Tonight the San Francisco Giants will take on the St. Louis Cardinals for game one of the National League Championship Series. Just like we all thought they would.
Well, not exactly. No one would have predicted the Giants would have the best record in baseball early on and then surrender a 9 1/2 game division lead. No one would have predicted an NLCS roster without Matt Cain and Angel Pagan but with three rookies, including starting second baseman Joe Panik. And who would have thought Romo would move to the setup role and Santiago Casilla would quietly become our closer?
The big trade this season wasn’t for a big bat, or a replacement for Marco Scutaro, but veteran pitcher Jake Peavy. He’s only been here a few months but it feels like he’s always been ours. He’s got a Giant Attitude, that never-say-die vibe and he sings and plays guitar in stairwells with third base coach Tim Flannery.
This season has taught me a lot about writing a series. The Giants are in their third NLCS in five years. Yet each year has been very different. From the torture of 2010, not knowing until the final day of the season if they were going to win the division and make the playoffs. Then in 2012, they wrapped the division up quickly and found themselves facing elimination in the first two series only to go on to sweep the Detroit Tigers in four games. This year has been a longer, windier, and wilder road to travel. But if they do pull it off in the end, it will be even more satisfying.
I’m hooping I can make each of my books take on the same kind of feeling. That each journey for my characters ends up being full of ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, with a few surprises along the way. In a romance, a happy ending is required.
In sports, well, nothing is guaranteed.