By Tim Marcin
Elm Staff Writer
The Giants have won the World Series. Who saw the Giants coming? I want the one person who legitimately thought the Giants would end up on top to get an analyst position at ESPN—because that person is a brilliant baseball mind.
To be fair, the Giants more than earned it, and if anybody was paying attention, they always had the potential to make this run. They have unbelievable pitching. Show me a rotation with a better top end than Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and Bumgarner. Lincecum, the longhaired, hippie-esque “freak” outdueled Cliff Lee twice. Cold, calculated, unstoppable playoff Cliff Lee—Twice!
The hitters stepped up in the right moments as well. All it takes is for a team to get hot at the right time to win it all. The Giants did just that. They had players nobody else wanted. The once disgraced Pat Burrell brought them a revival midseason. 34 year-old, supposedly washed-up Edgar Renteria appeared 10 years younger in the World Series, earning the MVP award along the way. Kung Fu Panda (Pablo Sandoval) seemed to be hibernating all year until the playoffs, where he came up with big hits.
This team was a bit of a mish-mosh of misfits. They didn’t have the likes of Barry Bonds or Jeff Kent, great Giants hitters of the past—and perhaps that is why they did so well. They were a team that played with heart and togetherness, something a team built around superstars like Bonds and Kent always lack. Say what you want about how odd it is they won, or how unlikely it was, but nobody can take away anything from the Giants’ World Championship. They played a style of baseball that was deserving of the win, and came together for an unstoppable run. Perhaps they are a team of misfits—but they are a team of misfits with shiny new rings.
You have two minutes left. You need a touchdown to take the lead in the fourth quarter of a football game—and you pull your starting quarterback. Seems a bit irrational does it not? Well that is what Redskin’s coach Mike Shanahan did to Donovan McNabb against Detroit last weekend. His reasons were odd: citing both backup Rex Grossman’s better knowledge of the two minute offense and McNabb’s lack of fitness as grounds for the benching. There are problems with both of these reasons.
It is Rex Grossmans first year with the team, as is the case with McNabb, so how much more knowledge could Grossman have? As far as fitness, McNabb never really looked tired in the game, and in fact, led the team in rushing yards (showing his ability to move on his apparently tired legs).
So the benching must have truly been an indictment of McNabb. Granted, Donovan was not having his best performance of the year (in fact he was downright bad), but to pull him with 2 minutes left is just plain stupid. He is clearly the best quarterback on the team, and Shanahan is killing his confidence with the move. McNabb took it in stride, as he always does, but it had to hurt. It seemed fitting that Grossman entered the game and was immediately sacked, lost the football and had it returned by Lions tackle Ndamukong Suh for a game-sealing touchdown. Would McNabb have led them victory? Maybe–probably not–but the benching may have more lasting effects than just one loss. Perhaps McNabb never gets his confidence back and the Redskins suffer, or perhaps he does and then goes to a new, more appreciative team after his one-year contract runs out.
Randy Moss, oh Randy Moss. He has been trouble since entering the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings recently released him, after a stint of only three games to the New England Patriots. Minnesota presumably let him go because of his attitude. Moss, frustrated with the coaching, held a press conference reporting that he would no longer take part in interviews or questioning.
The Vikings made a mistake in even getting him. They should have known the personality they were adding to the locker room. The Vikings should have weighed the pros and cons better. They should have known Moss would probably argue with coaches, which he did, and would have held press conferences to announce he would not answer questions, which he also did.
That being said, Moss needs to take a long look in the mirror. He stirs the pot too often and too vigorously. He had a brief period of calm in New England but quickly wore out his welcome. Randy will get picked up by someone, but he needs to make a change. He is a great player, but needs to learn that sometimes it is best to go with the tide and not cause problems.
In the end it is just an ugly situation. The Vikings were naïve in thinking they could deal with him; and Randy is simply a person who does not seem to learn from his past.