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Reasons to “Fear the Beard”–and the Underdog Giants

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From a 48-year Giants fan who watches most of their games on cable’s MLB package, jump for a couple of things about the Texas Rangers’ World Series opponents you may not know …

–While closer Brian Wilson gets all the ink for his shoe-polish-black facial fuzz, the original Castro beard on the San Francisco staff belongs to reliever Sergio Romo. Romo can be great in middle relief–or awful. If the former shows up, the Rangers will have at least two good reasons to “Fear the Beard.”

–Though pot-smoking Tim “The Freak” Lincecum is rightly considered the Giants’ pitching ace, the sleeper in the starting rotation is Matt Cain (3.14 ERA), who ended the regular season strong. Look for Thursday’s key Cain-C.J. matchup to rival Lee-Lincecum tonight.

–The S.F. lineup is replete with guys who hit .260-.270, with 15-20 home runs and 60-70 RBIs. Don’t let the middling numbers or the “no-names” like Burrell, Torres, and Ross fool you, though. This is an opportunistic, never-say-die offense–as the Padres and Phillies will attest.

In sum, the players S.F. manager Bruce Bochy calls “The Wild Bunch” are a band of renegades, weirdos, and castoffs who’ve somehow caught fire this season. Even so they’re still definite underdogs to Texas, a much better-balanced team–on paper, at least.

Whoever wins, this should be a great Series (up with the West, down with the East). Many sages have the Rangers taking it all in seven games, but–sorry, Texas fans–I wouldn’t put any money on that. Then again, one can lose a lot of dough in 48 years betting on the Giants to win the World Series.