Hello everyone. I’m back with the last of the postings to share all the images I took while standing on Market St during the San Francisco Giants World Series Championship Parade. I know I’ve kept you waiting for the good stuff, but as a young lady once told me back in college, “you can’t give up the goods too quickly; you have to make them wait!!” Clearly she wasn’t thinking that I would use her modus operandi to my photography, but the concept works. Without further ado…
The first of the starting players that made it down the street was one of my favorite relievers, Jeremy Affeldt. Although within the family, we have nicknamed Affeldt, Afflac, we think it helps his mojo and gets the job done when we root “Go Afflac!!!” I’m sure after so many times of calling him that at home and at the ballpark, I’d have to think long and hard if I ever met the man in person to make sure not to call him by anything else other than his real name. Jeremy, besides being a dominant left hand in the bullpen, has made a name for himself by coming in during game clenching situations in relief of a struggling starter and has held his ground long enough to get the rest of the bullpen in on the action. He was the unsung hero in 2010 during the start with Philadelphia that Jonathan Sanchez blew up on and came in to right that ship to a strategic win. Again, in 2012, Jeremy came in with the skipper needed him and conjured up all the mojo he needed with all that babble he does on the mound and got the job done.
Next up on the parade route was phenom, Joaquin Arias. I hope Joaquin stays with the ballclub for a long time. He is agile as a third baseman and has a deadly bat. Throughout the post season, it was almost expected that once Pablo was done with his last at bat for the game, you could expect for Bochy to sub Arias in for third base. He will probably be best known for the ridiculous throw to first to secure the last out of Matt Cain’s perfect game earlier this year. If you haven’t gotten to see the slow motion footage, you need to check out what he did. He fielded the ball off-balance and was leaning backwards when he made the throw to first. There was plenty on the ball to make it way ahead of the baserunner and the rest is history.
Following Arias was Brandon Belt. A few months ago, when Belt’s bat was struggling, I heard a rumor through the usual suspects that was saying that Brandon was not adjusting to the changes the batting coaches were suggesting and that he had no intention to change, which made his stay with the ball club short-lived. I didn’t pay one bit of attention to all that crap, cause I knew it was just that. Brandon has a keen sense of the strike zone like few players on our ball club have today. When Brandon wasn’t walking on a four ball at bat, he was connecting on something good. Yeah, he had the same bad luck that all our players had at one point or another during the season, but he made the adjustments that the haters said he wouldn’t and proved to the whole town that he belongs at first base and no one is taking his spot. The Little Giraffe is here to stay, folks, and he is ONLY GETTING STARTED!!!
During the game, the Giants GCast blurbs are always finding funny ways to get the fans to know the players better. Among the most hilarious this season was when the question was posed about the upcoming Madison Bumgarner bobble head and what would it say if it was a talking bobble head. The Giants have had a few bobbleheads that have a sound chip in them, such as the Bobby Thompson and Tony Bennett bobbleheads. The best answer was given by none other than Barry Zito when saying that Mad Bum is always talking about his cows and how they are “healthy.” Now, this isn’t just a run of the mill “healthy.” You have to use your imagination and all the southern drawl you can muster to give it a good go at the Mad Bum “healthy”. Well, very much like his cattle, Mad Bum came back out in 2012 and gave us a “HEALTHY” year. I can only imagine what this kid will be doing in a few years when he fully matures as a pitcher in the big leagues.
God damn it, do I love Gregor Blanco!! When we had Andres Torres out in center field for the 2010 season, I could not imagine anyone else being able to track down balls the way Andres did. With the same speed and agility, Gregor has quickly become a mainstay in our outfield along with Pence and Pagan. He will forever be immortalized in the amazing sliding catch to save Matt Cain’s perfect game late in the game. I still can’t believe he made that catch!! Even though his bat gets cold every so often, I still can’t think of wishing Bochy would sit this guy down and give someone else an opportunity. The defense that Blanco brings to the outfield is enough to have his name in the lineup card each and every game.
