The orange and black confetti floated down upon the hysteric spectators, kayakers joyously splashed their paddles in McCovey Cove, and Barry Bonds raised both fists high in the air like he’d bat-flipped one of his signature moonshots. You didn’t even need AT&T phone service to hear the roar that thundered from the home crowd.
The San Francisco Giants have just made it a true dynasty with their 2016 World Series win. San Francisco won 7-6 on Pablo Sandoval’s walk-off, three-run blast with two down in the bottom of the ninth inning. The home-run came off of Seattle Mariners’ much-maligned Closer, Jonathan Papelbon
This is the Giants fourth championship in seven seasons, narrowly defeating Seattle in seven games. They have now won the 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 championships.
Of course, Papelbon ended up in Seattle after his career in Philadelphia, strained after a vulgar gesture to the crowd, came to an end after he failed to reach the milestones required for his vesting option in 2016. The Mariners swooped in after letting the aging Fernando Rodney walk.
Sandoval, the “Panda” himself, was not expected to stay in San Francisco after the 2014 Series, but he did via a six-year deal worth $125 million that, surprisingly, out-bid the New York Yankees.
The San Francisco Giants win was especially impressive despite the suspension of their ace Madison Bumgarner, the 2014 Series hero.
Bumgarner, you probably remember, violated Major League Baseball’s strict Performance Enhancing Machine rules. Bumgarner’s bionic left arm he used to propel the Giants to the 2014 title was only recently discovered as he started all six games needed for San Francisco to defeat the Joe Maddon-led Chicago Cubs in this year’s NLCS.
As a punishment MLB suspended him for 211 games.
“I only kinda-sorta have to deal with steroids,” second-year MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said, “But I want it to be known that I take an equally tough stance on PEMs.”
The pitcher that filled Madison Bumgarner’s large, beer-swilling hole during his suspension was Jake Peavy. The 35-year old hurler was not re-signed by San Francisco after 2014, so he signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles went on to win the 2015 World Series.
Peavy then went back to the Bay Area on a two-year contract. A major factor in Peavy’s return to San Francisco was his duck-boat that he bought after the 2013 season with the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s just such a nice venue,” Peavy said. “I blend in with the trolleys and driving up and down the hills and then into the water … man! I feel like I should compete in America’s Cup!”
Peavy’s success with the Giants this year netted him his fourth World Series ring in four years.
Many questioned if the Giants would even make the final series of baseball this season after going down 2-0 to the Cubs in the NLCS, but a bad start for Jon Lester and a sudden power-drought for Jorge Soler and Javier Baez opened the flood gates for a Bay Area tidal wave.
Another reason baseball experts didn’t project the Giants to win the World Series was their 2015 campaign. An 86-76 record was decent, but not good enough to make the second Wild Card spot in a loaded National League which featured two upstarts in the Miami Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers.
Their 2015 record also continued a pattern in the years between their title triumphs. In 2011 they went 86-76, and then in 2013 they went 76-86.
Vegas odds put a 2:1 line on a 76-86 record next season for the Giants.
And, oh yeah, they’re already the 2018 World Series favorite.