Oct 4, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Nick Noonan (21, left) and second baseman Kelby Tomlinson (37, second from left) and third baseman Matt Duffy (5, second from right) and catcher Buster Posey (28, right) wait during a replay ninth inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
For the San Francisco Giants and fans the party’s over. It’s time to call it a day. I know we should probably be used to this by now‒we’ve been doing it every other year since 2009, and before that, almost every year period, but I can’t wrap my head around it this year for some reason. I’m left with a big hole where baseball lived this year.
But enough boo hoo. That’s not the reason I’m writing today. I got a personal letter‒just like everyone else who is registered on sfgiants.com‒from Larry Baer thanking me for being a Giant’s fan. And it made me realize‒it’s me who should be thanking him. And the rest of the Giants.
So, Larry Baer, thank you. Thank you for being the leader, the big cheese, the CEO of the greatest team in the MLB. And by greatest, I don’t mean winningest, or scoring the most, or whatever…I mean the team that has most heart, the most soul and the most can-do attitude. It’s like a 25 man roster (40 in September) of Hunter Pence’s. Just like hitting is contagious and slumping is contagious, so is playing for the name on the front of the jersey, it went around the clubhouse like the flu did a couple of years ago.
After listening to the speeches the other day, you get the idea that the guys are truly brothers. They play for each other and they play as Giants. They may not be best friends off the field‒ some might be, but some might not‒but you can bet your Madison Bumgarner boots that on the field, they’ll back each other to the center field wall and over it if need be.
Thank you Bruce Bochy. You took a World Series championship winning team into spring training and almost from the beginning, the opponents were picking them off like ducks on a pond. First Hunter gets drilled by a pitch that breaks his arm. And then they started dropping one-by-one. So many of our starters went on the DL, and you just kept working your magic‒bringing up rookies, switching around your lineup, trying players at new positions…the list goes on and on.
Thank you Casey McGehee. I know some of you are wondering why I’m thanking Casey, I’ll tell you why. Casey struggled. He was frustrated, I’m sure dismayed and he was very much maligned by some of our so-called fans. To those fans I have to say this: Casey was more of a Giant than you will ever be. It took a lot of heart, a Giant heart, to go out there day after day and keep going with the fans booing him‒booing! Real Giants fans don’t boo our own players. Then after all the advice and help he gave Matt Duffy, to pull him aside and give him his blessing as Matt took his job…Casey was a giant Giant.
And last but not least, thank you Giants. All 25 (40 in September) of you gave us Giants fans one of the greatest baseball seasons I’ve ever witnessed. Every time the baseball gods threw a brick wall in your path, you went over it, around it or butted up against it until you were spent. You all tried hard. Bruce Bochy said he was proud of you, and so are your fans.
You may not have won a spot in the post-season, but you won a spot in all our hearts. Then again, you already had that. But I’d like to thank you for taking care of each other. Not one Giant tried to choke another teammate. Not one Giant yelled at Bruce Bochy in front of the crowd. Not one of you made disparaging remarks about your teammates, your coaches, the owners or the fans. No current Giant anyway‒I can’t say the same for a certain former Giant (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist).
The Giants talk about their brotherhood and it always reminds of the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V, Act IV:
"“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother”"
And at the end of the speech, King Henry assures his band of brothers that those who did not fight with them, will think they were unlucky (or as old Willie Shakespeare said “accurs’d”) and I have to agree. Like Ryan Vogelsong said in his fan appreciation speech:”it means something special to be a Giant.” Not just anyone can do it. It takes someone special. Someone like Vogey, Hunter, Buster, the Brandons, our rookies…the list is too long to go on.
I’m going to steal from Vogey’s speech and repeat it word for word, only I’m saying it to the Giants:
"“We can’t thank you enough for everything you do for us…thank you so much, thank you so much.”"