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It's just about an article of faith that Phillies fans universally despise the San Francisco Giants, due in no small part to 2010's shocking NLCS upset. But for some reason, I just can't hate them all that much.
The Phillies blogosphere and social media are rife with commentary about how the 2012 National League Championship Series, featuring the 2011 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals and the 2010 Champion San Francisco Giants, with both teams knocking off the heavily-favored Phillies en route to their titles, is a nightmare, worst-case scenario. But for whatever reason, I just can't get my dander up about the Giants. They're a good, respectable club in their current form, and I'm rooting for them to throttle the truly despicable Cardinals.
From the start, the three elements that made the 2010 Giants legitimately aggravating are nowhere to be seen this month. Brian Wilson, whose weirdo shtick went from funny to homicidally annoying in about six minutes, is out after Tommy John surgery, and Cody Ross and his Keebler elf visage spent 2012 toiling away in that special hell known as Bobby Valentine's Red Sox. And Jonathan Sanchez was traded to the Kansas City Royals, where he continues to founder.
The 2010 Giants were a really good team that just outplayed the Phillies. It happens. I'm more angry at the Phillies, to be honest.
Their roster as currently constituted is certainly no more unlikeable than most teams. Sure, their bullpen looks like a weird assembly of CIA drone strike targets and gentlemen who have to notify the police and local schools when they move to a new neighborhood, but other than that, they're really good at their jobs, and as an objective baseball fan, it's fun to watch them pitch.
In the broader context of baseball history, the Giants have not been some National League titan, at least since the days of Willie Mays in New York. Their championship in 2010 was their first since their move to California. It's a fanbase that may not have endured the same kind of suffering as the Cubs, but they certainly hadn't been spoiled by success.
Perhaps most importantly, for me at least, the San Francisco Giants are the natural, hated rival of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are a truly despicable enemy of the Philadelphia Phillies. In that way, the Giants are allies with the Phillies in the long-running war against Dodger Hegemony. Seriously, f*** the Dodgers. A lot. The only non-National League East team I hate more than the Dodgers would have to be...
The St. Louis Cardinals. Yes, I want them to be crushed. Between all the sanctimonious "best fans in baseball" crap, the eleven World Championships (most in the National League), the still-fetid stink of Tony LaRussa, and Yadier Molina's neck tattoo, this is a team that can work me into a nice, hateful lather. The wounds of 2011 are far fresher.
While I may not particularly like the Giants, this National League Championship Series is not even close for me in rooting interest. This is all my personal opinion, and I do not speak for The Good Phight. I'd never presume to tell you who to root for (unless the Braves are involved), I'm just sharing my thoughts on this Sunday morning.
Go Giants. Go Giants all day. Crush the Cardinals and give them no quarter. I want the Giants to throttle the Cardinals so thoroughly, that they forfeit the series after three games.
Crush the Cardinals!