For as awesome a pitcher as Matt Cain is, with all his accolades and achievements leading up to this year during his tenure with the Giants, the minute you put his beautiful daughter in the picture, Matty has to take the back seat. When the Cain family came down near where I was standing, she was doing the fist pump and having the time of her life. She is adorable and I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire Giants fan base when I say that we love the Cain family and are very fortunate to have them in our town. Oh, and Matty can throw the ball pretty good too…
How do you follow an act like Cain’s? Well, put in the Bay Area kid that grew up to see his dreams come true, and oh yeah, make sure that he is one of the best fielding short stops playing the game today!! A few months back, the SF Chronicle ran a story about Brandon Crawford and how he grew up a Giants fan. When the Giants nearly became the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, there was the fear that the very last game to ever be playing in Candlestick Park as eminent. Many Giants fans went to that game to be a part of history and witness the next chapter in Giants history. Guess who else was there and just old enough to be playing tee-ball? Brandon Crawford!!! The paper ran the story of how it all happened from there for Brandon and didn’t fail to come up with a cute little Crawford looking at the camera. Now, I wonder if that photographer thought to him/herself, “Let me take this kids picture, cause he might be a Giant one day!!”
The confetti continued to rain down on everyone with new shots of orange and black strips of paper being shot up in the air every few minutes. I’m sure it was nothing like Times Square during the New Years celebration, but I’d like to think that it was just shy of being that awesome. I was able to snap off a few images of the confetti raining down, along with capturing the craziness of all the windows that lined Market Street with all the fans hanging out of them. For next year’s World Series celebration, I will book a room at one of the hotels down there with a view facing Market Street to get a different perspective. Yeah, that’s right, you heard it here first. Repeat, baby!!!
Next up on the parade route was The Freak, Tim Lincecum. Timmy had an off-year. He admits that and Giants fans are quite forgiving to their own, as long as they own up to it. Hint, hint, Melky…
Anyway, some people say that if Tim had been on it all year, we would have locked up the postseason weeks before we did. So what??? 2012 could have gone no other way than the way it did and we ended up as the last man standing. Yes, it was cause for concern to see our number one starter struggling this year, but without it, Matty may never had gotten the recognition from the entire league as the number one starter that he is in his own right. If you really think about it, we have a starting rotation that is made up of 5 pitchers that could all be the number one starter for their ballclub.
Timmy came into games out of the bullpen and shut down the opposition. We couldn’t have asked for a more dominant pitching staff for this postseason. For next season, I think someone should give Timmy back his weed so we can get back to business as usual dominating those Dodgers, wouldn’t you say???
Next up was George Kontas. When we let go of Ramon Ramirez, my heart was broken. We needed another good right hander to help Sergio Romo in the bullpen, and Ramon got the job done with a sneaky release point that just got the batter all out of whack. In comes George with a really bad picture for the big screen and I panicked. I am so glad that I was wrong about George and he shut them down as good, if not better than Ramon. This kid looks like he throws bullets with very good accuracy. I would sure hate to be facing him…
Next up was Aubrey Huff. Aubrey was such a great story in the 2010 World Series winning year, and I am very happy that he was still around this year to see us do it again. Although not nearly as pivotal as a player in 2012 as he was in 2010, Aubrey was plagued with a few injuries that led way for Brandon Belt to take over first base duties. Some of those injuries were self-inflicted, like when he hurt himself when he jumped over the dugout fence in celebration, but I am sure he was invaluable to the younger players to impart his wisdom as a veteran player. Along with Pat Burrell, I am very happy to see Aubrey walk away from the Giants with not one, but TWO World Series Championship rings. Aubrey, Aubrey, Aubrey!!! HUFF, HUFF, HUFF!!!
Javi Lopez was the missing link to our already fabulous bullpen when he was signed on a few years back. I have never been a fan of the submarine or low arm release pitchers since the ball essentially has to already be coming in an upward motion towards the batter, which makes it easier to elevate, yet Javi came on and just left everyone wondering “what the fuck was that?!?!?” Just as instrumental a bullpen player in 2010 as 2012, he came out and got the job done. He had a fair number of saves to add to the books for this year, but he continue to prove himself as the all around bullpen pitcher that is ready to come up and get an out or two. He has been very vocal about being left in for more than just the left-handed hitters, and you gotta love a ballplayer that isn’t looking to make excuses.
Jean Machi was a later comer to this season. He didn’t see a whole lot of play time, but he got the job done when he was called in. I look forward to seeing more of him in 2013…
Jose Mijares was up next, and it was clear to see that his wife was all about Giants spirit with her bright orange leggings. Mijares did a great job for us this year and rounded out the BIG BOY CLUB, along with Sandoval and Machi. As long as you continue to throw those rockets, my man, I won’t harp on anything else.
