Marcos Breton
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  • RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

    Ryan Theriot, left, who scored the go-ahead run, and Hunter Pence, both new to the Giants in 2012, celebrate their World Series win.

  • PAUL KITAGAKI JR.

    World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval wipes away tears after the win. His historic three-homer night in Game 1 and .500 Series batting average were key for the Giants.

  • RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

    Designated hitter Ryan Theriot slides past Tigers catcher Gerald Laird to score the tiebreaking run in the top of the 10th inning on Marco Scutaro's two-out single as umpire Brian O'Nora watches.

  • RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

    Marco Scutaro caps his huge postseason by connecting for the decisive run-scoring single.

  • RANDY PENCH

    DETROIT: Bundled up on a chilly night and proudly sporting their team's colors, Giants fans celebrate after San Francisco's extra-inning, Series-clinching triumph at Comerica Park.

  • PAUL KITAGAKI JR. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    The Giants storm the mound Sunday, with pitcher Sergio Romo in the middle of the celebration, after winning the World Series by beating the Tigers 4-3 in 10 innings at Detroit's Comerica Park. The victory completed a four-game sweep. The Giants got stellar relief pitching and a game-winning hit from Marco Scutaro to capture their second title in three years.

  • PAUL KITAGAKI JR. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    Giants pitcher Sergio Romo, left, is embraced by catcher Buster Posey on Sunday after striking out Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in the 10th inning, giving San Francisco a 4-3 win and a World Series sweep at Detroit's Comerica Park.

  • PAUL KITAGAKI JR. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    Matt Cain, goggles on and World Series trophy aloft, celebrates in the festive Giants locker room.

  • RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

    Susan Hansen, left, of Foster City and her sister, Carol Han- sen of San Francisco, spot ex-Giant Will Clark before Game 4.

Marcos Breton: Two World Series titles in only three years? Don't wake me from this dream

Published: Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 7:45 pm

DETROIT – Having followed the Giants since 1971, when I was 8 and my dad first took me to Candlestick Park, I have to say this turn of events is like some kind of dream.

To win two World Series titles in three seasons? To see a Giants management and manager out-think the competition? To see Giants players make the plays when they had to be made and win the games that had to be won – and then do it again in 2012 in an even more momentous campaign than the momentous title run of 2010?

"I'm numb, really," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, his normally laconic face bathed in emotion – and his hair soaked in expensive champagne. "I'm kind of speechless."

Let me help you with that history thing, Skip. Bochy is not only the most decorated manager in 55 years of San Francisco Giants baseball, he is now in the same conversation with the immortal John McGraw – who managed the Giants to three titles between 1905 and 1922, when the franchise was based in New York.

Yeah, McGraw is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where most managers with multiple titles end up.

To think some viewed Bochy as a retread hire when the Giants took him in 2007 after his 12-season run with the Padres …

The Giants were coming off two straight losing seasons, Barry Bonds was preparing for his final year, and Barry Zito's massive contract was being lambasted in the media.

On the field, the Giants were old and lacked athleticism, character or much beyond Bonds for any fan to grab hold of.

In San Francisco since 1958 without a title while the cross-bay A's had four, the Giants were mired in futility then and seemed a million miles from vying for anything but misery.

Bonds was a turbulent, negative figure in the game and, besides his home runs, Giants fans took greatest pleasure from the times their team thwarted the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was not a pretty picture or a healthy way to view this great game. It wasn't as bad as loving the Chicago Cubs and embracing being a loser, but frustration and bitter postseason memories were far too numerous.

How do you like the Giants now? In these last three seasons, Bochy and Giants players have changed everything about the team that any of us ever knew.

It's not just that the homegrown talent led by Buster Posey is gifted in ways measured by myriad baseball metrics. What general manager Brian Sabean identified and Bochy has nurtured can't be quantified fully by sabermetrics.

There is a growing consensus in math-based baseball that such things as clutch hitters and pitchers are a myth.

People who follow the Giants and who work at Willie Mays Plaza know better. If you've been around the Giants, especially the last three years, you know Posey is clutch.

You knew Marco Scutaro was going to get the winning hit in extra innings Sunday night to cap an improbable four-game World Series sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

There are so many great baseball people with so much egg on their face, you would think Comerica Park was a poultry factory and not a frigid house of horrors where people with big "D"s on their caps stood in silence as Sergio Romo fanned Miguel Cabrera to end it. Cabrera won the first Triple Crown since 1967, but he was meek and helpless in the face of Romo's killer slider.

Romo was not supposed to be able to close out games when Brian Wilson, the Giants' iconic closer, was lost to arm surgery in April. Teams aren't supposed to be able to win with closers "by committee."

The Giants did. There were fears that Posey might have suffered a career-ending ankle break in May 2011, and in spring training this past March, the team practically encased him in mothballs.

He'll probably be the National League MVP. Posey's quiet grit and leading-man "it" quality made it seem perfectly logical when he hit a two-run homer Sunday after being quiet for most of the playoffs.

Posey does drama. The Giants won a title while developing two kids at first base and shortstop – Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford.

Crawford especially struggled early, but after his amazing showing to make game-saving plays, his future seems brilliant – a Bay Area kid made good.

Scutaro? The Rockies castoff is now a Giants legend. Pablo Sandoval is the World Series MVP after a trying year of injury and questions about his commitment. The Giants' pitching? What more can possibly be said?

But greater than individual excellence in the team concept was the selfless, loving brotherhood of a team that clicked emotionally.

The best hitter, Melky Cabrera, was suspended – the Giants got better. They rallied. They made history by coming back from two games down to win three games in Cincinnati, rallying like a college football team in the dugout when most baseball teams are too detached and cool for such displays.

They were down 3-1 to the St Louis Cardinals and blew them away. They destroyed the Tigers. They did it with brains, emotion, execution and heart.

They did it while sharing their joy with their fans and paying no mind to the doubters.

They did it while changing the image of a once-fading franchise and returning it to greatness not known since the early 20th century.

The great Mays, the greatest Giant of them all, has to tip his cap to these lads. All of baseball does, but whether that happens is irrelevant.

The Giants are the champions of the baseball world, and when last seen Sunday night, they were locked in a group embrace no one who witnessed it will ever forget.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Marcos Breton



Marcos Breton, news columnist

Marcos Breton

Hello, my name is Marcos Breton and I'm the news columnist with The Sacramento Bee. What's a columnist supposed to do? I'm supposed to make you think, make you laugh, make you mad or make you see an issue in a different way. I'm supposed to connect the dots on issues, people and relationships that cause things to happen or prevent them from happening in our region. I also write a weekly baseball column during the baseball season. I am a voter in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yes, I have voted for Barry Bonds - twice. I am a native of Northern California. I am the son of Mexican immigrants. I've been at The Bee for more than 20 years, and I love Sacramento.

Email: mbreton@sacbee.com
Phone: 916-321-1096
Twitter: @MarcosBreton
Facebook: facebook.com/marcosbretonmartinez

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