Giants fans now have a few days where they can breathe in and out like normal people now that the torture of the regular season is over.
While it took all 162 games to do it, their team made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Winning it on the final day of the season, meant every single game in 2010 counted.
The team appears to be breathing in and out like normal people as well after the thrill of Sunday's win finally sunk in. KNBR radio callers Monday morning talked of bumping into the likes of Tim Lincecum, Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff Sunday night on Chestnut Street in the City. The players were said to be relaxed -- many with their families in tow and buying rounds for friendly folks happy to see them out on a Sunday night.
One woman said Lincecum grabbed a mic and sang, "I feel the magic in me" at one point. (That tale could not be confirmed, but she told it like it really happened).
It's good to have a night and a couple days to celebrate a job well done while beginning to focus on the next job ahead.
Lincecum is not only the starting pitcher for the National League West playoff series, he is coming forward as a leader of the team.
A team which has a totally different look and feel from the Barry Bonds' era. This team is unified, talented and by all accounts having a lot of fun. The one thing that the 2010 Giants don't have is a super star that demands super star status. It has a group of guys who enjoy each other and want to win.
One man who has been at the helm through both eras is general manager Brian Sabean. He got a special dousing of champagne and beer in the post-game clubhouse. He's also getting lots of the credit for a constant retooling of the team throughout the season that got it to the playoffs.
"Versus the past, when we lived and died with one superstar player, there aren't any superstars on this team. There might be a couple rising stars," Sabean told AP. "Our organization is built on pitching. It's old-school baseball."
Let's hope that old-school thinking can get us past one of the great old-school thinkers of the current MLB-era. Atlanta Braves coach Bobby Cox is retiring at the end of his season and would like nothing better to keep singing his swam song a little while longer.
Now, the first of the week can be spent planning where to watch the series that starts Thursday at 6:37 p.m. sharp.
The AT&T Park games were sell outs even before the Giants clinched, so getting a ticket is going to cost you. Stub Hub and ticket brokers are charging four and five times the face price for a seat to Thursday's and Friday's game.
2010 NL West Champion t-shirts and hats are going for face value. But they are hard to find as well. The Giant's store at Valley Fair in San Jose is sold out of both. In Valley Fair's case, the store expects more tshirts Tuesday and another hat order is due in Wednesday.
Giants publicity director Shana Daum says there are tickets left for the National League Championship Series "if we are so fortunate to go."
Those go on sale Tuesday at 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will only be available through the Giants website, sfgiants.com/postseason or by phone at 877-4-SFGTIX.
Lori Preuitt is also going to enjoy breathing in and out all normal-like for the next three full days.