The Magic Dust Factor

August 6

               To make the playoffs or have a memorable season, several things need to fall in place for a baseball team.  Good pitching, clutch hitting, contributions from the bench when injuries occur, and much more.  After all, only eight of 30 teams make the playoffs — as it should be.

               Playoff-bound teams need something else:  Magic Dust.  Not very scientific, but highly necessary.  What can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two?  Magic Dust can.  (apologies to the great Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. )

               Magic Dust makes amazing things happen.  It allows 45 year old pitchers to channel their youth and reach the 300-win plateau before blowing out their shoulders.  It allows a wild but talented pitcher to find near- perfection one night.   Magic Dust allows a backup catcher to hit a go-ahead grand slam for his first major league homer, in a big road game.  I’m not sure why this Dust is raining on the Giants now, but ours is not to question.

                The cynical side of me resists saying this, but my eyes tell me — there’s something special going on with the San Francisco Giants.  This was a team left for dead when the season started, but a harmonic convergence has occurred to allow them to be in playoff contention in August.

                Gary Radnich asked me this question the other day on the air:  If I gave you $100, what team would you bet on to make the wild card?  My head says the Rockies, but the Giants would be a far better story.

               The national media is just beginning to pick up on this.  Up to now the Giants have been known back east as Tim Lincecum and a bunch of guys who can’t hit.  Now Sports Illustrated has done an article on Pablo Sandoval.  It is a spotlight as rare as the rays of the sun in July in San Francisco.

               Up to now, the only reason the east coast media paid attention to the west coast was because Manny is in Los Angeles.  It’s up to the Giants to use Magic Dust to reach the postseason and gain more attention, for the right reasons.  This is a truly good group of people.  Imagine that, the team of Barry Bonds can help spruce up the game’s image.

              Even if they don’t make the postseason, a season can still be memorable if the Giants take it down to the wire.  Many Giants fans fondly recall 1978, a year of playoff contention after four dry years.  Sound familiar?

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