1971 – lost to the Pirates 3-1. Ugh!
1987 – lost to the Cards 4-3 and didn’t score in the final two games in St. Louis.
1989 – Beat the Cubs 4-1, lost to the A’s 4-0.
1997 – Lost to the Marlins 3-0.
2000 – Lost to the Mets 3-1.
2002 – Beat Atlanta and the Cards, dropped the WS to the Angels 4-3.
2003 – Lost to the Marlins 3-1.
2010 – ???????
Growing up in Northern California and being a Giants fan longer than I can remember being anything else, those are the years that they have reached the post-season that I’ve been alive. There have been several well-documented near misses (1993 and 1998 among) them, but these are the only years I’ve really cared about post-season baseball.
I’ve been lucky enough to be at the 1987 games against St. Louis, the 1989 games against the Cubs and the A’s (yes, including the Earthquake game) and the one 1997 game against the Marlins.
There’s just something about following a baseball team, through thick and thin, that makes it different than following a football team.
Quick, off the top of your head, when did the Buffalo Bills last win a championship? Okay, how about the Chicago Cubs? I’m guessing that many of the people reading this know the last time the Cubs made a World Series Appearance was in 1945.
So what makes it different following baseball as compared to football, basketball, or hockey? Fans of other sports will argue with this, no doubt, but there is nothing like the opening game of spring training or certainly opening day in baseball.
As a kid in Sacramento, I would mysteriously have a stomach ache or cold on the day of the first spring training game on the radio. It just seemed that the world was right again when I could hear baseball on the radio. It meant the school year was closer to being over than not. It meant that spring and summer were around the corner. And it meant that maybe, just maybe, the Giants would make the playoffs and win the World Series.
Well I’m 47 years old and am still waiting for the World Series win.
The Giants were poised to finally win one in 2002. They led the Angels 5-0 into the 7th inning only to watch the Angels rally and win forcing a game seven. Unfortunately, I, along with thousands of other Giants fans, knew that they had no chance in game seven.
So here we are for the first time since 2003. Seven long seasons of not really caring about playoff baseball have come to an end and this year, I do care.
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Now onto our regularly scheduled, albeit short, blog. Seven other teams have made the postseason this year along with the Giants. I perused the season ending 40-man rosters for all eight teams and I came up with the following former Sens on those 40-man rosters that could potentially be on their teams playoff roster.
Yankees – Jonathan Albaladejo & Javier Vasquez
Reds – Bill Bray, Brandon Phillips & Orlando Cabrera (added note, Chris Heisey played his college baseball at Messiah College)
Phillies – Brian Schneider
Rangers – Cliff Lee and Vladimir Guerrero
Four of the eight teams have affiliates in the Eastern League (Giants, Phillies, Yankees, and Twins) so without counting, there are a ton of former EL players and Sens opponents that are in the playoffs.
To me, it’s more fun to watch these games knowing we’ve seen players that have played against the Senators.
Speaking of the Senators, it’s raining on the Island today. We’ve had a great couple of weeks to start our off-season and later this week we head to New Britain for the annual Eastern League Meetings. A lot of great ideas come out of the two days meetings. Next week, we’ll hold our own two day meeting to talk about what went right and wrong during 2010 and then get things pointed in the 2011 direction. I love the meeting process as it is exciting to talk about ideas and to get them started. I’m sure you’ll all be thrilled with what we come up with for 2011!
Coming up in the next few days I’m still going to write a recap of the Sens 2010 season.