Last spring, as The Hunger Games mania was reaching its most feverish apex, we subjected former Research Editor, Tay Wiles, to a simple literacy challenge, exploring just how completely a cosmopolitan journalist can allow a Defining Cultural Moment to pass her by. Now, with the Giants facing off against the Cardinals for the national league pennant, another such moment is upon us: Everyone in San Francisco is talking black and orange. Everyone, that is, except Sara Deseran, Deputy Editor at San Francisco, food writer, and proud know-nothing about all matters baseball. Plumbing the depths of her obliviousness, we asked her a few questions.
SF: Did you catch the game last night [Sunday]?
SD: No. I was driving around yesterday afternoon and saw all these people spilling out of the bars. Someone told me that the game started at 5 pm. I thought the game had already happened, but I guess that was the 49ers?
SF: The Giants faced off against the team from St. Louis. That team is named after an animal. What is it?
SD: The Cardinals.
SF: Correct. Speaking of animals, one of Giants' stars is Pablo Sandoval, who is identified with a famous cartoon animal. What is his name?
SD: He's a panda.
SF: Kung Fu Panda to be precise. Speaking of funny names, outfielder Melky Cabrera got into a bit of trouble this season. Do you know why?
SD: I have no idea.
SF: Here's a hint: "Jose Canseco."
SD: Is that an obscure tequila? [laughing] That hint really doesn't help me.
SF: Melky was busted for taking performance enhancing drugs. Scandals aside, it's been a very good year for the Giants. In fact, last June, Matt Cain did something no other Giants pitcher has done before. Do you remember what he did?
SD: Oh, you know a "walk out"? A "no-hit." What's it called where the batter can't hit the ball?
SF: A strike out?
SD: No! I mean, yes, but for the whole game! A no-hit game.
SF: Close! He actually pitched a perfect game.
SD: I'm too good at this.
SF: Which film did Giants manager Bruce Bochy show to the team to get them riled up for the 2010 post-season?
SD: Was it a music video?
SF: No, a film. An excerpt from a film.
SD: Chariots of Fire?
SF: Actually, it was Braveheart.
SD: Wow, that's violent. Like they're being incited to cut off peoples' heads?
SF: I'm going to run some Giants team slogans by you and I'd like you to tell me what they're referring to. First, "Torture."
SD: Torture? Like, they torture Dodgers? Or little people? Because they're Giants?
SF: Okay, how about "Fear the Beard."
SD: I know that one. It's what's-his-face with the big black dyed beard.
SF: Yep, Brian Wilson. Right now, the Giants are playing the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. What are the two teams in the American League Championship Series.
SD: Well, I know the A's lost, so probably not them.
SF: The New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers.
SD: Oh, my friend was talking about watching the Tigers game, but I assumed he was talking about LSU.
SF: You know, the winners of the NLCS and ALCS will go the World Series. So who are you putting your money on?
SD: Maybe I'll go with Cardinals because they're from that city...not Cincinnati...
SF: St. Louis.
SD: Yeah! So maybe the Cardinals and the Yankees.
SF: No love for the Giants?
SD: Oh right, them! Okay, sure. The Giants.
Additional questioning by Lani Conway.