The "D" word may be frowned upon as a label that creates unfair expectations, but the San Francisco Giants have all the requirements for a dynasty.
The most obvious aspect of a dynasty is multiple championships in a short period of time. After sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series to win their second title in three years, the Giants have passed this first test.
But how San Francisco won its latest title will be extremely important to their continued success. A dynasty is something exceedingly rare in professional sports today, and it takes significantly more than just putting talented players on the field to be a championship-caliber team year after year.
First, it takes an entire organization to win a championship. From Brian Sabean in the front office down to Bruce Bochy in the dugout, the Giants made exceptionally intelligent moves throughout the season to put the team in position to make this astonishing run.
Trading for Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence midseason, and opting to stick with Gregor Blanco in the outfield instead of bringing back Melky Cabrera, are all decisions that had tremendous impact in the postseason.
Trusting Sergio Romo as the closer throughout the playoffs after using several different players to end games throughout the regular season was another adroit move that propelled the Giants' run.
While the coaches and front office executives are vital to ensuring a team has a chance to succeed, the players are ultimately responsible for what happens on the diamond. Throughout the postseason, the Giants' players stepped up in important situations.
San Francisco’s strength over the past few seasons has been its pitching. From the starters through the bullpen, the team’s arms were on point throughout the playoffs.
Among the position players, the performances from Blanco and Scutaro cannot be overlooked. But a dynasty must be built around stars capable of coming through in crucial moments. Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval proved that they are the type of players who can spark a team and record clutch hits.
Sandoval was spectacular in this series, starting with his three-home-run performance in Game 1. Two of those shots came off of Justin Verlander, and his ability to show vulnerability in the Tigers ace set the tone for the remaining games.
Posey had struggled leading up to the World Series and finished the postseason with a batting average of just .200. But in Game 4, he delivered a two-run homer when the Giants were trailing for the first time against the Tigers.
That showed the team’s ability to never let its foot off the gas pedal until they were hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy. Posey and Sandoval led that effort, and the two players are just 25 and 26 years old, respectively.
The last important quality this team displayed throughout the postseason was incredible chemistry. No team appeared to be enjoying themselves more than the Giants while winning, and even in the bleakest moments during a wild run, the unity and joy never went away from this team.
This dynamic allowed the team to pull off wins in unlikely situations, and now that the team has even more championship experience, it will continue to thrive in high-pressure situations in the postseason.
San Francisco and its fans should enjoy this moment and look forward to more like it. With a shrewd front office, an excellent manager, young stars and fantastic team chemistry, the Giants will be contenders during every season in the foreseeable future.