Over the years, but mostly 2005 through 2008, I have said or written many things critical of Brian Sabean.
I can’t take them all back now, but I want to publicly state that I was wrong, oh so very wrong.
The first World Series Championship in 53 seasons in San Francisco.
The worst thing any Dodger fan could call the Giants, by far, was “No Ring Giants!” No longer, and never again!
Now Giants fans have the upper hand, at least until the Dodgers win their next World Series. Hopefully, that will not be for a long time.
Back to Sabean. I criticized his obsessive love for veterans, guys who were overpaid and on the down-side of their major league careers. Never again.
I criticized Sabean’s inability to develop young players. I still recall the year that Sabean signed some over-priced free agent who cost the team a late first round pick, and he said something to the effect that second-half-of-the-first-round picks weren’t worth their huge signing bonuses.
Never again. His geezers came through in spades, and he produced enough pitching through the Giants’ own organization to build a team good enough to make the postseason and give them a shot at making a run.
There was definitely some luck involved this year. The 2010 Giants were not as good a team as the Giants teams from 1962 through 1971.
Those teams had Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Ray Hart and Tom Haller, not to mention some huge pitching years from Jack Sanford and Mike McCormick.
The Giants had the best regular-season record of any franchise in the 1960s, but just could never close the deal.
Also, the Giants had some tremendous luck in the bargain players they picked up the last two seasons, particularly Aubrey Huff, coming off a bad season in 2009, Juan Uribe, coming off a bad season in 2008, and Pat Burrell, coming off a bad season-plus in Tampa.
The Giants were tremendously lucky yet again with their top draft picks. Drafting Lincecum, Cain, Posey and Bumgarner all closely enough in time to have them star on the same team was a lot more than any team can reasonably hope for.
None of that matters. What matters is winning, and the Giants finally did it.
I’ve been a serious Giants fan since 1978, and after the Giants blew Game 6 of the 2002 Series, I convinced myself the Giants would never win a World Series in my lifetime.
That feeling was reinforced from 2005 through 2008 when Sabean spent a couple of seasons too many trying to squeeze one more post-season appearance out of a team core that had gotten too old.
You look at the Cubs and Indians, and until very recently the Red Sox and the White Sox. An awful lot their fans were born and died without their teams ever winning a World Series, so it was a real possibility.
It’s easier telling yourself your team will never win. It cuts down the disappointment when they seemingly inevitably blow it.
I’m still in a bit of shock as I write this, but I am very, very happy.