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Playoff Preview Shows Need for Homefield Advantage

It may seem pretty easy to be down right now. That was a tough series loss. The Giants seemingly had a billion opportunities with runners in scoring position and could definitely have done better at getting them in. It was possible to win one more of those games. On the flip side the series turned out how pretty much every other baseball fan that doesn't root for the orange and black would have figured. The Braves are not just a good team, they are also the best at defending their home territory. The Braves are 39-15 at Turner Field. So it's not like we just got beat by the Pirates. Rather we were beat by a likely playoff opponent on a field they own. At least we didn't get swept.

Our Wild Card lead has dwindled to .5 a game. The Phillies are playing good ball right now and facing the struggling Dodgers at home. I still classify the Dodgers as struggling as their little 2 game streak came against the Nationals. Beat the Phillies, then I'll be impressed. It won't be easy, the Phillies are vicious at home as well. This means that we have to take matters into our own hands and beat up on a team that has thrown in the towel under a lame duck manager. I am of course talking about the lowly Cubs (47-64), whom we need to destroy this weekend. I am sure the Phillies will take care of business and the Padres as well. The Pads are squaring off with Pittsburgh, owners of the leagues worst record. One never knows, though, I figured they were gonna sweep Arizona.

So it seems Johnathan Sanchez knows what I'm talking about. Screw the Padres was the short version. For those who somehow found this article before hearing about this wonderful little tidbit, Sanchez has said that the Giants are going to sweep the Padres in the upcoming weekend series, take over the West and never look back. He guaranteed that the Giants were going to the playoffs. These are bold statements that will probably come under a little fire, but so what? As fans I think we should go nuts over this. This is a guy from inside the clubhouse letting the team's immense confidence leak out a little. This is the tightest bunch, to a man, that I have ever seen in my 25 years of watching baseball. We must remember that these are strong words. The Giants now have to go out and back it up. Plus, if we don't beat the Cubs first we may make the series against San Diego temporarily moot. If we lose 3 of 4 in this series at home then feel free to start pressing the panic button.

I'm gonna go take in the day game on Thursday. I like the thought of seeing the Giants play the Cubs in the sunshine. It's simply because of my childhood memories, but I think the Cubs should only play day games. I also think they should bring a recording of Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with them and play it during the 7th inning stretch. The Cub series, one I've gone to nearly every year for quite a while, is kind of like when the Dodgers and Red Sox come to town. Their fans show up and represent well, just like the other two. That is where the similarities end. Red Sox fans are obnoxious, and drink a ton. They are by far the loudest cheerers as well (Is cheerer a word?). I don't think I have to expand much on Dodger fans, just that I hate them. Cub fans are different. They are very pleasant, ready to tell you that you have a fine team. They don't heckle and cheer enthusiastically, but still politely. They also drink, but the results are different. Besides, how can you hate people that are rooting for a team that I'm gonna go out on a limb and say has no living fans that remember their last championship?

I've mentioned it before, but I watched a lot of Braves and Cubs games when I was growing up. I liked the presentation of the Braves games. It was clean, the graphics were cooler and the announcers were very professional sounding. The Cubs were a trainwreck of a telecast. It began 20 minutes before game time and was filled with amateur hour analysis and bad interviews. The original pregame show. I loved it. I watched Brave games, but I rooted for the Cubs. Harry Caray was like a 1000 times more charming Hawk Harrelson. Not everyone shares my opinion, as I know there are plenty of people who didn't like Harry and by the end I must admit it got pretty sad. Obviously it will never compare to my undying love for the Giants, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the Cubbies.

As mentioned I will be going on Thursday and then will be attending the "Authentic BBQ" that Comcast is throwing a few blocks from the park on their studio patio. Is anyone else going to that? Let me know and maybe I'll see you there.

(feel free to comment or email me directly at realisticgiantsfan@yahoo.com. This column appears every Monday and Friday...for the most part.)


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