07 May 2011

Back to the Torture

Design by Jason Wong | thecitygraphics.com
I began to get the feeling when the unlikeliest of heroes — Aaron Rowand and "Michael" Tejada — got the winning hits on Opening Day and Opening Night respectively. It occurred to me quite often during the wild series with the Doyers by the Cove. And it simmered in my mind throughout the 10-game roadtrip. But it really struck me during the final moments of Thursday's afternoon defeat at the hands of the Metros, particularly the ninth inning rally against the dreaded K-Rod... The 2011 Giants are starting to look an awful lot like the 2010 version.

Everyone's been saying it, many have been harping on it, some have even called for the 2010 rally cry of "Torture!" to be retired in favor of a new identity. But game after game, the moniker is starting to ring true all over again. Thursday's game is a perfect example: Down three headed into the 9th, playing like garbage, searching for a spark, grinding out the final ABs of a monster roadie, they find a way to get not only the tying run but the #winning run to the plate against the goggle-wearing former Rally Monkey apologist.

That they didn't pull out the victory that day is not the point. The point is the effort. The point is the tenacity. The point is the torture.

And doesn't it make sense that the rule of thumb would still apply? After all, Brian Sabean and the brain trust didn't make any splashy moves, didn't trade anyone away, re-signed every player they could but the two who were ungrateful enough to depart on their own free will, and tried their very best to maintain consistency from last season to this.

A callous cynic like Ray Ratto could call this a strictly business decision, made to milk every last possible milliliter of juice out of the rock that is the Commissioner's Trophy. But much as I might appear as such, I am sadly not a callous cynic. I think it was a baseball move, pure and simple. Why mess with a good thing? And what better way to milk one championship than to win another?

So let the torture go on! Let Brian Wilson walk the bases loaded with no outs with a one-run lead! Let Mike Fontenot hit a grand slam into McCovey Cove! Let Jonathan Sanchez throw 113 pitches in the first inning without allowing a run! Let Nate Schierholtz slice a two-run double to the opposite field to tie the game! Let Freddy Sanchez hit a five-hop single to win it! Who cares? It's Giants baseball, baby! Torture. Blessed torture.

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