|He shows no remorse...|
But you know what this is really about, don't you, Dusty. You KNOW. Russ Ortiz. Felix Rodriguez. You remember. That Saturday night, late in October 2002. Anaheim, CA. The Giants in complete control, up three games to two, they could win their first championship since coming West that night. And sure enough, behind home runs by Dunston and Bonds and stellar pitching from starter Russ Ortiz, the Giants found themselves a mere 8 outs from the promised land.
And even though Ortiz had a 5 run lead and a shutout, after he gave up a pair of 1-out seventh inning singles you panicked. You just couldn't put your ego in your pocket and keep your hands off the levers. In an act of monumental stupidity and cowardice, you came out of the dugout, walked across that brilliant green infield grass, handed Ortiz a "game ball" and called for Rodriguez. What, did you think I don't remember? Do you think it wasn't obvious, watching you stand on Ortiz' mound, waiting for Felix to come in from the bullpen, that you had broken the spell? Maybe the Giants weren't doomed right then, but the direct path from one out in the seventh to a clubhouse celebration was gone. You had turned a walk in the park into a streetfight, and if we know anything at all about you, Dusty, we know you'll ALWAYS lose a streetfight.
Look. I know - it's just history, another San Francisco fan's heartache, and while the improbable run in 2010 cauterized the wound, the scars are still there, bright and raw. But to be honest, to the extent it's possible, I feel sorry for your team, and the Reds fans. Because this Cincinnati team is really good, and with decent field leadership they'd have a fighting chance of winning it all. But that outcome is going to be a lot more difficult with Dusty at the helm. Believe me, we saw it out here.
The Giants have the bats this year to bang head to head against the Reds. They have the bullpen to shut down the back end of the game. But if the starters can't keep the team in the game, if the Reds can hang crooked numbers on the board early, they will win games. And the Division Series is short, only best-of-five, and a team can't afford to play from behind. But that's OK. I'm more than glad to see you again this weekend Dusty, back here at the scene of the crime. Because, sure, I think your bloated presence in the opposite dugout is an advantage for the Giants, just as it was such a brutal detriment when you sat on our side, but even more than that, in the name of a kind of perfect cyclical baseball justice. Perhaps, just perhaps, by chewing up your team, we fans can spit out the last foul taste of 2002 and the joy you stole from us.