Tag: 2010 World Series

Texas Rangers: Top 5 Wins Above Replacement Scores Among Batters Since 2000

The Texas Rangers have been known for quite some time as a team that usually wins with their bats. They are third in Major League Baseball since 2000 in runs scored and this is a team that has only been to the postseason twice since the turn of the millennium.

This offense has featured many prolific names but there are five that stand out from all the rest. We will be ranking these players by their WAR (wins above replacement) which is a stat that represents the number of wins that a player’s presence translates to compared to a replacement player.

Since runs are dependent on other batters, it is not appropriate to gauge worth using that stat which is why WAR is being used. Read on for more.

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Jon Daniels’ Trade History: How the 2010 Texas Rangers Became AL Champions

On October 4, 2005, the 2010 Texas Rangers took steps to becoming the first team in franchise history to win a playoff series.

Tack onto that another playoff series win, advancing to the World Series for the first time in franchise history and instilling a long-lost hope for baseball in North Texas.

This is the day that general manager John Hart stepped down from his position, leaving 28-year old Jon Daniels in charge of a team that had not reached the playoffs since 1999.

Daniels was given a team with arguably the most talented young infield in the game in  Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira, Michael Young and Hank Blalock.

However, only one of these promising players was on the Rangers World Series roster in 2010.

Let’s take a look at how Jon Daniels’ trade success (and failure) led to a team that came out of nowhere to capture the imaginations of fans across the country.


The Alfonso Soriano Trade

Days after being handed the team, Daniels made his first big trade as GM. It was also one of his worst. Daniels shipped off Soriano to the Washington Nationals for outfielder Brad Wilkerson, outfielder Termell Sledge and pitcher Armando Galarraga.

Wilkerson’s time in Texas was incredibly unfulfilling, leaving Texas after two years with a batting average for the Rangers of .228 while playing in only 214 games out of a possible 324.

Sledge is most remembered in Texas as being involved in another bad Daniels trade, one we’ll discuss later.

Armando Galarraga, unlike Sledge, did find success in the majors, throwing a near perfect game in the summer of 2010—for the Detroit Tigers. Galarraga finished his career in Texas with a 6.23 ERA and was traded to Detroit in 2008 for Michael Hernandez.

All Soriano did for the Nationals was hit 46 home runs while also stealing 41 bases, finishing third in the MVP balloting.

He then went onto a good career as a Chicago Cub being of the select few that can combine plus power and plus speed.

Strike out.


The Adrian Gonzalez Trade

Texas Rangers fans have played the “what if” scenarios over and over again in their heads over this one. A month after the Soriano trade, Daniels got the itch again and dealt the incredibly talented first base prospect Adrian Gonzalez to San Diego along with starting pitcher Chris Young and the aforementioned Termell Sledge. Texas received in return (get ready to cringe) starting pitcher Adam Eaton, relief pitcher Akinori Otsuka and Billy Killian.

Adam Eaton had a career ERA of 4.34 with the Padres, never winning more than 11 games in a season before being sent to Texas. As a Ranger he made 13 starts with a 5.12 ERA, leaving after the season.

Billy Killian has been a career minor leaguer for the Rangers, White Sox and Orioles.

The one success from this trade for the Rangers was Otsuka. Otsuka pitched for the Rangers for two seasons, recording 36 saves and owning a miniscule 2.25 ERA. He has not pitched in the majors since 2007.

On the other hand, San Diego found success in Young, who won 33 games over five years, owning an ERA of 3.60.

What happened to Gonzalez? He is now considered one of the best all-around first basemen in the game. He mans first for the Boston Red Sox and has hit over 32 homeruns four of the past five seasons while also hitting for a high average.

Swing and Miss.


The Nelson Cruz Trade

The trade that started to turn things around for the Daniels administration occurred in July of 2006. The Rangers acquired Nelson Cruz, the starting right fielder for their World Series run. Yet Cruz was not the acquisition ranger fans were most excited about.

On July 28, and in the thick of a playoff push, Daniels pulled the trigger on a deal that would send Francisco Cordero, Laynce Nix, Kevin Mench and Julian Cordero to the Milwaukee Brewers for Cruz and highly sought-after Carlos Lee.

Lee was expected to come in and lead the Rangers to the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

It was not to be, and Lee bolted south after the season to the Houston Astros. The trade appeared to be destined for disaster early.

