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Rounding Third: The Giants have become the symbol of excellence
By Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - For the second time in three years the San Francisco Giants are World Series champions.
As sweet as it was back in 2010 when the Giants delivered their first title since moving to San Francisco, this team's championship run is going to be one they talk about in the Bay Area for years to come.
San Francisco lost its closer Brian Wilson after just two appearances, then, of course, had to deal with the suspension of Melky Cabrera in August. But, nothing fazed this team, as it withstood obstacle after obstacle in bringing home the seventh title in franchise history.
The Giants overcame incredible odds to become the first National League team to rally back from an 0-2 hole and win a Division Series. Then, with their backs against the wall again in the NLCS, San Francisco beat the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals three straight times to win that series in seven games.
But, the never-say-die Giants saved their best for last.
After being forced to play six elimination games in the first two rounds, San Francisco closed their season with seven straight wins, culminating with a matter of fact four-game sweep of the American League champion Detroit Tigers.
And it wasn't even that close.
Pablo Sandoval set the tone with three home runs in Game 1, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong tossed seven and 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Games 2 and 3, respectively, before a complete team effort gave them a win in Game 4.
Sandoval, who was benched for most of San Francisco's 2010 run, was named the MVP of the series after hitting .500 with three home runs, a double and four RBIs in 16 Series at-bats.
Really, though, you could have given that award to anyone. And that includes manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean, who has built the closest thing to a baseball dynasty since the late 90's New York Yankees won four championships in five years.
Bochy pushed every right button this postseason and Game 4's clincher was no different. He inserted Ryan Theriot, who had only six at bats in the postseason, as his designated hitter and, of course, he was the one who scored the winning run.
Even more fitting was that it was Marco Scutaro, the man who took Theriot's second base job, who drove him in with a single in the 10th inning on Sunday.
One player who shouldn't be overlooked is right fielder Hunter Pence. He may have only hit .219 in his 59 games since coming over from Philadelphia and floundered around .200 in the postseason, but all the Giants credited him for his spirited pregame speeches that made everyone believe,
This team, though, is and was paced by their pitching staff. And not just the starters either, the bullpen was also terrific for the Giants, especially lefty Jeremy Affeldt and closer Sergio Romo, who was basically unhittable in saving three games.
Is there anyone who didn't think the Giants were going to win on Sunday when Affeldt struck out Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young in the eighth inning?
And how about Tim Lincecum? The two-time NL Cy Young Award endured the worst season of his pro career, but was remarkable as a reliever here in October.
Speaking of comebacks, when's the next time you are going to hear about Barry Zito's contract? Arguably the worst free agent signing ever, Zito started this remarkable stretch with 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cards and outdueled Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series.
San Francisco won the last 14 times he took the hill.
The rotation allowed just four runs - three of which came on Sunday - to the Tigers, as the Giants found themselves trailing for only two innings in the whole series. And those two innings were Sunday.
The Giants are the "it" team. Sure, that's easy to say now that they have two titles in three years, but it's true, They are the model franchise in Major League Baseball.
They play in perhaps the best ballpark in baseball. If anything this postseason showed us that the atmosphere at AT&T Park is certainly top-5. Other than Buster Posey and Lincecum, there really are no superstars. They are young, they're unselfish and something tells me they are not done yet.
Let's be honest the Giants are a real easy team to root for.
But, most importantly they are a team and the rest of the league should pay attention to what Sabean has done..
Congratulations to the 2012 World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
10/29 01:25:01 ET
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