The Giants finished the 2012 season dead-last in home runs. They went down immediately two games to nil in the NLDS to the Reds, only to win three in a row to advance. In the NLCS, they were down three games to one where they rallied back to win three more in a row to defeat the Cardinals.
After being counted out in more ways than one — playing the David role more accurately than the Giant — San Francisco is preparing for their second World Series parade in three years.
So what's next? Here are the questions we cannot wait to answer:
Has Pablo Sandoval officially arrived?
Kung Fu Panda joins one of the most elite lists in the history of sports. Game One's performance in which he hit three home runs puts him in the same category as Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols.
It's been proven that when Panda shaves off the pounds, he's one of the best hitters in baseball. Let's see how he shows up at spring training. In 2010, when Pablo showed up at camp overweight, he finished the year with a .268 batting average. The last two seasons, when the Giants have put him on a strict regimen of diet and exercise, Pablo has hit .315 and .285 with a combined 35 home runs.
If he parties it up this entire off season following his second World Series championship and shows up fat, I won't be completely sold. If he shows up fit, this could be the start of a very special player.
How long will Marco Scutaro be Superman?
Where did this come from?
This is a 37 year old player who's played for eight teams and has NEVER been in the MVP vote. He's a career .276 hitter who has never smacked more than 12 home runs in a season.
He finished 2012 — 61 games in all — hitting .362 with 40 runs scored and 44 RBI after being traded from the Rockies. He was literally the hottest hitter in the game. He then took that into the playoffs, where he:
- Posted a triple-slash line of .328/.377/.391. He scored 11 runs and racked eight RBI.
- In the NLCS, he had at least two hits in all but one of the games, hitting .500/.533/.607 with six runs and four ribbies.
So why am I not a believer?
Aside from the fact that he's a 37-year-old journeyman, remember Cody Ross in 2010?
What will happen to Melky Cabrera?
He's done in San Francisco. No doubt about it.
Following his drug suspension, Cabrera had the opportunity to address his teammates, apologize….say something… to the team he had led for more than half the season — he fell off the face of the planet instead.
The Giants were not happy, to say the least. Even when Cabrera was eligible to return from his 50-game suspension this post-season, he wasn't invited back by Giants management.
Why throw a wrench into a machine that's working to perfection? I would be shocked to see the current ironic reigning All-Star MVP in a S.F. uniform next year; especially now that they have Hunter Pence, who reportedly gives the most epic of pep talks.
The real question is whether or not someone will give Cabrera a huge contract — something that was inevitable before his P.E.D. bust.
Is Bruce Bochy a Hall of Famer?
Imagine if the Cubs would have hired Bochy instead of Lou Pinella years ago? They almost did. Good thing for Bochy.
With the fate of landing in San Fran instead of cursed Wrigley, Bochy now has a Hall of Fame resume. He's now only the fifth manager in the history of the NL to win two world series in three years, and he's done it with teams you'd least expect. Remember, he also took the '98 Padres to the World Series where they lost to the Yankees — one of the greatest teams in the history of baseball.
Not to mention, you have to be a pretty damn good manager to face six elimination games and win them all. The only other team in history to do that were the 1985 Royals — and they got help from Don Denkinger.
Is Sergio Romo a star?
And what will happen to Brian Wilson? The 'beard' will return next season from Tommy John surgery, meaning there could be a closer controversy this coming spring.
Because the baseball world is never sure how a player's arm will respond to Tommy John surgery, I'll expect the Giants to keep both players through the spring. If they both pitch well, one will be traded to a team like the Yankees or Marlins; two teams notorious for spending too much on closers.
Is this just the beginning of one of the best dynasties we've ever seen in baseball?
I know it sounds completely ridiculous, especially to Dodgers fans, but this very well could be just the beginning; the start to something special.
Over the past 90 years, only three other NL teams have won two World Series in three years: 1975-76 Big Red Machine, the 1963-65 Dodgers and the 1942-44 Cardinals — and with all the youth surrounding the Giants, they might not be done yet.
Their foundation includes Matt Cain (28), Madison Bumgarner (23), Pablo Sandoval (26) and Buster Posey (25). Now imagine if two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum finds his mojo again — add a Hall of Fame manager — and the Giants could easily reel off a couple more championships in the next few years.
According to LVH Superbook in Las Vegas, the Giants are 7:1 odds to win the pennant again next year.
More fun-filled facts for your 2012 World Series champion Giants
- The Giants have now won six consecutive postseason series since 2010. The only two other franchises that have done that in a three-year period during the division-play era are the 1998-2000 Yankees (nine in a row) and the 1972-74 Athletics (six in a row).
- Only four other NL teams have swept a World Series in the past 90 years: the 1990 Reds, 1976 Reds, 1963 Dodgers and 1954 Giants.
- The Giants led 56 innings in a row, the second-longest streak of its kind within a single postseason. Only the 2007 Red Sox had a longer streak (60 innings).
- Detroit was held to six runs in four games. The Tigers only hit .159 as a team. They had one lead in the entire Series, 2-1, over the span of three innings in Game 4.
Photo Credit: Getty