Leading Off

Powerful Giants become bad guys

Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits a two-run homer scoring teammate Gregor Blanco (7) in the third inning of Game 5 of the NLCS at AT&T Park on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 in San Francisco.
Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) hits a two-run homer scoring teammate Gregor Blanco (7) in the third inning of Game 5 of the NLCS at AT&T Park on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 in San Francisco. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Is it possible the Giants have become so good in the past five years, reaching their third World Series, that they’ve become one of the despised teams among baseball fans?

Have the black-hat-wearing Giants joined the Yankees and Red Sox as teams considered in the Axis of Evil?

While the cynics already are predicting this year’s Fall Classic to be a record-breaking ratings bust, most of those around the country who do watch will be pulling for the no-name underdogs from Kansas City to slay the Wicked Witch of the West – unleash the flying monkeys!

And why not?

If not for their team reaching the championship round, most Giants fans probably would cheer for Kansas City, too.

The Royals haven’t won a World Series – or played in one – since 1985, when gas cost about $1.25 a gallon, “Back to the Future” was the year’s big movie, and the Kings were about to play their first NBA game in Sacramento.

And the 2014 Royals are much like the 2010 Giants, a team that beat all odds just by reaching the postseason, never mind winning the pennant and the World Series.

But unlike the 2010 Cinderella Giants, the clock is about to strike midnight on the Royals.

The Giants simply have too much World Series experience among position players – Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Hunter Pence – and on the mound – Madison Bumgarner (2-0, 0.00 ERA) and Ryan Vogelsong (1-0, 0.00).

– Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch

World Series, Giants at Royals, 5:07 p.m., FOX: Bumgarner has not allowed a run in 15 World Series innings.


Today’s poll


Weekend results

Who should have been MVP of the NLCS?

▪ Madison Bumgarner: 54%

▪ Travis Ishikawa: 30%

▪ Pablo Sandoval: 7%

▪ Other: 7%

Total votes: 120


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