ESPN's front page headline for Jayson Stark's Giants championship column is, bafflingly, "Shock the World," though "Trophy finds home in San Francisco" is the title above Stark's actual article.
After all, the 92-70 Giants had a better record than the 90-72 Rangers this season. In Dave Sheinin's Washington Post preview of the playoffs, he listed the Rangers as the eighth best team in the playoffs and forecasted a first-round elimination at the hands of the Rays. When Texas outlasted Tampa Bay in a hard-fought series and then dominated the Yankees in the ALCS, heads were turned... much the same way the Rays had seized critical opinion entering the 2008 World Series against a then-underrated Philadelphia team.
The San Francisco Giants, as has often been stated, featured an odd lineup of self-described misfits... but they were placed alongside a talented pitching staff that outclassed Philadelphia's hyped H2O of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt.
This was a championship earned, and a fitting titleholder. No flukes here.