Remember summer baseball? Oh how things have changed. Fast forward to the present day, and the Giants have laughed, cried and played their hearts out to reach the National League Championship series (that's like the quarterfinals, guys).
And with the Giants' epic NLCS series against the St. Louis Cardinals starting now, there's no better time to brush up. Whether you're a fan who's a little out of the loop or just jumping on the playoff bandwagon, here are the talking points to get you back in the game and impress your friends with your impeccable baseball knowledge.
1. Posey's the Poster Boy. Want to know who's the hero in this picture? Look no further than catcher Buster Posey, whose solid skills both at and behind the plate have set him up for some spectacular moments this season (and probable MVP status). Case in point? Posey's epic grand slam in the last game of the NLDS, which essentially put the Reds to bed and advanced the Giants to the next round. Plus Posey's humility and all-around aura of piety and goodness make him something akin to an angel on the Giants roster.
2. Pitching. There are no surer bets on the Giants pitching roster than reliever Sergio Romo, who's stepped up this season to fill the role of larger-than-life character Brian Wilson (The Beard's been out all season after undergoing Tommy John surgery). Starters Matt Cain (of this season's historic perfect game), Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum have had varying degrees of success in the postseason, with Little Timmy partially redeeming his lackluster regular season with solid outings from the bullpen and inappropriate one-liners.
3. The Melkman Goeth. Remember left-fielder Melky Cabrera and his loyal following of "Melk Men," fans who dress up as old-school milk men (complete with orange bowties)? Melky just got through serving a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test, and he will not be part of the Giants' playoff roster, so don't mention his name if you want to keep the good vibes flowing.
4. The SF Zoo. You know about Kung Fu Panda, aka third baseman Pablo Sandoval, but the Giants have added a few more animals to their roster. Outfielder Gregor Blanco has been nicknamed "the White Shark", and first baseman Brandon Belt has humorously been dubbed "Baby Giraffe" for his long neck and general awkwardness (in a good way, BB!).
5. Next Up. With the Cardinals, last year's World Series champions, up to bat, the Giants have a tough opponent to beat. The Cards are doing just fine after the trade of perennial All-Star Albert Pujols and the retirement of long-time manager, Tony LaRussa. And much to Giants fans’ chagrin, Carlos Beltran is playing remarkably well for them, especially after not doing shit for the Giants last year.
Now that you're up to speed, all there is left to do is watch and pray that Los Gigantes can push through to become champions not only in our hearts, but of the world.
Want to rock your Giants pride loud and proud? Peep our Gamer Babe tee and Beard SF shirt for Giants gear created by local SF designers.
Many thanks to perennial Giants fan Reuben Verkamp for sharing his baseball knowledge with us. Go Giants!