San Francisco Giants: How about a slice of Thanksgiving Pie?
By Mark ONeill
If there were ever a time when San Francisco Giants fans had much to be grateful for of a Thanksgiving Day, this is the year, with so much just recently achieved, and with so much potential for continued success. Though there are far more than seven reasons for which to be appreciative, these will serve as a basis for the rest.
Begin with the Pablo Sandoval predicament, from which Brian Sabean cleverly extricated the Giants, allowing a decidedly risky investment, and not a particularly wise one, to go by the wayside, with everyone walking away having saved face. Praise be, Pablo is Boston’s problem now.
Second, Giants fans can be grateful for having had Tim Flannery as a part of the organization for so long. In an age of me-first individuals, Flannery represents one-of-a-kind, with his passion for music and life, and his need to lend a helping hand. Thank-you, Flan-Man; come back to AT&T Park, often, and bring your music with you.
Next is the return of two of the Giants’ most acclaimed players, Angel Pagan and Matt Cain. Pagan, the defensive captain and offensive spark plug behind the successful 2012 World Series campaign, is on track to be completely recovered from back issues, by the time spring training opens up.
How is it possible that the Giants just won a World Series without Angel Pagan? Can’t wait to see that salute.
Beneath the halogen glare of “How the Panda Turns,” it is almost possible to forget that with Sandoval’s departure, will come the return of such a key player, that many doubted the Giants’ ability to succeed, without him. Now that doubt can be laid to rest. Angel and his salute are back.
May 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) celebrates with Angel Pagan (16) and Madison Bumgarner (40) after hitting a home run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The Horse, Matt Cain, arguably the number one reason to be grateful, will also be back from surgery to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow and right ankle. Again, the Giants just completed the impossible task of winning a World Championship, and they did it without this man. Imagine what it will be like to have him back during the postseason.
The tandem of Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean is fourth. These two key components in the Giants machine, have worked together since 2007, with Sabean the longest-tenured GM in the business. There is no secret to their success: They work well together, Sabes having assembled three championship teams, and Bochy having orchestrated their success. It is a rare one-two punch in baseball, in terms of longevity, not to mention the accomplishment of having done something in the National League, not accomplished since World War II: winning three titles within a five-year span. There is no reason to think they will slow down anytime soon.
Fifth is another tandem, that of Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, both key elements of all three recent San Francisco World Series victories. Both have been stalwart contributors to the Giants’ success, with MadBum elevating his game to legendary levels in the just completed October Classic. Regardless of how the Giants fill the third base position, Posey and Bumgarner will make it well worth fans’ time and money, to come out to the yard.
Sixth is One Hunter Percent, Hunter Pence, the man who set the bar for five-year, ninety million dollar contracts too high for Pablo Sandoval to squeeze under, and that’s making quite a statement. Simply put, Pence represents the lightning bolt that is the Giants. His relentless frenetic pace is the stuff from which legends are made, and just watching him perform is not only worth the price of admission, it sears into one’s brain the true meaning of what it means to play with heart and soul. Pence’s heart is as clearly visible as his knees, and from the way he plays ball, it is obvious that it beats like a sledge hammer.
Lucky seven is the new piece of jewelry to be found on the finger of the Giants’ organization, an unparalleled achievement that will live on in the minds of Giants fans forever and ever. Most baseball fans are lucky to earn one of these rings, whereas Giants fans have watched their team win three in five years. Oh, Happy Days.
Sure, and it’s a grand day to be giving thanks if you are a San Francisco Giants fan. Say your prayers and enjoy the feast.
And don’t drink too much turkey.