What can you say about Angel Pagan?? The man gives 150% every minute of every game whether he is playing it or not. If you had the chance to follow him around during this offseason, I’m sure that you’d see a man giving 150% of his time in preparation to come back out and kick some more ass for the 2013 season. Now, all we have to do is FREAKIN’ SIGN HIS ASS!!! There is no way in hell Giants fans would forgive Sabean for letting either Pagan or Pence walk away after their performances in 2012, so JUST SIGN THEM ALREADY!!!
A perfect example of how forgiving Giants fans can be in the relationship that we have with Guillermo Mota. 2012 was a bad year for the Giants when it came to PED suspensions. Early on in the year, it was discovered that Guillermo took some cough medication in his home town that tested him positive only to later have the Cabrera scandal. Forget the fact that no one believed the cough syrup story. Forget the fact that it was his SECOND offense and had to serve a 100 game suspension. Forget the fact that his last name is slang for “weed” with all the hispanic community. Forget the fact that he was a FREAKIN DODGER!! Giants fans had it in their hearts to put that all behind them and welcome him back with his badass throwing right arm to have another go at postseason greatness. And you know why Guillermo didn’t disappoint? Cause his cough syrup story wasn’t coupled with the fabrication of a bogus website… Sheeeesh.
Up next was Francisco Peguero. Just like Buddy the Elf in Will Ferrell’s hit movie “Elf” says when he meets Francisco in the book publishing house, “Francisco, that’s fun to say!!” It’s probably not much fun when you are the opposing team and he manages to steal a bag on your ass or ends up on scoring from first on a single to the outfield. This kid has wheels and they move quick!! With a very crowded outfield filled with all-stars, it’s difficult to think about where Francisco may end up in the permanent roster next year, but we can only hope that he sticks around to stick it to a few more ball clubs while still wearing the orange and black.
When I first heard that we had signed Hunter Pence, I was so excited I could have sworn I got a woody!! This kid is all that AND a bag of chips. Even when he was with the losing Houston Astros in 2010, he was clearly making a name for himself. Although the Phillies signed him and we got in the way of 2010, he was still very loved in Philadelphia when he signed him right before the trade deadline. Did that stop Philly from handing out the already scheduled Pence bobble head? Nope, they did it anyway!!
Anyway, this kid is tops, folks. Along the parade route, almost every single player was clearly humbled and appreciative of the love that the fans were showing. But, none more so than Hunter Pence. During an earlier posting a few months back of a game the Giants had in Houston that I was fortunate enough to attend, he was one of the few players that was making eye contact with the fans around the batting circle and even waved at me when I hollered over that he was the man. I really enjoyed photographing him in the parade, even though it was for only a moment.
What began as a tease of Pablo Sandoval for making a heart shape with his two hands, it later became as much a battle cry for Pence as his dugout sermons right before the games. Maybe we won the whole thing simply because of his pep talks. Maybe we won it because of that crazy three hit ball that broke his bat and caused the Tiger shortstop to misread the play. Maybe we just won cause we are awesome for having signed Hunter Pence. I don’t care why we won, but PLEASE SIGN THIS GUY NOW, SABEAN!!!
How do you call more attention to yourself? Well, you could always be a hispanic of Mexican descent and with all the sensitivity with all the laws that Arizona passed allowing officers to profile and stop anyone they suspect of not being a legal resident you could always wear a t-shirt that reads “I just look illegal.” Sergio Romo has stepped up big for Giants fans this year. Although he was not clearly named the closer for this year and Bochy chose to do it by committee, it was clear that Santiago Casilla needed help. Perhaps he was all burnt out. Perhaps the other ball clubs got smart to his pitches and locations. Whatever the case, Sergio came up big with his tailing slider and fastball that has serious movement to get the job done.
Did he cause a ton of controversy with his t-shirt? But he wouldn’t have had it any other way…
Hector Sanchez was up next. Hector showed some serious sack when he was named as Timmy’s catcher in the middle of the season. Any I am sure that he had plenty of bruises throughout the season as his badge of courage. In a back up catcher, we were missing another Posey. In players like Stewart and Whiteside, we had solid defense, but their bats must have been made out of swiss cheese. Here comes Hector and he brought something to the plate when he had his bat in his hands. Yeah, he will continue to mature as a catcher and make better hand placement decisions, along with better blocking technique, but this kid has a lot of potential. There is no doubt in my mind that he is staying put as our backup catcher for quite some time.