After a few years of struggling between AAA Oklahoma City and the big league club, however, Nelson Cruz finally put together all the pieces to his enormous potential at the end of the 2008 season.

He then became an All-Star in 2009 and carried that over into the rangers’ memorable 2010 run. Cruz batted in the heart of a potent Rangers offense and delivered time and time again, with the numbers to back him up.

Although not apparent at first, the Cruz trade contributed overall to the Rangers’ incredible run about as much—if not more—than the next few (higher profile) trades.


The Mark Teixeira Trade

This trade, at the end of Daniels’ career, will be the one he is most remembered for. On July 31, 2007, amidst high speculation, Daniels traded superstar Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves for a group headlined by Jarrod Saltalamacchia signaling to Ranger fans that the team was in full-on rebuilding mode.

Teixeira’s career, before and after the trade, has been one that makes you wonder whether the trade was a success or an epic failure. Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, All-Star appearances, and a bevy of other awards are those owned by Teixeira.

Why trade arguably the best young hitter and defender in baseball at his position for any amount of prospects. The stats show that many high profile prospects fizzle out in the pros and never amount to anything.

Daniels knew that the entire organization needed an overhaul, and the chance to acquire five top prospects for Teixeira was a risk that needed to be taken. If just two of the prospects flourish in the majors, you can count the trade a success. So who was it going to be to succeed and make Daniels look like a genius?

Saltalamacchia? The centerpiece of the deal? If you had to put your money on someone to be the superstar, it would probably be the one that gets the most recognition at the time of the trade.

Well, Salty’s career has been nothing short of disappointing; he has failed to live up to the hype. As a Ranger, he owned a .243 batting average with 19 homers over four seasons. He is now currently residing on the Boston Red Sox roster.

Beau Jones hasn’t seen the majors since the trade and is currently playing for the Rangers AAA affiliate in Round Rock.

Matt Harrison was a highly touted Braves’ prospect at the time of the trade and has had an up-and-down career. He is the Rangers’ No. 3 starter and started the 2011 season 3-0 while going at least seven innings and not allowing more than one run a game.

Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus were both just 18 at the time of the trade—Feliz, a rookie-level right handed fireballer, and Andrus, a shortstop in High-A ball. These names, just prospects at the time, have turned into the crown jewels of the trade.

Andrus was ranked by Baseball America as being the Braves No. 2 overall prospect before the trade and was heralded as a possible Gold Glove defender. Jamey Newberg, noted blogger for the Rangers, made this comparison between Andrus and floundering Rangers prospect at the time Joaquin Arias:

“Andrus shows the plus range, plus arm, and fluid hands that Arias has always shown, not to mention the athleticism and promise of offensive productivity as his body matures. He exhibits an advanced ability to use the entire field with the bat, his walk rates are unusually good, and he’s an instinctive player in all phases.”

While Arias, who was chosen over Robinson Cano by the Rangers in the Alex Rodriguez trade, has failed, Andrus has fulfilled much of the promise at a very young age.

Andrus has developed into one of the more exciting players in the game with his incredible range and arm at shortstop. He gets to balls up the middle that have never been gotten to before from other Ranger shortstops. He is a Gold Glove winner waiting in the wings for the baseball community to stop their obsession with Derek Jeter.

Feliz, the 2010 American League Rookie of the Year, has fulfilled all the promise—and then some—for the Rangers. Newberg also wrote this about Feliz at the time of the trade:

“In 29 innings last year, Feliz used a mid-90s fastball that reportedly touches 98 with late life, plus a still-immature slider and change, to hold hitters to a .192 average — and no home runs — issuing 14 walks and punching out 42 hapless opponents. He was at his best down the stretch, logging 11 scoreless innings in four August appearances, scattering four hits and one walk while fanning 15 hitters. At the conclusion of the season, Baseball America judged his fastball to be the best in the entire Braves system, despite just 39 innings of work in his two pro seasons combined.”

Taken from the same article by Newberg, Baseball Prospectus said, “”This is a teenager with a lightning arm who could turn into a frontline starter or a dominant closer, but right now, he’s a teenager with a lightning arm.”

Nail on the head. Feliz has been a lights-out, shutdown closer and set-up man for Texas since his call up in 2009. He owns a .232 ERA and 47 saves while striking out over a batter an inning.

