Wow!

Not very original, we know, but it accurately expresses our feelings about the impact of this year's Major League Baseball season on the Bay Area.

Win or lose, the San Francisco Giants are in the World Series for the second time in three years. How they got there is almost unfathomable: winning six, that's right SIX, elimination games in a single season.

For the uninitiated, that means that six times in two different series the Giants played games in which losing meant their season was over. They won all six. That is simply astounding.

What's more, their 9-0 win over last year's champion St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night was the Giants' first Game 7 win of any series in front of their home fans in their 54 years in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, across the Bay, the Oakland A's pulled off an equally unlikely season. A ragamuffin confederation of young players and relatively low-salary veterans turned what had been presaged as a 100-loss season into a division championship and their first trip to the playoffs since 2006.

While the A's eventually lost to the Detroit Tigers -- who the Giants will now play -- they, too, won a pair of elimination games before finally being subdued by the best pitcher in the game.

We look at both accomplishments and realize that these two teams exemplify the never-say-die spirit of the Bay Area.


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From steroid scandals to the loss of critical players due to injury, both teams took serious body blows all season long that would cause lesser organizations to roll over and begin their planning for next year. But that really isn't part of the character of the Bay Area or its baseball teams. We absorb blows, and we move on.

In 1989, ironically during the World Series between the Giants and A's, a major earthquake wreaked havoc to the area, killing more than 60 people and doing billions of dollars in damage.

It wasn't easy, but we came back.

Two years later, dramatic and deadly fires raged through our Oakland Hills leaving a swath of misery and destruction.

It wasn't easy, but we came back.

In 2000, the dot-com bubble burst dealt thousands in the area a severe financial blow.

It wasn't easy, but we came back.

The Bay Area was one of the nation's hardest hit areas in the 2008 maelstrom caused by the implosion of the real estate industry.

It hasn't been easy, but, believe it or not, we are coming back.

So it seems fitting that this area should be represented in Major League Baseball by two teams that exhibit such a never-quit attitude.

The catchphrase for the 2010 championship team, which was first coined by broadcaster Duane Kuiper, was "torture," making reference to that team's penchant for winning close games.

This year the phrase has to be "comeback." And, somehow, that seems entirely appropriate. But, to tell you the truth, we would just as soon the Giants not have to win any more elimination games this year.