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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Was there even a World Series?

Yeah, I guess there was, but jeez.

Started on a Wednesday and all wrapped up in a bow by Sunday. Game 7 was supposed to be Thursday night.

This year's Series came and went faster than Carrot Top's career (remember him?).

The San Francisco Giants, who give Punch and Judy hitting a bad name, did what they do best in the Series and that's getting clutch hit after clutch hit against the Detroit Tigers.

Being patient. And getting superb starting and relief pitching.

It added up to their second World Series title in three seasons. And they were just the fifth National League team in 90 years (90 years!) to sweep a World Series, the first to do it in over two decades.

They were, in effect, an average team that knew when, and how, to play well on the biggest stage.

Consider: They only won 88 games during the regular season. Heck, the St. Louis Cardinals only won 90 regular-season games last year and they, too, won the World Series. Average seems to be today's normal.

But timing is another thing and the Giants had it.

Picked in this space a little over a week ago to be washed away by the Tigers in five games (I nearly wrote that Detroit would in fact sweep the Giants), San Francisco, a heavy underdog, won in style.

And to think it was nothing short of miraculous for the Giants just to get to the World Series.

The Cincinnati Reds should have ended any of San Fran's hopes weeks ago. Up two games to none in their best-of-five divisional round series, the Reds watched as the Giants fought back to win three straight and send them home.

Then the St. Louis Cardinals, the defending champs, had the Giants halfway down the ropes, up three games to one in the NLCS.

Boom, boom, boom, goodbye Cardinals and it's off to the Series. And who would have thought the Tigers would have put up the least resistance, not even taking a game from the Giants? I know I didn't.

In their last three wins after being in a hole against St. Louis, and in their demolition of Detroit, San Francisco outscored both 36-7. That's astounding.

And think of all those Tigers fans. Next year, not now, when there is a rain delay during a game and they'll be forced to watch, for the zillionth time, the highlight tape from the 1984 World Series (which they won).

They had a chance to make rain delays so much less grainy. Instead, it will be a nearly 30-year-old tape shown each time it rains.

When you look at this Detroit team, with potential Hall of Famer Prince Fielder and Cooperstown shoe-ins Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, you just have to wonder.

Did the layoff between the ALCS and the World Series hurt them?

Obviously it didn't help as the Tigers waited around over a week to see whom they would play while the Giants and Cardinals went at it.

And the aforementioned stars didn't help.

Verlander, the no-hitter machine, was terrible in his only start.

Fielder, the big-name, big-buck free agent signing, went 1-for-14 in the World Series.

And one of the lasting images of the entire October Classic will be of Cabrera standing at the plate with his bat on his shoulder while the game-ending and Series-ending third strike sailed right down the middle of the plate.

In professional sports, for the best example you can ask the Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s, there are few things worse than finishing second. These Tigers, picked by nearly everyone (which did make me feel a little better) to easily slay the Giants in no time, instead will be remembered for folding up and going home.

Maybe there will be a next year for them. Maybe not.



Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

Copyright 2012