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Opening day in Phoenix was a massive, thick-beamed wood rollercoaster ride built by Madison Bumgarner that went off the rails in such a familiar manner it felt sickening – or for the less dramatic and more experienced fans, like typical Giants baseball.
During the frustration, I got into a Twitter discussion over the use of the word ‘torture’ to describe Giants baseball.
We all fell in love with Mike Krukow’s term in 2010 because it felt like a pure assessment of the near-misses that made it up: the earthquake, the 100 win season fail, the Angels in ’02, Pudge in front of the plate.
But personally, the torture I felt for 30 years was washed away by the immense wave of relief I felt on November 1, 2010 when we finally won it all for the first time in SF.
Giants fan Ted G, 57, disagrees. For him, SF Giants baseball is uniquely agonizing across decades win or lose. He thinks Krukow’s phrase, “Giants Baseball … Torture,” is emblematic of our pathos as an organization and the struggles we eternally endure.
“The term torture has nothing to do with not winning. Totally about how they go about creating situations that are torture.” – Ted G, @TedSFGman
I can see that, but whatever remnants of the feeling of torture that may have remained for me were certainly washed away by winning the way we did in 2012 – my favorite of the championships. We had to retire Melky Cabrera. Pablo hit 3Hrs – two off Verlander – and Romo dared and won with an incredible fastball to end it with Miggy looking.
Madison going out there in 2014 and ripping it away from the Royals cemented my feeling that we have earned well-deserved titles, establishing a kind of dynasty in an era when the back-to-back World Series championship has disappeared.
There hasn’t been a back-to-back World Series Champion in the 21st century. So for me, this ain’t torture any more, it’s working the details.
But enough about torture, lets get to
The first GBC Reader of the year:
It was a rough game because of the blown saves, but being opening day on the road, it really shouldn’t matter that much in the face of what Madison Bumgarner accomplished: the first pitcher in the 140 years of this game to hit two home runs on opening day put himself in position to win twice before the bullpen’s struggles came to bear. It was epic and #TheLegendofMadBum continues to grow.
Ashley Verala, the West Coast Fan Girl @wcoastfangirl has a sweet piece she calls Last True Renaissance Man of Major League Baseball about our Mad Bum.
Brisbee noted that Bumgarner was also the first Giant to hit two dingers on Opening Day since Barry Lamar. And Grant’s coverage of the debacle it became is actually considerably temperate – I think fatherhood is mellowing him out.
Hank is back in his seat for another long season and here’s his takeaways.
MLB dot com Columnist Joe Posnanski has some really excellent things to say about Madison’s performance, really putting the scale of MadBum’s audacity in nice perspective. He includes Statcast data regarding the speed of these HRs that if you haven’t checked out yet, you gotta see.
Haft chose to focus on MadBum’s dominance on the mound. Man, did he look good.
I like AlPav’s headline for his pretty close-up view of the guts of this one. Ruthian Game For the Ages from Bumgarner pretty much sums it up.
Baggs however seems to have felt more like I did. His piece drips with the wretched agony of cheating MadBum of the win.
But Mark Simon and Sarah Langs at ESPN were enthralled by our heroic pitcher.
I didn’t really have time to make this great, but hey, it’s the first one of the year. I’ll add some links later if I find more content.
I also apologized on Twitter for rage tweeting the value of Mark Melancon’s contract excessively yesterday. I am sorry. It was petty lashing out at the collapse and an irrelevant memory of last year that fueled my rage.
Which brings us to Jake Mastroianni’s piece about everyone who overreacted to the opening day loss.
Happy New Year everyone.