I’ll start off with the biggest news in the last week – Hunter will be a Giant for the next 5 years! WOOHOO! He was given a 5 year, $90 million contract that also includes a no trade clause. The fact that he came to a deal with the Giants before he became a free agent compounded with that no trade clause prove that the guy really does want to stay in San Francisco. It does seem like an awful lot of money to me, but Hunter has so many things going for him. His stamina, for one: If he starts today, he will become the first Giant to play in every game of a season since Will Clark in 1988 and the first Giant to start every game of a season since Alvin Dark in 1954. What??? In his six full seasons in the majors, he’s averaged 158 games a year. This year, he batted .282 with a .339 on base percentage and .484 slugging percentage, and those stats have been fairly consistent throughout his career. He’s hit 27 homeruns and racked up 96 RBI with 22 stolen bases this year. And he plays a great right field, especially considering the intricacies of AT&T Park. Not to mention the energy and enthusiasm he brings into the clubhouse. Gotta love that kid. So glad we’ll be seeing that smiling face for years to come!
Speaking of Hunter, he also won the “Willie Mac” Award, given annually to the most inspirational player on the team, as voted upon by Giants players, coaches, trainers, fans and Willie McCovey. I think it was a pretty clear cut choice this season. He is so deserving of this. Brandon Crawford received an award himself – The Bill Rigney Good Guy Award, presented annually by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to a Giant for his cooperation with the media. Your boy done good, Ginny. Major congrats to both Hunter and Brandon.
Barry pitched what was probably his last game as a Giant on Wednesday night. He pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 hits and 1 earned run. Nice exit for the guy. There was some controversy over whether Bruce Bochy should have taken him out as his pitch count was only around 80 at that point. In fact the cameras in the dugout showed Barry trying to convince him to keep him in. Bochy said he did it because he hadn’t pitched for a while and didn’t want to wear him out. I think the real reason was that he started to get into some trouble in the 5th and Boch wanted to make sure he went out with a win (they were ahead at the time). Regardless, it was a very emotional game for Barry. It looked like he was near tears on the bench after he came out, and frankly I was near tears as well. The game announcers also mentioned that he was very emotional before the game as well. Here’s an interview with him after that game. He was asked about not getting his curtain call, and he answered the question pretty stoically. But apparently Bruce Bochy was sensitive to this fact, and it’s rumored that Barry will get that chance in today’s game, possibly pitching one inning. I’ll be on my feet at home if that happens. I’m certainly going to miss the guy. He’s been through a hell of a lot with this team, and he’s one class act.
Since today is Fan Appreciation Day, thought I would share this video that the Giants put out to thank their fans. Feels like they’re talking right to me. You’re welcome, Guys!
Even though I hate talking about it, I have to mention Brian Wilson’s antics the other night. I decided to stick it in the middle of my blog so he doesn’t get too much attention. At the end of the game Thursday night, after the Giants defeated the Dodgers 3-2 in what could be Timmy’s last start as a Giant, while the guys were doing their high fives in the infield, Wilson walked over from the visitor’s side of the field to where Larry Baer was sitting and started yelling at him to give him his World Series ring. And sources say the yelling match was not G rated. The Giants side of the story is that they have tried to give the ring to Wilson for the last 7 months, including inviting him to the ring ceremony at AT&T Park, but they never got a response from him. My take on it – the guy is an attention whore and he was probably hurt that he was booed by most of the Giants fans during the series. I hate that guy. Enjoy him, Dodgers. Nuff said – don’t want to give him more of a spotlight.
From Brandon Belt’s blog, I learned about the hazing they put the Giants rookies through this season. It took place during the New York trip. They made the guys dress in nothing but a speedo, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat with only a guitar to cover up, and then sent them out to Times Square to look for the Naked Cowboy. What a crack up! They also had to earn a certain amount of money before they could quit. The story is that Roger Kieschnick was the most successful, and Juan Perez and Johnny Monell had the most fun with it. What a bunch of goofballs!
I’ll leave you with a non-Giants baseball story. Future Hall of Fame reliever Mariano Rivera pitched his last game at Yankees Stadium Thursday night after playing with the organization for 19 years. He pitched in the eighth inning, and when it was his time to come out, the manager arranged it so that Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte could remove their long-time teammate from the game. Talk about baseball emotion! Here’s the video of the moment. How could you hold back the tears after watching that?? Just one of the reasons why I love this sport. Very classy move, Yankees. And happy trails to you, Mariano.
Getting ready to watch the boys’ last game. Will be doing my last spit count for this season. Hope I don’t run out of ink as Guillermo Moscoso is pitching! Hope they can pull off the win and end up tied for 3rd place in the division with the Padres. Good luck, Guys. And thanks for all the fun this year. Have to prepare for the game withdrawals again! Until next time, GO GIANTS!!