This is my first ever post in SB Nation United! And presumably, it's one of the very first posts you've ever witnessed in SB Nation United, unless you've found some way to torrent it before its release like it's The Dark Knight Rises or something.
Just take a moment to appreciate it. Look at that font! Look at a spacious the formatting is! This is the future, people! I'd love to point out how the cover set-up makes it so much easier to access new stories, but odds are, I've posted this series preview in the wrong section and it's disappeared forever. Kudos to you for finding it!
So, it's a big deal. And it feels like an auspicious day such as this should be spent on something other than yet another meaningless series against an NL West team. Happy Anniversary, honey! Now let's go to the laundramat!
Although frankly, this series preview is less of a preview and more of a request to the Giants and their fans.
Friends, Romans, Survivors of the Torture-fest that was 2011,* lend me your ears:
We don't like you, and you probably don't particularly like us most of the time. I understand that. I also understand that you've already clinched a playoff spot. Congratulations, or something, I guess. I'm not going to pretend I'm happy for y'all, any more than you were happy for us last year when we celebrated in the pool in front of you. That was just an excuse to show that picture. I'm getting off-track here.
We also understand that you're three games behind the Reds for home-field advantage in the NLDS. Which is to say, it could happen, but I'd imagine you guys aren't holding your breath. Still though, barring some sort of freak injury, why wouldn't you guys play hard all the way to the finish line? Home field advantage is always nice, not to mention the possibility of momentum heading into the playoffs, nebulous as that concept can be in baseball at times. Why not try your best?
I'll tell you why not.
You probably know that the Dodgers' playoff chances are hovering precipitously between "slim" and "none." You know this because, if you're anything like the dozen or so Giants fans I've spent time interacting with in person, you hate the Dodgers on a level that defies rational comprehension. You have an Odalis Perez voodoo doll lying around somewhere, though even the most ardent Dodger fans haven't cared about Odalis Perez for about five years. You're the Derek Andersons of Dodger Hate: you take this S**t seriously.
But this year, the Dodgers transcended mere garden-variety loathing. They went all out, trading for stars, former stars, and Nick Punto, who has probably starred in something somewhere. They spent money that you and I can only dream of, just because they could, and because they thought they could win just by outspending the rest of this plebian division.
They failed. Bully for you guys, I guess. But you don't think that way, you're Giant fans. You don't just want to beat the Dodgers, you want to shame them. You want Ned Colletti to look in the mirror be ashamed of what he sees. And that's where we come in. The Diamondbacks come into this series sitting just two games back of the Dodgers. So here's my modest proposal: "Say, wouldn't it be just the best thing if the Dodgers actually finished in third this year?"
See, we get you guys. The entire city of Phoenix hates Los Angeles on a level that only years and years of civic and sports-related inferiority complexes can engender. We're tired of the mouthbreathers who show up at Chase Field wearing Dodger Blue despite having very clearly never been west of Lake Havesu. Not your Chase Field mouthbreathers, Giants fans. You guys are...charming. Or something.
Also, we're poor. You guys think you have it bad because you had to settle for Melky Cabrera rather than Carlos Beltran last winter? That's cute. We have a league-average center fielder who is due to make $9 million next year, which isn't even terrible value, and everyone is freaking out because trading him is the only way we'll be able to afford a starting caliber shortstop next year. I mean, that's not true, but it's what everyone thinks.
We don't want your pity. We're not asking you guys to buy us players or anything, if only because Sabean would probably screw it up. We're just saying, it would be hilarious if we finished ahead of the Dodgers, who spent our entire payroll and then some in the middle of the season alone. The Dodgers were a third place team last year, and then they spent a mind-boggling amount of money to become...wait for it...a third place team. With your help, that is.
We really aren't asking for much. Play Ryan Theriot a bit more than you otherwise would. Let Hector Sanchez get some starts behind home plate. Remember Connor Gillespie? I don't, but Baseball-Reference says he has 20 PAs for the 2012 Giants with an OPS+ of -1. No time like the present to see if he deserves a spot on the playoff roster. That's all it would take for the Diamondbacks to have a good shot at coming into AT&T and stealing a game.
You're looking at the standings nervously, I see. Wondering if this could be some sort of a trick for the Diamondbacks to get into the playoffs and then wreck havoc, a la 2007 Rockies. Believe me, I wish that were the case, but the reality is that the Diamondbacks are toast, and have been for a while. They're 5.5 games behind the Cardinals, and the Cardinals play a bunch of teams that don't care the rest of the way. It would take a literal miracle for the Diamondbacks to make the playoffs. And even if they do, and they somehow face the Giants in some sort of fantasyland NLCS, here's a look at a perfectly viable Game 4 matchup:
NLCS Game 4: Two-time CY Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum (0-0) vs. Whoever Draws The Short Straw Between Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs (0-0)
The possibility of that alone should make you want to throw this series.
Please help us make this dream a reality, Giants. You could try hard, putting your faith in abstract concepts like "momentum" or you could put your faith in something tangible, something that you've seen evidence for time and time again: the simple notion that what's bad for the Dodgers is good for the rest of us. In the spirit of SB Nation United, let's unite, in order to divisively single out another team for shame and ridicule.
WHO'S WITH ME!
*I tried to type this phrase five times before the projectile vomiting died down enough for me to get through it.