I was asked in conversation who I would root for in the playoffs, and although I did not pick a team, I did state I would root for the NL representative to win the World Series. Even if that rep was the Dodgers. I believe the only professional league in the world still playing baseball like it was meant to be played is our league, the National League, and I want to see it succeed. Mission accomplished, and congratulations to the San Francisco Giants.
I couldn't watch the post-game celebrations without thinking what might have been for San Diego. I doubt any Padre fan could. San Diego was the better team head-to-head, and had a better interleague record; but the Giants were 32-22 against the rest of the NL West, and the Padres were 26-28. That was the difference. San Fran was a 1/2 game better against the NL Central and 3.5 games better against the NL East than the Padres. Still, San Diego had a chance to win the division on the last day of the season.
Which leaves one to wonder: How far would San Diego have gotten in the post-season? I don't think anyone can really say; after all, what predictive software program had the Rangers knocking off the Yankees? I do think that the Padres would not have had enough offense to survive a first-round matchup with Atlanta or Philadelphia. The Giants got contributions and power up and down their lineup: Renteria, Ross, Posey, Burrell, Uribe, the list goes on. San Diego didn't have that outside of Gonzalez and Tejada. Pitching-wise, San Diego's rotation was not nearly as deep as San Francisco's, although our bullpen is their's equal.
I think the Padres, had they qualified, would have bowed out in the LDS round, and there would have been no shame in that; after all, this team was picked to finish last by most.
With the Giants win we close out the first decade of the new millennium, and what a decade it was for the World Series.
- Arizona, Anaheim, Colorado, Houston, Tampa Bay, and Texas all made their first World Series Appearance, with Arizona and Anaheim winning their first ever championship.
- We saw long streaks end - Boston ended a 90 year drought; the White Sox an 88 year drought; San Francisco a 56 year drought.
- Only the Red Sox won multiple titles.
- The old guard teams continue to dominate, though. The Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, and Cardinals won 40% of the league titles (2 each) in the decade.