The San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions once again.
Think about that. The Giants franchise had not won a World Series since coming to the Bay Area from New York City in 1958, and not since 1954 when they swept the 111-win Cleveland Indians. (Does a catch by a certain Say-Hey Kid ring a bell?)
Now they've won two in the past three seasons, the first coming in 2010 against the Texas Rangers to break a 56 year drought, and now again in 2012 after sweeping the Detroit Tigers.
They won this year much like how they dismantled the Rangers two years ago—with outstanding starting pitching, clutch hitting, solid defense, and of course, a shutdown bullpen.
However, there were also some key differences. Namely, different heroes—particularly NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval.
Other players who came up big were Matt Cain, who continued to craft a stellar postseason resume, probable NL MVP Buster Posey, and Tim Lincecum, who played a big role in relief after having a horrible regular season in his usual starting role.
The Giants overcame a 2-0 deficit in the Division Series by winning all three games in Cincinnati to knock off the Reds. They then overcame a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS against the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals, outscoring them 20-1 to advance to the World Series.
Do not think that they are done after this one. They are certainly built for both now and the future, with stars such as Posey, Sandoval, Cain, and many other young potential stars like Brandon Belt.
The Giants are the first team to win at least two titles in a three-year span since the 1996-2000 New York Yankees, the last great dynasty of Major League Baseball.
Is it too early to use the D word at this point? Maybe, but the Giants are the only team since those Yanks to have the potential to win as many championships. They've already won two of the last three, much like how the Yankees did in 1996 and 1998. Now the Giants will look to try to repeat next year, something not done since the Yankees from '98 to 2000.
Of course, as we have seen, the MLB postseason is quite the crapshoot, and the NL is loaded with talented teams such as the Cardinals, Reds, Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and other potential foes. But it seems that the Giants are the best of them all, and they may prove it yet again in the next few years.
Repeating will surely be difficult, but as long as they can pitch the way they have the last several years and continue to get clutch hits in the biggest moments, they certainly have a shot.
Also importantly, manager Bruce Bochy now has a chance to work on a Hall of Fame resume, with two World Series championships in San Francisco after previously guiding his San Diego Padres to the NL Pennant in 1998.
The Giants have plenty to look forward to next year. Closer Brian Wilson will return sometime next year to make the bullpen even stronger. Lincecum, who came up big as a reliever, could either make a successful transition back to the rotation or continue to find a new home as a reliever. Cain is locked up for several years, and Posey, Sandoval, and Belt look to carry this offense for years to come.