2008: I’m working at the Stonestown Giants Dugout Store, otherwise known as the runt of the Dugout litter. (Seriously, at that moment, we were in the second of five stores I worked at in a three-year career there.) I was still coming off the high from the 1997 season, believing that it was the first step in a long playoff run. But then we remembered the Brian Johnson had only one memorable hit in his career, J.T. had a down year, but Sabean had brought in Joe Carter to save the season (and he’d done well).
Then the Rockies continued their quest to supplant the Dodgers as the Giants’ rival by beating the Giants on the season’s final day, just like they tanked on the last day of 1993. So, the Giants faced a One-and-Done game with the Cubs.
I brought in homemade scores to tape up on the store window, to update fans on the score. Inside, someone brought in an old, portable, miniature TV (with a screen smaller than an iPod, the weight of a brick, and the reception of a 2011 Niners wide receiver in the playoffs. At any given time, half a dozen people would be trying to watch that game.
Suddenly, before you know it, Rod Beck was on the mound, against the Giants (Wait, WHAT?), and the Cubs were on their way to tank to the Braves in the playoffs. And Giants fans got through 162 games, got one more, and it was over.
So, yea, I know what’s at stake in the one-and-done playoff controversy that’s been brought up, again.
I’m over. It’s sports. It’s designed to break your heart. I don’t love a one-and-done game, but I don’t hate it, either. Hell, if it means that, every now and then, I can watch a 2nd-place Colorado Rockies team tank against…well, anybody, then I’m all for it.