Giant Dynasty Recipe
The San Francisco Giants won their 3rd World Series title in 5 years when third baseman Pablo Sandoval squeezed the final out of game 7 just foul of 3rd base Wednesday night. Three titles in 5 years. The sports world will continue to debate whether the Giants’ run qualifies them as a dynasty. Frankly, who cares? What they have done is impressive. And how they’ve done it is cool. Here’s the recipe for a Dynasty:
“Incredible character guys who play the game hard, who understand the game and bring guys together — that, combined with great leadership,” said the Giants’ Jake Peavy, adding later: “They certainly have found a formula that’s worked.”
Character guys. More like “characters”. Look at this random assortment that makes up the Giants championship roster:
Hunter Pence – OF. .444 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R in World Series. Has been described as a giraffe on meth. Not used by Little League coaches as a model of fundamentals. Swings like a newborn calf with a bat. But there’s a reason. Pence discovered in 2013 that he suffers from Scheuermann’s Disease, a spinal disorder that has left him with no flexibility in his thoracic spine. Also, he rides an electric scooter to work.
Pablo Sandoval – 3B. .429 BA, 4 RBI, 6 R in World Series. Nicknamed Kung Fu Panda by teammate Barry Zito in 2008 after the roly-poly Venezuelan third baseman jumped over the tag of the Dodgers catcher to win score a run. Fat and dexterous just like the DreamWorks hero. Sandoval has battled weight and fitness problems throughout his 6-year career and in 2011 the Giants actually publicized “Operation Panda” in an effort get him into shape. It worked as he shed 30 lbs…and then put it back on. He also hit 3 HR in a game 1 win during the 2012 World Series. Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols had only previously accomplished this feat. The Babe, Mr. October, Pujols and the Panda. Impressive list. Impressive nicknames.
Brandon Belt – 1B. .308 BA, 2 RBI in World Series. Speaking of giraffes, Belt’s official nickname is Baby Giraffe. Giants’ broadcaster Duane Kuiper coined the moniker for the gangly, long-necked first baseman during his rookie year. You can experience the Giraffe Encounter at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom outside San Francisco and meet Brandon the giraffe, named for Belt.
Madison Bumgarner – P. 2 W, 0.43 ERA, 17 Ks in World Series. The Series MVP spends the offseason living on his 140-acre farm in North Carolina. As a wedding gift he gave his wife, Ali, a cow. He grew up in log cabin not far from the farm that his dad built himself. Bumgarner set a record for innings pitched in the postseason. When asked how his arm felt after his game 5 complete game win he said, “like an arm.” He celebrated postseason wins by chugging 4 beers after the Giants wild card win. He chugged 5 after the NLDS win. He chugged 6 after the NLCS win. And then he disappointed by drinking a beer like a normal human after the World Series win.
The Giants have their place in history thanks to a scooter, a giraffe, a panda, a cow and 16 beers. Quite a recipe.