PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 23: Aubrey Huff #17 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 and winning the pennant in Game Six of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Aubrey Huff
Editor's Note: NBC DFW and NBC Bay Area both have strong feelings about their respective baseball team. Here, NBC Bay Area explains why the Giants will win their first ever World Championship. Click here to get NBC DFW's take.
Let's get something straight right out of the gate: the Giants have the third-longest drought without a championship, ok? While the Rangers will plead to being more deserving, the sheer numbers don't back it up.
However, putting our congenial San Francisco fans' foot forward, let's focus on why the Giants will win this World Series and not why the Rangers will not. Which they won't. Seriously.
(Especially if the AL fans continue to incorrectly refer to "Frisco" -- which as far as we know is a wide-spot in the Dallas North Tollway.)
No. 1: Lineage and legacy: The Giants parent was the NY Giants, winning 17 pennants and 5 World Series. In baseball more than any other American sport, a team's legacy really matters. Does it steal second and lead to a game-winning rally? Nope. Does it remind the players they're playing for Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Will Clark and Roger Craig (just to name a few)? Damn straight it does.
No. 2: Stadium: AT&T Park is perfectly San Francisco -- and perfect for baseball. Aesthetically speaking, it's possibly the best place to witness a game (PNC Park in Pittsburgh is a virtual tie, though). The ginormous outfield feeds into the superior home pitching staff's strengths, too. Oh, and the food? No contest.
No. 3: Pitching: Ask Joe Torre (and we bet the Rangers have -- repeatedly) what wins playoff games: pitching and defense. And if you drill down, it's the bullpen. Somehow the Giants keep their defense together just enough to not lose a game. Their pitching, however, is what makes this team click. When the arms are on, there's little opponents can do.
No. 4: Chemistry: OK, so this aspect is over-played by us media types, but this is a close call between these two teams. While the Rangers can claim a happy-go-lucky clubhouse and some kids that are maturing under the lights, the Giants have a mix alchemists covet. Players who were out of work in January, put on waivers in July and then again in August? A rookie catcher who swings a stick and calls a game with two bona-fide aces? Advantage: Giants
No. 5: Torturous expectations: Underdogs for most of the season and all of the post-season, the Giants and their fans have been through the ringer. And yet, there's a sense that somehow they'll pull it out. Lightning will strike (in the form of Cody 'The Natural' Ross). Or the signature moment of an opposite-field home run off Juan Uribe's bat. Yes, congratulations to Texas for beating the feared-and-hated Yankees, but the Giants road has been a high one, so far.
Bonus reason: President Bush owned the Rangers. The Rangers never won. There is a rumor he's sneaking into the game tonight. So, you know ... thanks for that, Texas.