrophic injury in 2011 (if you want to know the saddest time of my sports fandom, there you have it) to becoming the Comeback Player of the Year, National League Batting Champion, Hank Aaron Award-winner, and almost assuredly in line to win the National League's Most Valuable Player Award, the unquestioned face of the San Francisco Giants franchise. Matt Cain--did you know I was at his "Perfect Game" back in June? LOL.
Madison Bumgarner having a great season, getting to be at Dodger Stadium pitching the game of his life against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers against their ace, Clayton Kershaw, as they pitched one of the best games against one another I've ever seen, each striking out ten and not walking a soul... Then worrying that Bumgarner was physically "broken" after throwing over 120 pitches in that game as such a young pitcher, only to discover that his mechanics were off during his last nine miserable starts, and then getting fixed by Dave Righetti and Mark Gardner between the NLCS and Game 2 of the World Series. The team getting better and closer and tighter and stronger after Melky Cabrera's suspension. The resolve in the face of the Dodgers buying the entire world in late August. Our "Blockbuster" Scutaro saving the day. After years with the Mets and Cubs, Angel Pagan gets a ring. After Brian Wilson went down with Tommy John Surgery, Casilla stepping up for the first half of the year in closing games, until Sergio Romo rightly took the job as his own. Pablo Sandoval goes from being benched two years ago in the postseason in the quest for the World Series Championship to being a juggernaut who joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols in hitting three home runs in a single World Series game. Oh, and two of those were off Justin Verlander and pretty damned good pitches by Verlander, too.
This is the best team of men I've ever seen in my life and I love the team and them individually like no other team I've ever followed. Thank you, guys, for fighting for your city's honor and with your backs against the wall 0-2 in a Best-of-5 vs. the lethal Cincinnati Reds, and then down 1-3 in a Best-of-7 vs. the obnoxious St. Louis Cardinals, you guys were tough and skilled and just brave enough to fight until you became so much stronger for it that you effectively became a buzzsaw the Detroit Tigers didn't see coming in a four-game sweep of the World Series.
This is as happy as I think I'll ever be. See you at the parade in San Francisco tomorrow!
(Oh, and thank you to Dub, for finding this priceless picture under this post which has now become the cornerstone of my signature, hahahaha...)