Rooting for the SF Giants

Was that a great World Series performance or what?

It’s one of the conundrums of sports: After your team loses in a playoff series, do you root for the team your team lost to, or do you root for the other guys? Under normal circumstances, I’m a staunch “root for the other guys” person. Any wrong you do to my boys, bubba, you do to me. I’m not prone to forgiveness. I am, instead, prone to stark, ugly, long-lasting hate.

And yet I found myself rooting for the Giants in this World Series. For one thing, I knew them better than I knew the Rangers, after watching them stack up against the Phillies. But that couldn’t fully explain it; I’ve been a virulent Lakers hater (and especially a Kobe hater) ever since the Lakers beat the Sixers for the NBA title back in 2001. I can’t really say I feel fond of Cody Ross, but I don’t, so far, find myself hoping he’ll become lost in the desert and be eaten to death by fire ants, slowly and horribly. And with Kobe, I do. [SIGNUP]

For another thing, there’s no fawning over George W. Bush in San Francisco, at least as far as I know. Besides, there was a lot to admire in the effort the Giants put out, against both us and that Texas team. Their pitching was stupendous, from starters and closers alike. They didn’t make nearly as many egregious errors against the Rangers as they did against us, when they sometimes looked like the Keystone Kops out there. And the personalities on the team seemed, well, downright Philly-worthy: Brian Wilson with his fierce black beard (what puts it into someone’s head to do that?), that guy who’s gone through life named Aubrey Huff, that guy who’s gone through life named Buster Posey, and the King of All Weird, Tim Lincecum, a wisp of a fellow whose hair is way prettier than mine (his eyes actually are as well) and who wears bow ties in public. Lincecum looks nothing like a pro baller (if you overlook his well-developed shoulders and arms) and everything like a stoner skateboarder you’d be embarrassed to bring home to Mom. When you watch him pitch, you inevitably start thinking about what he has to have endured in locker rooms over the years, despite his glistening talent. And you feel for him.

Know who I don’t feel for? Pat Burrell. Sorry, Pat, but I did a little happy dance in my living room when you struck out with two on there in the seventh just before Edgar Renteria smacked a home run. It could be you’re a noble, decent human being, and you just seemed like a self-involved asshole when you played in Philly. But I don’t think so. You looked damned handsome, as always, up there at the plate. But handsome is as handsome does.

In the end, the Rangers lost to a better team. So did the Phillies. Hey, that’s why there’s next year.