The future is bright for young Feliz, whether as a shutdown closer or future ace of the staff.


The Cliff Lee Trade

The 2010 season was unlike any other in Rangers history. Coming into the season, the Mariners were the talk of the American League West by boasting two of the best pitchers in baseball in Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee, and the best defense on paper. The A’s were young and talented but still seemed a year away, and the Angels were the incumbent west champions and favorites to repeat.

The Rangers, full of young talent in Andrus and then-setup-reliever Neftali Feliz, were ready to take the next step in their rebuilding process—which began with the Teixeira trade three years prior.

Coming off a scorching hot June, The Rangers found themselves in first place in the west with a growing fan base. All of a sudden, the Rangers had gone from a cellar-dwelling franchise to a playoff contending team—seemingly over night to the rest of the baseball community.

Jon Daniels, however, was not happy with just a playoff contending team, and neither would the emerging fan base. Enter Cliff Lee.

Approaching July 9, it was all but assured that the Yankees would trade top prospect Jesus Montero—along with others—to the Mariners in exchange for Lee. But with the Mariners coveting Rangers first-base prospect Justin Smoak, Daniels and the Rangers come out of nowhere to land Lee and immediately turning the Rangers into serious World Series contenders.

Daniels sent Smoak along with pitchers Blake Beaven and Josh Lueke and infielder Matt Lawson to the Mariners in exchange for Lee and Mark Lowe. Newberg responded to the trade with:

“That Texas landed baseball’s best left-handed pitcher, a proven big game warrior on a short list of the league’s best pitchers, period, without giving up Perez or Scheppers or Holland or Hunter or Ogando is sort of stunning. I understand that Seattle was targeting a young hitter. But I’m still having trouble getting my head wrapped around a deal for a pitcher like this where you part with a young blue-chip position player but don’t have to dip into what is a very deep top tier of your pitching prospect stable – and that’s without even considering that you had to have the Mariners put cash into the deal, something other teams wouldn’t have insisted on.”

In the future, Justin Smoak will be an All-Star for a long time as a Mariner. Everyone in the Rangers organization knew this. But when you feel you’re one piece away from competing for a title, these are the risks you take. There will be many-a-game when Rangers fans will watch Smoak trot around the bases and think about what could have been. But the goal was to reach the playoffs and win a series for the first time in franchise history.

Mission accomplished.  

Jon Daniels has overcome ugly trades early-on in his career to become one of the most talented general managers in all of baseball. Through these trades, Daniels landed Andrus, Cruz, Lee and Feliz while also making room on the roster for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

This is not a concise list of all of Daniels’ successes and failures though. 2010 MVP Josh Hamilton was not even mentioned. Nor was the inability of Daniels to pull the trigger on a trade that would have sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Rangers instead of the Red Sox.

Whether he remains in Texas or moves on to other opportunities, Daniels has engraved a winning attitude on this team and this community and will forever be remembered as the architect of the first American League champions in franchise history.

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Matt Cain: Five Reasons the Giants’ Number Two is MLB’s Most Underrated Pitcher

When the San Francisco Giants called up Matt Cain in August of 2005, he made his debut as the second youngest pitcher in the major leagues.  Now in his seventh season as a big leaguer, Cain is a seasoned veteran with a laundry list of accomplishments to his credit.  He finished last year’s World Championship season with a 13-11 record with a 3.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 177 strikeouts, 61 walks, 223 innings pitched and four complete games (including two shutouts).  

In May alone, he pitched into the sixth inning or later in each of his six starts while giving up nine earned runs on 23 hits with 35 strike outs and 18 walks with an 1.81 ERA.  He was instrumental in the Giants’ regular season success last year and even more so in their postseason World Series run.  Despite his track record of success, he is rarely included in the list of current upper echelon pitchers, and there are five main reasons why. 

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All You Need to Get Your San Francisco Giants World Series Schwag

It was World Series schwag weekend in San Francisco, with rings and many other special commemorations for the defending champs’ first homestand.

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San Francisco Giants: A Look Back to 2010 Before Moving Forward to 2011

When thinking back about the year that was for the San Francisco Giants in 2010, it’s all still a little surreal.

In many ways it was a dream season that will never be forgotten for most Giants fans.

Instead of writing an article focusing on the upcoming year and the Giants’ chances of repeating, let’s look back one more time at their incredible 2010 playoff run. 

