2012 World Series: Giants Certain to Win, Also Definitely Going to Lose
For better or worse, we now live in a world of instant statistical analysis of pretty much everything that happens. Is David Stern retiring too late? What is Dwight Howard's press-conference-to-free-throw-practice ratio? Which is higher—Tyrann Mathieu's chances of returning to LSU, or Tyrann Mathieu?
It never ends, and it often becomes ridiculous. Well, I happen to enjoy the ridiculous, and so I now present five unassailable reasons why the Giants will win the World Series, and also why they won't. If you'd care to take a poll on how my posting this will affect the Giants' chances, I urge you to eat something nice, and then go lie down. Enjoy.
Panda's Blasts Guarantee a Giant Victory, But...
Every time a National League player has hit three home runs in a World Series game, as Pablo Sandoval did Wednesday, his team has won the championship.
Sure, it's only happened one other time, but that doesn't make it any less true—in fact, the N.L. even WON a Series in which an A.L. player accomplished the feat (Babe Ruth, 1926).
But it's worth noting that Ruth's final three-homer game was in 1935—the same year the Tigers won their first World Series.
So maybe this doesn't mean anything, after all.
...The Election Shall Doom Them, Except That...
You would think that a team born in the political hub of New York City would thrive in an election season. But the fact is that the Giants have reached the Series just twice during a presidential contest, and both times (1912, 1924) they came up short. Party affiliations make no difference, either—1912's Democrat Wilson became 1924's Republican Coolidge.
Obama's Speaker Nancy Pelosi hails from San Francisco County, but Romney was born in Detroit.
So maybe this doesn't mean anything either.
...Verlander's an N.L. Kinda Guy, Although....
Despite his overall mound dominance, Justin Verlander's October presence has been a positive one for National League teams. In addition to boasting an 0-3 World Series record, Verlander took the loss in this year's All-Star Game, handing home-field advantage to the Giants.
Additionally, Verlander shares a birthday with Sidney Poitier, who in 1967 starred in "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," which was set in San Francisco...just one year before the Tigers won their 3rd championship.
We'll call it a draw.
Le Français a Gagné Le Meilleur Acteur, Donc Les Giants Gagneront, Mais...
This year Jean Dujardin became the first French actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor, for his role in "The Artist." Seven other French nominees have gone south over the years, and in each year (1930-31, 1939-40, 1946, 1962, 1991) the Giants failed to win the World Series.
This would seem to suggest a Tiger victory, except that they haven't won in any of those years either. Furthermore, Detroit was settled by the French, much like Dujardin (although I found it quite unsettling to watch "The Artist," a silent film, and would rather watch the artistry of Justin Verlander).
Again, we... we know nothing.
...by George, It's a Giant Bookend, Until You Consider That...
It was in 1922 that South Dakota saw the birth of future senator and presidential candidate George McGovern. That year, the Giants beat the Yankees for their second consecutive World Series title.
This year we lost the senator, and it would only be fitting for the Giants to place a bookend on his life of service with another Series win... except that Nixon, the man who defeated McGovern in 1972, was later replaced by Gerald Ford... a Michigan man.
So perhaps the Giants will want to distance themselves from McGovern, especially since the last man to lead the Tigers to the title was one George "Sparky" Anderson—a fellow South Dakotan.
...San Francisco May Not Be Truckin' to the Title, Although...
The Giants and the Grateful Dead have had a star-crossed history with each other. The band formed in 1965, the same year Juan Marichal whacked Johnny Roseboro in the head with a bat during a game—temporarily rendering him a Dead-approved level of dizzy. That blow probably cost the Giants the pennant, as Marichal missed several starts and the team fell just one game short.
The Dead have become something of a staple at important Giant games, recently singing the national anthem with Tim Flannery, for example. The Giants tend to win games the Dead sing at, but the band has hinted at a Detroit affinity.
After all, the lyrics "Chicago, New York and Detroit and it's all on the same street" come from "Truckin'," clearly a reference to former Detroit Tiger Virgil Trucks, who helped the Tigers win their second Series title in 1945.
...Here Are "2" Reasons the Giants Are Sitting Pretty, But...
The Giants have never lost a World Series in which they've won the first two games at home. That seems daunting, until you factor in that the Tigers have never lost such a Series.
Of course, they've also never been in one—the closest they've come was 106 years ago, when they dropped games 2 and 3 in Chicago after the opener ended in a tie.
Speaking of 106, it was in 2002 that the Tigers lost that number of games, while the Giants went on to lose the World Series—as they did both 50 and 100 years ago, in 1962 and 1912. In fact, the Giants are just 1-3 in World Series in years ending in a 2, while this is the Tigers' first attempt. Their only prior 2-related playoff appearance was in 1972, when they lost the ALCS to Oakland—including the first two games on the road.
...They Might Find This Series Is for the Birds, Except...
Many people, after their favorite team is eliminated each year, tend to root for whatever team comes from that league in the World Series. The Giants are probably not among them, for they have never won the World Series the year after the Cardinals—in fact, until this year, they'd never even reached the Series in a post-Cardinal season.
The Tigers, on the other hand, have pulled off that unusual feat four times—1935, 1945, and 1968—and won the Series each time. In fact, 1984 is the only times the Tigers won the World Series without the Cardinals winning the previous year—the same year Game Three's starter, Anibal Sanchez, was born.
...C.C. May Have "Left" the Giants a Gift, But...
In 2010, Yankee lefty C.C. Sabathia won a career-high 21 games, but the Giants took home the World Series title. This is one of two reasons why the Giants may be celebrating Sabathia's recent elbow surgery.
For one, they have never failed to win the championship in a year in which Sabathia went under the knife (he had knee surgery after the 2010 campaign). For another, that was the only year in which the Giants have won a championship in a season where a Yankee lefty won 20 games or more.
16 Yankees have turned the trick since Herb Pennock first did it in 1924 (one of three years the Giants have lost a Series when a Yankee has accomplished the feat).
So C.C.'s increasingly questionable durability may be a boon for the Giants—except that nine of the 11 Tiger pennants, and three of their four titles, have occurred in years like 2012, where no Yankee won 20.
...In the End, It All Comes Back to the Cubs.
As a Cub fan, I'm always looking for ways to find some kind of hope of an upcoming Series berth, and fortunately, I've found one.
The Cubs' only Series titles came in 1907 and 1908—meaning that the Giants have never won the World Series the year before the Cubs did. Thus, at the moment, I can still safely say that the Cubs are guaranteed to win the Series in 2013, since this is still technically a year in which the Giants have not won.
What's more, five of the Cubs' pennants have immediately followed Giant Series appearances (1906-8, 1918, 1938). So clearly, this means we are about to enter a new era of Cub dominance—only problem is, the Tigers are strong too, and the last two times the Cubs and Tigers faced off, the Tigers walked away with the crown.
Thus, it's time for a good stiff drink, another re-read of "For The Love of Ivy" and the hope that Steve Bartman rides a goat through Leon Durham's legs.
It might be the only chance we have.