The Week That Was:
Won 1, lost 3 against the Reds.
Won 0, lost 3 against the Cubs.
46-58 for the season; last place in the NL West.
The Week That Will Be:
Mon: Off. Giants visit the White House.
Tue: at Philadelphia against the Phillies.
Wed: at Philadelphia against the Phillies.
Thu: at Philadelphia against the Phillies.
Fri: at Tampa Bay against the Rays.
Sat: at Tampa Bay against the Rays.
Sun: at Tampa Bay against the Rays.
In the beginning, there was nothing. Ok, there was something, and though we're not quite sure what that thing was, we think it was all balled up, compressed, and dense as all get out. And then there was a big ol' bang and the universe spread and expanded and it's still going. And so goes the NL West.
Four games. At the beginning of this month, four games separated the 1st place Diamondbacks from the last place Dodgers. And then the Big Bang happened and the Diamondbacks and the Rockies and the Padres and the Giants and the Dodgers began to move and realign and spread. The Dodgers went 24-6 and the Giants went 8-22 and the NL West stretched. Today, the Dodgers are in 1st and the Giants are in last place, 10 games back. Did reading that last sentence hurt your eyes? Good, because it killed my soul to write.
But don't you dare call this rock bottom. The Giants are like the Marina or Foster City, and you're gonna have to go deep--down to the continental shelf itself--before you can even begin to even fathom the depths you'll have to dig to hit bedrock. We know because our shovels scraped cold, hard granite in 1992.
The Giants had won their last World Series in 1954, when they still called New York home. They moved west to San Francisco in 1958, and four years later, they were back in the World Series against their old world rivals, the damned Yankees. The Giants lost. Then they lost and lost some more until 1989, when they finally made it back to the World Series and lost again. By 1992 the party was over.
The San Francisco Giants were losers. The A's had won the World Series in 1972, '73, and '74. They made another three appearances in '88, '89, and '90. Of the latter three, the one they won was against the Giants. The Raiders were champions in the '67, '76, '80, and '83. The 49ers, of course, were royalty. Even the Warriors had won the NBA Championship in 1975. The Giants' trophy case contained certificates of participation and a few scratch 'n sniff stickers. Something needed to change.
Like the scenery.
Most well-adjusted people know there is a St. Petersburg in Russia. I suppose Giants fans know that too, but you'll have to excuse us if it takes a moment for it to click. You see, for us, St. Petersburg exists only in nightmares and in Florida--redundant, I know.
In 1992, the Giants were sold. The team--Will Clark, Robby Thompson, Dave Righetti, John Burkett, Rod Beck, Matt Williams, Jose Uribe, Bill Swift, the whole lot of them--would be crated up and shipped out to Florida where they would call St. Petersburg home.
The St. Petersburg Giants. The Tampa Bay Giants. The St. Petersburg Giants of Tampa Bay. The Eff You's.
The Giants would play for St. Petersburg, a town that was a festering bump on the flaccid penis of America that is Florida. This was too much. This, my friends, was rock bottom.
Bedrock is the best for solid foundations--once you hit rock bottom, you can build up. The 1992 sale was blocked by the National League owners and the current Giants ownership group stepped in and snatched the team away from the traitor Bob Lurie. The boys were back and all the things that would not have happened, happened. Barry Bonds happened. Kruk and Kuip and Miller and Flemming happened. Timmy and Matt and Buster and Panda and McCovey Chronicles and Scutaro and a perfect game happened. World Series championships in 2010 and 2012 absolutely happened. (Let's all agree 2002 never happened).
The Giants will go to St. Petersburg on Friday, but they'll go not in a U-Haul, but wearing our city's name on their chests. They'll probably lose, because let's face it, that's what the Giants do these days, but that's OK. When the Giants play the Tampa Bay Rays, it'll give us all a chance to step back and remind ourselves that as crappy as this season has been for the Giants or as terrible things may seem in each of our lives, there is still a whole lot to be thankful for. At the very least, we'll be reminded things could be worse--we could be in Florida.