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San Francisco Giants and the 2010 World Series: A Retrospective

This past fall, I spoke to my little brother far more often than I normally do.  He’s away at college, I work and we live on opposite coasts, so our schedules rarely seem to match.  

When he left for school in August, I knew we might talk or text only a few times before I saw him at Thanksgiving.  But then, the Giants played the Padres for the National League West title on the last day of the season, and he called me when Brian Wilson took the mound in the top of the ninth.  Being on the East Coast, far removed from the baseball fervor of San Francisco, the game was not being broadcast on television so he needed me to give him the play-by-play.

“Ball three.  Full count.  Struck out swinging.”  I relayed the inning pitch-by-pitch, sitting on the floor of my family room and nervously wringing the laundry I was folding, adding more wrinkles than clean creases.  And when the final pitch was thrown, I yelled into the phone, and he yelled back, yelling for our first playoff berth since 2002, yelling for a chance to play in the World Series, yelling at Brian Wilson for making almost every ninth inning of 2010 so unbearably nerve-wracking, yelling for our beloved Giants.

The Giants have been part of our lives since we were born.  Baseball was the first sport we played, as t-ball starts at a younger age than any other youth sport, and we fell for the game and our hometown team, hard and irreversibly.  My dad used a magnifying glass and the sun to burn our names into our gloves, which we have both had since we were nine-years-old.  We cheered for J.T. Snow, emulated Omar Vizquel (me) and Benito Santiago (him) and were awed by Barry Bonds.  I wrote my senior honors thesis about the Giants and AT&T Park; he wears his Giants jacket to class to annoy the significant contingent of Phillies fans that attend Lehigh University.  We love the Giants.  We always have and always will, no matter where life may take us.  And our Giants, a few weeks after beating the Padres on the last day of the regular season, just won the World Series.

San Francisco had never won a World Series.  The Giants had, back in 1954, when Dwight Eisenhower was president and with great names like Willie Mays and Leo Durocher, but those were New York’s Giants.  Our Giants, San Francisco’s Giants, had yet to win it all despite a slew of talent that had spent time in an orange and black uniform.  We had come close on a few occasions, blowing a five-run lead with eights outs to go in 2002, dropping four straight in 1989, a series more remembered for the earthquake than the matchup of crosstown rivals, and in 1962, many years before my parents arrived as freshmen at Stanford and nearly half a century before I did.  

The 2010 Giants were special though.  These were not Barry Bonds’ Giants, who had flash but lacked soul.  Nor were they Jeff Kent’s, who were talented but hardly empathetic.  They were not J.T. Snow’s, who won over hearts only to wrench them apart in the devastating implosion against the Angels.

It took a cast of self-proclaimed castoffs and misfits to win San Francisco its world championship and bring joy to the city that had suffered so much heartbreak.  Cody Ross had been released by the Florida Marlins; Pat Burrell by the Tampa Bay Rays. Aubrey Huff of rally thong fame spent the offseason waiting for his phone to ring.  The best deal offered to Juan Uribe was in the minor leagues, and Andres Torres had been signed and let go by six separate teams before the Giants took a chance on him.

Instead of Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, we had Tim Lincecum, who looks more like a young version of Harry Potter’s Professor Snape than a professional athlete and Matt Cain, the best pitcher in the major leagues with a losing record.  Instead of Ryan Howard and Josh Hamilton, we had a baby-faced Buster Posey and a nearly decrepit Edgar Renteria, who played the last chunk of an injury-riddled season with a completely torn bicep, but he still hit the series-winning RBI—13 years after he did the same thing with the Marlins in 1997.  

And in the ninth inning, we entrusted the ball to closer Brian Wilson, whose uniform includes facial hair that looks like it has been dipped in petrol and bright orange cleats that were deemed illegal by Major League Baseball because, according to their owner, they had “too much awesome.”  

This team may have been cobbled together from players past their prime in tandem with extraordinary young phenoms, but this ragtag crew had plenty of talent.  It takes more than talent to win a championship, though, and this team also had guts, faith and a lot of fun, and that is precisely what made them so lovable.  We could all see a part of ourselves in them, their joy in a sport they loved to play and we loved to watch what was apparent and endearing every time they took the field.  

