That's the way I've always played baseball and followed baseball when my playing days ended: you play to the bitter end to win. I remember the game still, from the early 70's, the Giants were losing something like 7-1 to the Pirates and then they came back with 7 runs in the bottom of the 9th to win the game. I think that they did most of that with 2 outs too. I remember my first date with my wife, I took her to a Giants-D-gers game, the Giants were losing 7-3, but came back to score 5 runs, and I think that they did not even make one out. I never understood the people streaming out of the park just before the Giants got their final ups in the 9th, I felt sorry for them.
My point with these examples is that baseball is much like one of those Russian dolls where if you open up one, you find another similar one inside of it. A baseball season is much like a baseball game, writ large. One inning, you look like crap, the next you are Babe Ruth and Cy Young all wrapped up into one. So I understand the gloom and doom. Most likely, this is not going to end well for our heroes, Los Gigantes de San Francisco, but much like a baseball game, you never know when your team pulls it out in the bottom of the ninth.
Put another baseball way, I would rather the Giants run out the grounder by playing to win until there is no more games to be gained such that they can win. Most grounders do not end well, but I would rather see the Giants hustle to get to first base than trot to first base and accept their probable fate.
I want them to show the Warrior Spirit that Bochy spoke to some of them about, as noted in the newspapers, Mercury and Chronicle:
"It's very important for us to keep going hard," Bochy said before the game. "It's what you should do. It's the right thing to do. It's an obligation and a responsibility. We're not going to tolerate anything else. It's on the veterans and the leaders to keep them going hard.
"This is when you find out about players, too. If there's any time you come out with a fighting spirit, a warrior spirit, it's now."So yeah, the going is tough, but as the saying goes, this is when the tough gets going. I like that Bochy said that people are not just playing for 2011 right now, they are playing for 2012 because the Giants management will be evaluating who they want to be on the team in 2012, who deserves to be on the team, both young and old. Even Barry Zito, with his mega-contract that one would think would be a huge hurdle, Sabean said, when asked about Zito in 2012, that he didn't know.
That's why I loved Madison Bumgarner's start and Pablo Sandoval's game, neither of them gave in, and they had great games. And a lot of the players played well too, and like Sandoval had been doing for a long while, played with injuries, like Huff, who apparently has been struggling with his bad back, which was reported earlier this season, and recurred again in last night's game.
It is a fine line whether it is better for your team to continue playing injured or to take the DL and get well, but I would prefer that they tried to play first, then quickly DL when it is clear you are just hurting the team. Beltran, for example, didn't even try and took the full 15-days when he probably could have at least started playing when he was still not on the DL around day 10. I think that will hurt his contract negotiations this off-season. Huff, at least, had been hitting well and tried to play, but it is arguable whether he stayed too long in the lineup and started hurting the team by not DLing or at least resting.
And that still gets to my theme of the recent past few posts: we need a hero. Someone with that Warrior Spirit who will lead the team, then who might continue the job in 2012, as Bochy and Sabean are looking for a few good men, apparently, for 2012. It is not going to be easy, but I want the team to go down running for first base, hoping to beat the throw, maybe starting a rally that wins it all for us.