A lot of my europeans friends are making fun of the fact that the Giants are now called "World Champions" after their win yesterday night against the Rangers in game 5 of the World Series. It's actually a huge discussion on Facebook and other forums.
I have to say that the first I heard that, I was also amused. Back in Europe, World Champions are usually countries, and international competitions usually involves countries, not teams. And of course, we love to joke that the US think they're the center of the world.
But I would say that there is actually a very good argument to be made to justify why the Giants should be called World Champions.
First of all, teams can be world champions, it actually happens in football (soccer) as well. So let's get this one out of the way.
Second, the MLB actually includes two countries not one. Canada and the US.
Third, the MLB is the best baseball league in the World, where all best players from all over the world play. If you're good, you play in the MLB. If you look at the Giants yesterday, some of its players come from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, etc... The best players want to play here. There is no other stage comparable in the world of Baseball. Japan has its own league, and also has some protections to keep its best players, but even that is not enough (there are currently 14 active Japanese players in the MLB). That's what's very different from many other sports. In football (soccer), best players play in the UK, in Spain, in Germany, in Brazil, in Argentina, etc... They don't play in the same league, so you need to create an event to make that happen (which is the awesome FIFA World Cup).
So if you have the best league, where all the best players from all over the world compete (and is recognized as such by all), then I think you should be entitled to call its winner World Champions. The same way the winner of the UEFA Champions League is called European Champions.
Well done Giants, you're great World Champions!