They were San Francisco’s Giants, and those who could not tell before could see it when the players and coaches celebrated the clinching win over the Padres with a spontaneous victory lap around AT&T Park.  Those in uniform reached high to slap the hands of loyal fans, and the fans in turn reached down to touch the greatness that jogged around the warning track below them.    

In the weeks during the playoffs, people dug deep into their closets to find their orange and black articles of clothing.  A sense of kinship spread through the city and the suburbs, a Giants t-shirt often eliciting a smile or a nod from a like-minded passerby. Coffee houses started televising the games instead of playing soothing soundtracks, and “Go Giants” signs sprung up in store windows and front yards.  

People grew playoff beards and dressed up as Brian Wilson for Halloween or carved his likeness on front porch pumpkins.  Baseball fever spread quickly and ignited a love affair with this team of underdogs that defied odds and kept on winning.  When it is so easy to slip into the anonymity of city life, the Giants gave us a team to root for, a common cause to bring us all together over the course of one magical season.

I watched the final game with my dad, who taught me how to play baseball, and my mom, who loves Buster Posey even more than I do.  I barely watched the postgame celebration because I raced to catch the train with my friends to celebrate in San Francisco that night.  We drank champagne and high-fived strangers and took pictures at the ballpark, our happy faces shining in the orange light that bathed the stadium.  My brother called me when I was on the train, and I teared up when neither of us could find anything to say besides repeating “we won, we won” to each other over and over again.  

Joyful delirium spread throughout the city that night, but as the clock ticked deeper into the morning and the “Let’s go Giants” chants became irregular and then nearly quiet, the crowd began to disperse, leaving ashes and broken bottles in the streets that had been shut down to traffic minutes after the last pitch was thrown.  My friends and I did not want it to end though, implicitly realizing that if we went to bed, it would no longer be the night we won the World Series when we woke the next morning.  We ended up in the Happy Donuts a block away from the ballpark, choosing a late night snack to prolong the celebration one hour longer.  I don’t even like donuts, but chocolate sprinkles have never tasted so good.  

I snuck into work at 7:58 the next morning, with bleary eyes and mussed hair and wearing the same jeans and same Giants t-shirt that I had worn the night before.  My coworkers were not as impressed as I was that I made it to work on time looking mildly presentable and in a semi-functioning state the morning after going to sleep on my friend’s floor and in her roommate’s sweatpants and waking up a few hours later to catch the early train home from the city.  My head ached with too little sleep, and I probably made even more accounting errors than usual that morning, but these are the sacrifices we make for our teams.  The great thing about sports, though, is that our teams give us so much more than what we give them.

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San Francisco Giants’ Incredible Four Year Turnaround

In 2007, Bruce Bochy became the Giants’ manager.  In that season, the team won 71 games and finished last in their division.  In each season since then, the Giants have improved their win-loss record while finishing higher in the division. 

Four years ago the Giants were a mess.  They were old, they were brittle, and they were overshadowed by Barry Bonds’ tainted journey to a record nobody outside of the bay really wanted to see broken.

In 2007, the Giants extensively used Ryan Klesko, a then 36-year-old veteran.  In 116 games, he hit only six home runs while batting .260.  Also, at first was Rich Aurilia, who barely mustered an OBP over .300. 

Then you had Dave Roberts, then 35, in centerfield.  Like Klesko, he managed to hit .260 while making $5 million that year.  In addition, Omar Vizquel was the starting shortstop, but even at age 40, it’s hard to throw him aside.  Though his offense was well below average, his defense was strong enough that he could have been an asset had there been solid hitters surrounding him in the lineup.  There weren’t.

The Giants’ average age was 33.1 in 2007, and no starting position player was under the age of 32.  Fast forward to 2010, and the Giants’ average age fell to 29.6 with no starting position player over the age of 33. 

In those three years, the Giants became younger and stronger.

Their homerun total rose from 131 to 162 with a 21 point increase in OPS.  In 2007, the Giants were last in the National League in slugging percentage and OPS.  They were sixth and eighth this past season, respectively.

Even though the Giants’ offense was not intimidating even this last year, upgrades were made to be competitive.  Then their pitching, the strength of the 2007 team, took an even bigger step forward in the three years after.

Back in Tim Lincecum’s rookie year, the Giants had three starters with an ERA of 4.00 or below (Matt Cain, Noah Lowry, Lincecum), and only Cain threw more than 200 innings.  The team ERA of 4.19 was good enough for fifth in the NL, yet the offense held the Giants to their 71 wins.

