Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Your 2010 World Series Champions: Part III

They weren’t called the band of misfits for nothing. Though the road to the Giants’ 2010 World Series championship was well-paved by its stellar pitching staff, it also saw a handful of contributions from various short-term players. Today’s list features several recognizable names, and a few that current Giants fans would rather just as soon forget.

Bengie Molina

No matter how you slice it, Bengie Molina had a successful 2010 season. In the first half of the year, he played in San Francisco, batting .257/.312/.332 and parting ways with the team mid-year to join the Texas Rangers. While Buster Posey proved his rookie of the year skills behind the plate, Molina helped his new team reach the World Series—where, coincidentally, he faces his old team. You can’t go wrong with either outcome.

Following his championship-by-proxy, Molina retired from the game in 2011. Earlier this month, the St. Louis Cardinals hired him as an assistant hitting coach for the 2013 season.

Eli Whiteside

While Whiteside may be known best for his expressive fighting style, he played a small role in the unfolding championship run of 2010. That is, his name was officially on the postseason roster, though the team managed to get through all three series and fifteen games without so much as a plate appearance or spot start from him.

When Posey landed on the disabled list in 2011, Eli’s backup role grew significantly larger. As his playing time increased, however, his numbers declined—dropping from .238 BA/141 PA to .197/236. After 12 starts and a sub-Mendoza line batting average, he played waiver wire roulette with the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Rangers.

Currently, though no one knows for how long, he remains tied to Texas.

Emmanuel Burriss

Once, Manny Burriss batted .400.

Okay, so it was over five plate appearances in 2010. His two base hits debuted in an 8-6 loss against the Cubs, when Manny was brought in to sub for Edgar Renteria.

Excepting a brief, successful 2008 season, Manny’s career with the Giants steadily diminished from 2009-2012. It ended this year with a .213/.270/.222 batting line, 44 OPS+, and the groans of a championship-hungry fanbase.

Last month, Burriss picked up a minor league contract and spring training invitation with the Cincinnati Reds.

Matt Downs

Downs originally signed on with the Giants as a replacement for Burriss, and left for Houston in 2010 to make room for future NLCS MVP Cody Ross. In his last season with the Giants, he saw 12 starts at second and third base, a .244 batting average, and a single home run launched off of Jamie Moyer‘s cutter.

Today, Matt is a free agent after completing three seasons with the Astros. His career numbers peaked in 2011, batting .276/.347/.518 over 106 games and 222 PA. According to CBS Sports, the Phillies, Rockies, and Marlins have expressed interest in the utility infielder.

Mike Fontenot

Fontenot arrived in San Francisco just as the Giants prepared to make their run at the division title. He made the postsesaon roster, lining a triple off of Atlanta’s Tim Hudson in the NLDS, and appearing in the World Series when Bruce Bochy and Ron Washington experimented with various match-ups in Game 1.

Mike was cut from the Giants’ spring training camp in 2012, and subsequently signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. He saw 47 major league games from May to August, batting .289/.343/.340 with an 86 OPS+, 3 extra base hits, and 5 RBI. In November, he accepted a minor league contract and spring training invite from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tags: Bengie Molina Eli Whiteside Emmanuel Burriss Matt Downs Mike Fontenot San Francisco Giants

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