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World Series Game 5 in review

Well, that's a wrap. 

Sometimes we get a great World Series, and sometimes we get a great World Series story. Sometimes we get both, sometimes neither.

I'd file this under "Mediocre series, great story." Of the games themselves, only two featured real suspense - last night's, and Game 3.

But the story? "Great" might be selling it short. It's flat-out ridiculous, when you combine the Giants' history with the unique tale of this 2010 team. As I wrote in my column, it figures that this unlikely drought featured such an unlikely end

This was "Movie script ridiculous." How could you not love it?

I mean, how much money could you have won back in April by wagering on Edgar Renteria to win the World Series MVP? How much money could you have won at the start of October? 

My oh my.

--Tim Lincecum pitched brilliantly, winning the duel with Cliff Lee even though Lincecum had the tougher assignment. It is such fun to watch him pitch.

--Lee? He was brilliant for six innings, and then he appeared to fatigue some. The last-straw pitch to Renteria was a cutter that hung long enough for you to pick some fruit off of it.

Will his two World Series losses impact his winter market? I don't see how. Not with two ultra-serious suitors in Texas and the Yankees. 

--The Giants' clubhouse celebration was raucous. I got sprayed pretty good with Champagne and beer. The way the players spoke, if they didn't really appreciate what this meant to their fan base, then they were darn good actors. I think they understand it because so many of the Giants famous alumni are around the team so much.

How could you not grasp the historical significance when you know guys like Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal personally?

--There was a nice segment of Giants fans at the game who reveled in the moment. Who, upon the last out, stood behind the visitors' dugout and saluted their players.

--The baseball lessons to be learned? That October is crazy. Yes, yes, pitching wins, but the Giants hit considerably better than they did in the regular season. 

And also, you don't draw grand conclusions from October. Does anyone really think that, if the Giants played the Rangers 162 times, the Giants would win 80 percent of the games? How about 50 percent? How about if the Giants played the Yankees, Twins or Rays? Nope.

Just as it's foolhardy to say the Yankees need to make dramatic changes because they lost four of six games to Texas, no one on the Rangers is going to say, "Well, this isn't working. We'd better blow this thing up."

--Thanks to the new rules of the collective bargaining agreement, we have 142 free agents, immediately - there's no longer a need to file, despite what the headline on this link says.

Teams have a five-day window to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents, so the first day of bona fide free agency will be Sunday. I hope to have a full free-agent rankings and predictions chart ready to go that day, and to improve upon my batting average from last year. Although, to start planting excuses, the change from a 15-day window to five days makes this more challenging. Less time to really get a sense of things.

--Sandy Alderson will be at Citi Field today, working, after teaching a class yesterday at Cal-Berkeley. It's got to make Mets fans smile that their top decision-maker is a professor. 

Meanwhile, my World Series Insider feature more on Alderson, as well as Eduardo Nunez and Vladimir Guerrero.

 --Kevin Long is back with the Yankees, and you can expect the rest of the coaching staff - Mike Harkey in the bullpen, Mick Kelleher at first base, bench coach Tony Pena and third-base coach Rob Thomson - to be back, as well. I'd be surprised if Harkey got the promotion to pitching coach. The Yankees received permission from the A's to interview Gil Patterson, whom I think would be an inspired choice.

--And to wrap up the 2010 season in a bow, we offer the final standings for our predictions contest:

1) Bob Tufts 27; 2) Jim 21; 3) Dennis 20; 4) Richie G. 19; 5) (tie) Islander505 and The Mask 18; 7) (tie) LosMets and Poppy 17; 9) Sandy: 16; 10) Expatriate Mets Fan 15; 11) (tie) Cathy N., Michael H. Polak  and NaOH 14; 15) Gary M. 13; 16) WhyNot 11; 17) JE 10; 18) Kev M. 9

Tufts picked the Giants (his first major-league team) to defeat the White Sox in the World Series. He added: "If this happens, I also expect biblical plagues and pestilence."

I'm hoping that, when Bob referred to "this," he meant the precise World Series matchup, rather than just the Giants winning. Because if he meant just the Giants winning, then we're in some trouble.
 

--Have a great day.

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