This past season, the Giants jumped to the league lead in ERA at 3.36, and four of the Giant starters not only had an ERA below 4.00, but also below 3.50. 

Since Bruce Bochy arrived in San Francisco, the Giants have literally gone from worst in the division to first.  This cannot be attributed solely to Bochy, or GM Brian Sabean, but to a new movement in the organization.

Since the start of the 2007 season, the Giants have drafted Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, two key pieces of last October’s memorable run.  Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez improved in that same time span, though Zito has more or less remained stagnant in his San Francisco career. 

You won’t see Ryan Klesko hogging up a spot in the middle of the order or Dave Roberts at the top of the lineup.  The Giants have learned to avoid bloated contracts that handcuff the organization.  The only exception is the deal to sign Barry Zito, which, surprise, occurred before the 2007 season. 

Since that Barry Zito deal, the only truly awful contract has been given to Aaron Rowand, but even his $60 million deal appears cheap compared to other regrettable contracts (think Alfonso Soriano). 

If anything, the Giants have found a way to play around the contracts of Zito and Rowand.  Rowand’s contract lasts for only two more years, with Zito lasting three more.  Once that money is taken off the books, the Giants will be able to lock in their younger, more reliable players including Buster Posey, Lincecum, Cain, and other young studs. 

The starting lineup is now built around young stars in Posey, and yes, Pablo Sandoval too.  Brandon Belt is projected to arrive in San Francisco next summer, and the rest of the lineup complements the growth of these young hitters.

Still, the biggest upgrade has been in the pitching department.  Much has been made of the Giants’ homegrown success on the mound, and it cannot be understated. 

With a stronger farm system and the foresight not to get locked into unreasonable free agent contracts, the Giants have discovered their own little way to win.  It’s that simple.  

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Giants’ First World Series Title In San Francisco Excites San Jose Sports Bar

Fans have dubbed most of the Giants’ 2010 season and postseason as torture, but after the team’s impressive World Series victory against the Texas Rangers, the Giants’ faithful at the High Five Pizza Co. restaurant and sports bar felt euphoric.

The Giants won the seven-game World Series in just five games, courtesy of a Game 5 seventh-inning three-run home run from the series’ MVP Edgar Renteria, and brought home the first championship in their San Francisco history.

Cathleen Belknap, a manager at High Five, was among those who were thrilled about the Giants’ World Series title. She said that although she was a southern California native, she began following the Giants when the playoff games were on the televisions at work, and when everyone came into the restaurant to watch them.

“I feel very good about it because it will bring revenue to the city, and it’s long overdue so it is nice for the fans,” Belknap said.

Like Belknap, bartender Mark Mitchell recently began following the Giants during the frenzy when the playoffs began. As a fan of San Francisco itself, he felt the Giants’ World Series victory was one of the best things to happen to the city.

“I really liked what it did to the city of San Francisco,” Mitchell said. “It was similar to what happened when the Saints won the Super Bowl.”

Mitchell was also drawn to the team by the personality and charm of some of the players, including Buster Posey, his favorite.

“I saw Buster Posey in an interview, and I was impressed with the way he conducted himself,” Mitchell said. “If I see him, I would like to buy him a beer.”

Some were so excited about the Giants’ World Series title that they celebrated in surprising ways. Kealaa Kai, a concrete foreman for the city of San Jose and regular patron at High Five, told of his experience at another San Jose sports bar.

“I went to a bar in downtown San Jose, and after the Giants won, the owner bought a round of drinks for all his customers in the bar at the time,” Kai said.

Others were just relieved that the Giants won at least one title in their lifetime, and they are confident many more are on the way.

“I’m so happy they did it while I’m young,” said Katerina Nowack, a cashier and cook at the restaurant. “I am excited that everyone on the team is so young, and there’s a good chance it (a Giants World Series title) might happen again.”

Even fans of opposing teams, including the Giants’ arch-rival Los Angeles Dodgers, could not help but feel happy for Giants fans. Greg Scaglione, another High Five bartender, has been a Dodger fan since birth, but showed an understanding of what the World Series victory meant to Giants fans.

“I’ve known a lot of people who were Giants fans, and it’s really good for them,” Scaglione said.

In years past, every last game of the season for San Francisco has ended in defeat, but this year, it was the San Francisco Giants who had the last victorious word in Major League Baseball.


