2012 Giants: Don't Stop Believin'


2012 Giants: Don't Stop Believin'

As I type this, I'm currently somewhere over the Rocky Mountains, flying home after an incredible roller coaster of a ride through the playoffs. Over the past few weeks, I've logged thousands of miles, conducted dozens of interviews, and my head has been soaked with beer and champagne on four different occasions. (I hear it's good for the hair).And though I can barely keep my eyes open, I wouldn't trade a single second of it for anything.I started covering the Giants in 2010. Three years later I'm lucky to say I've now covered two World Series Championships.Both were special in their own unique way. The 2010 team was well documented as the Band of Misfits, an eclectic collection of characters that waved a red thong all the way to City Hall. And as much as they tortured their fans during the regular season, their trip through the post season was almost effortless.But there is something about the 2012 squad that will really stick with me. They embody the essence of "perseverance," "determination," and "selflessness." They are a team in every sense of the word. And they will forever be a constant reminder to me that no matter how impossible something seems, there's always a way to achieve it as long as you believe.I know that sounds a little cheesy and a little sappy, but I thought it was a good time to reflect back on this crazy ride that will culminate with another sea of orange and black at City Hall Wednesday. One of my favorite memories from the 2010 parade was when the entire crowd started singing "Don't Stop Believing." I captured some of it on my camera...and it seemed appropriate to share now.Congrats to the 2012 Giants and their faithful fans who never gave up hope!

Giants hire David Bell to fill key front office role


Giants hire David Bell to fill key front office role

SAN FRANCISCO -- A familiar face is returning to the Giants organization to serve a key front office role. 

The Giants announced Friday that David Bell, their former third baseman, has been hired as Vice President of Player Development. The job was previously held by Shane Turner. At the end of the season, team officials hinted that Turner could be one of several members of the organization to be reassigned. 

In a statement, general manager Bobby Evans said Bell will "help shape our ongoing strategy and continued commitment to player development."

Bell, 45, played 12 major league seasons and spent 2002 with the Giants. He hit 20 homers that year as the starting third baseman and scored the winning run in the final game of the NLCS.

Since retiring, Bell has served as a minor league manager for the Reds and a big league coach for the Cubs and Cardinals. He spent last season as the bench coach in St. Louis. 

Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered


Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered

Firing a manager is easy, and there are lots of ways to do it.

Dusty Baker, for example. He worked this year on the last year of a contract, which usually means there won’t be another one, and he relied on his players to deliver the goods.

Which, as we remember from our reading, they didn’t do. Again.

But Baker was marked for the chop unless those players did deliver, and when they didn’t, general manager Mike Rizzo did the expedient thing.

He fired one person rather than several. And changed exactly nothing.

Baker’s managerial career is probably over now, as most teams don’t look at 68-year-olds to fix their teams. He will never manage a  World Series champion, something he ached for, and he was always be caricatured in part as the guy who didn’t speak metric, and who believed in players as men whenever in doubt.

And the Nats didn’t betray him, either. They were always not as good in the big moments because someone else was, and they became part of Washington’s new fetish – Why Can’t We Win One? It’s as if having a cringeworthy President isn’t good enough for them.

So the time came, and he will be replaced by someone who will either win and get credit for work that was largely his, or he won’t win and the town can continue to wallow in its tedious We’re-The-New-Cubs pity. It is the circle of life.

At least it is for groups of people. For individuals, the circle of life is actually nothing more than a straight line that ends abruptly. For Dusty Baker, as it did for Tony La Russa in Phoenix two days earlier, that day came today. He deserves to be remembered as a very good manager who won a lot more than he lost, made more friends than enemies, and was honest from Day One until the end.

Which, as we also know, doesn’t matter a whole lot on days like this.