Brian, Brian, Brian!!! I love you dude, but telling everyone that you want to be signed by the Dodgers in the event that the Giants don’t re-sign you is not the way to go. Yes, I understand that it’s just a publicity stunt to get all the Giants fans worked up and up Sabean’s ass to get the job done, but I’m sure they are just trying to get you a little cheaper. Having this be your second tommy-john surgery isn’t the most reassuring position to be in, but I would pay you the big bucks just to see what crawls out of that beard while you’re on the mound and freak everyone out. Love the fanny pack!!!
Next up was Ryan Vogelsong and family. What a great story, guy!! To be signed with the Giants so many years ago only to come full circle and show the world that it was all worth the wait is simply amazing. If no one has taken cue from your story to find a way to make this the next “The Natural”, I’ll gladly produce the blockbuster for you. Thankfully, Robert Redford won’t be able to play you since you don’t have a walker…
Marco was having such a damn good time, I didn’t even stand a chance of getting a good pic of him. But, here’s my best attempt based on what was happening when he swung by my neck of the woods. Man, what can you say about this guy except for WOW!! Clutch hit after clutch hit!! He showed up and did the job. I thought there was no way that anyone was going to fill Freddy Sanchez’s shoes. They tried with Jeff Keppinger, again with Fontenot and even brought in Ryan Theriot. Now, Theriot is the man, don’t get me wrong, but what Scutaro did at second base and with the bat in his hand was nothing short of miraculous.
As everyone had nearly written off yet another player that had been around for a while without ever reaching greatness, the Giants were able to once again show that it’s not over until the fat lady sings. Do you hear that??? That’s damn right!! That bitch won’t be singing for a while, Marco!!!
Zeets!! I love you, man!! I have to admit that I was on the hater squad for quite a bit when you first signed on. About two years into it, I stopped hating but just felt really bad cause you weren’t getting the run support that other starters were getting. I mean, they were batting better for Sanchez!! Freakin’ Sanchez!!! So, when last year was a break away performance, I thought “HERE WE GO!!!” I choose to accredit your success to the fact that you lived in Pacifica last year and would frequent the Red House for breakfast. Yes, we got real excited whenever you walked in, but we enjoyed your company without ever leading on to the notion that we knew who you were and never came up to make a spectacle out of a calm and peaceful breakfast or cup of coffee.
This year was nothing short of magic for you. I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear the stadium chanting “BARRY, BARRY, BARRY!!!” You deserve every praise and every accolade that you are now receiving. You deserve to have every hater that ever was come out and admit that they were wrong. You deserve not only your remaining time on your contract, but to be resigned for however many additional years your arm may have.
Next up was Buster Posey. Now you know the big guns are coming once Posey hits the parade!! Let’s see…the Giants won it all in 2010. Then 2011 comes around and that jackass who no one even remembers anymore hit you on that collision at home plate and took you out for the season. Then we win it again in 2012 when you are all better!! Coincidence??? Nope, it’s the Posey Factor. there is a reason that we didn’t go all the way last year, but we can be comforted in knowing that it at least held on to by another National League team instead of the Rangers.
Of course the last player of the parade had to be Pablo!! Mr. MVP was looking mighty good alongside his new squeeze!! And, yes, his date was very cute as well!!
Pablo did what most of the analysts and commentators that show the Giants absolutely no love said that couldn’t be done. Not only did he have a stellar year under less than stellar weight conditions, but he managed to elevate himself to another level only reached by Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols. Man, that is some steep company to keep. But you know what?? Pablo deserves every bit of it. This kid continues to go places and is forever tied to this ball club, not only because he’s the Panda and it would be a marketing nightmare to see him go, but he brings life and energy to this ball club with each hit and defensive play he makes. I have seen him in action up close when I’ve been lucky enough to land kick ass seats, and let me tell you that he is intense and playing “baseball ready” every second of that game.
And that does it folks!! After that only came the trucks and trucks that had to clean up all the confetti that magically had rained down on everyone just moments before. Everyone started heading down to City Hall where the parade would end, but I packed up my gear and headed down towards the Ferry Building to get a bite to eat and get away from the crowds. By far, this was a much more enjoyable experience compared to 2010’s parade when we decided that it would be a good idea to camp out at City Hall. Yes, we still have a dipshit that was completely oblivious to the fact that there were people packed all around and lit a doobie. But, fortunately, there were plenty of people around voicing their displeasure to ensure that he put it out quickly.
Take care for now and wish me a good trip down to Mexico with a customer. I’ll be back on Friday to share some more new images I have been working up. Toodles!!!