This article is also featured on Talking Giants Baseball.

Who is the best baseball broadcaster today? Click here to vote.

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Giants Renteria Continues To Make Strides In Effort To Improve His Homeland

World Champion San Francisco Giant’s shortstop Edgar Renteria had a great World Series, with seven hits in 18 at bats with two home runs and six runs scored and a .412 batting average. The five time all star delivered a three run go ahead home run in the top of the seventh inning of game five and was named World Series Most Valuable Player. Good work, but it seems that Renteria save his best work for the off season, where his contributions to his home country of Columbia are becoming  second nature.

When Renteria returns to his hometown of Barranquilla, Columbia on Thursday he is asking that the planned parade and parties in his honor be canceled and all the funds be donated to the thousands of his fellow country men and woman that are the victims of recent flooding. The port city in northern Columbia has been ravaged by floods recently, with an estimated 900, 000 people being left homeless. Renteria said that “there are more important things back home” other than parades and parties.

Some may argue that parade and parties would help people take their minds off of their troubles, and in some cases it does, but it seems that Renteria chose to use his great World Series as a platform to raise awareness rather than celebrate. It is a tough judgement call but sometime people need monetary help more than moral victory.

In 2003 Renteria and his brother Edison created the Colombian Professional Baseball League, it is owned by the Renteria Foundation, and other major league players such as Orlando Cabrera have owned teams.

In baseball the saying goes”hitting is contagious”  and with people like Edgar Renteria doing his part in a small Colombian community hopefully someday we can say that “generosity and common courtesy for our fellow man is contagious.” Sometime it is little gestures of good will and common sense that make a big difference in peoples lives. Although a parade would have been a great diversion for a few hours, the food and everyday necessities that these people might get with monetary help will last a lot longer. Lets hope that others follow Edgar Renteria’s lead and make stories like this the rule and not the exception.

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Unbelievable Ride: San Francisco Giants Erase Pains of Past

It is still unbelievable. Leading up to the parade on Wednesday I was not entirely sure I was not dreaming.

Did the San Francisco Giants, my San Francisco Giants, really win the World Series? Did they just exorcise all the demons from playoffs past?

They did and did it in dominating fashion.

No more are the Giants in the same conversation with the Indians and Cubs. No more are the Giants a team that can never seal the deal. All the blunders and torture that have occurred throughout the storied history of the San Francisco Giants have been alleviated.

The 2002 World Series? Forgiven. Winning 103 games in 1993 only to be left out of the playoffs? Never happened.

The 1989 Series? Forgotten.

This team has brought more unequivocal joy to the San Francisco Bay Area; the only word for it has to be ecstasy. In no way is this article to rub dirt in any Texas wounds. It is to express the unbridled joy felt by a fanbase that has waited 52 years for this.

No more are people asking for Bruce Bochy’s enormous head. No more are Brian Sabean’s moves crazy and stupid. They are geniuses and we did not even realize. Baseball people who know what they are doing?


We now know how the Red Sox fans felt. We now know what long-suffering White Sox fans went through.

The past 10 World Series have taken the proverbial monkey off the backs of many baseball cities. The Diamondbacks, Angels, Marlins, Red Sox twice, White Sox, Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees and Giants have all been champion in the past decade.

Let’s take a deeper look at this.

The Angels and Diamondbacks had never won a championship. The White Sox and Red Sox waited for more than 80 years for another.

The Phillies had not won a championship since 1980. Cardinals? Not since 1982.

San Francisco had never won a baseball championship. The Giants franchise had not won since 1954.

And they won it the way every baseball person knows is the formula: pitching and defense. They embraced the “team” mentality. Every player pulling for each other, doing what is best for the team.

Think about how long it had been for Aubrey Huff and Freddy Sanchez. They both had never been in the playoffs. Neither had played for a winning team before joining the Giants.

It meant so much to Huff that he dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over in Game 5. Huff had not laid down a sacrifice bunt ever in his 10-year Major League career but he did it in the World Series.

The Giants players checked their egos at the door and did what they had to do.

Aaron Rowand could have made a big deal about his playing time. He didn’t. Barry Zito could have complained about being left off the playoff roster but didn’t.

Every person played their part and now they celebrate together as world champions.

The Giants are World Series Champions. Maybe now it can set in.

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