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What Amy Gutierrez misses most about sports during coronavirus hiatus

What Amy Gutierrez misses most about sports during coronavirus hiatus

Editor's note: Like you, NBC Sports Bay Area insiders, reporters and analysts are feeling the sports void during the coronavirus stoppage. They'll share their thoughts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in "What I Miss About Sports." Next up in the series: Giants reporter Amy Gutierrez. 

The 2020 San Francisco Giants season would have marked my 13th covering the beloved men in orange and black. I feel a true void at this time, and a sense of overwhelming sadness.

Of course, it’s a compilation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting our entire population, attempting to figure out how to shelter-in-place with a family of four, concern over my 70-year old parents, in-laws and 97-year old grandfather.

I miss hugging people, shaking hands, having our neighbors over for a glass of wine, sharing a secret, and the freedom from consistent fear.

Will our economy recover? Will my children ever go back to school? Will I have a job to return to? I’m guessing most of you reading this have had similar, if not identical, concerns.

So what do I miss about sports? Besides everything? It’s simple. I miss the balance and perspective sports provide our society during difficult times. Sports have always served as a source of entertainment, but they can be and often are so much more.

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Sports are therapeutic, they are an escape and they are chock-full of triumphant stories. Who came home after a terrible day at work and forgot about their trouble when they turned on the tube on June 13, 2012, to watch Main Cain twirl a perfecto?

Who had a loved one that fell ill during the 2010, 2012, 2014 World Series runs and hung on every game of the playoffs with them because it brought them a few hours of relief and joy?

Or who went on their first date to a Giants game when Tim Lincecum took the mound on June 25, 2014 and authored a no-hitter? And who’s to say that couple didn’t go on to get married on a boat in McCovey Cove and name their firstborn “Freak,” boy or girl?

While sports is a coveted source of reliability providing routine and security, it also connects those of us who might never have found each other, had it not been for that particular game, on a random day, when your seat was next to their seat and now you’re lifelong friends. 

[RELATED: Why Giants' farm system continues to rise in Law's eyes]

The best way for me to describe life without sports right now? Lonely. I miss my broadcast family. I miss the team. I miss the fans. I miss the energy. I feel like I have always been grateful for the job I ‘get to do,’ but I will never see it in the same light now that it’s been taken away.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. And hopefully, very soon, we’ll hear the words so many of us are longing for: "Let’s play ball."

More from "What I Miss About Sports"

Barry Bonds closer comparison to Michael Jordan than Madison Bumgarner

Barry Bonds closer comparison to Michael Jordan than Madison Bumgarner

Michael Jordan and his exploits have dominated the internet for months since ESPN’s “The Last Dance” premiered. Comparisons and retrospectives have become a constant across social media. 

In that spirit, Bleacher Report tried to analyze who most closely resembles MJ’s legacy in MLB and identified two former Giants who possess Jordan-esque qualities: Madison Bumgarner and Barry Bonds.

For MadBum, his postseason dominance draws the closest parallels to Jordan. In over 100 innings of playoff pitching, Bumgarner has just a 2.11 ERA. That includes a dominant World Series in 2014 where MadBum closed out Game 7 with five scoreless relief innings, earning World Series MVP in the process. Bumgarner was critical to each of the Giants' three World Series titles over the past decade.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Bonds, on the other hand, simply struck fear into the hearts of opponents in a way few athletes ever have. Teams were willing to walk players in with the bases loaded just to avoid giving up a grand slam to Bonds. His eye-popping seven NL MVP awards surpass Jordan’s five NBA MVPs, and the slugger owns all sorts of other league records. Bonds’ lack of a World Series makes this a tough comparison, but baseball is a completely different sport, and one player absolutely isn’t enough to win a championship. Bonds hit four home runs in the one World Series he ever appeared in, but the Los Angeles Angels managed to overtake the Giants in seven games.

[RELATED: Giants' Larry Baer believes 2020 MLB Draft requires 'better scouting']

While neither player is a perfect correlation to Jordan, Bonds clearly is the closer comparison here. MadBum is phenomenal, but he’s never been considered the greatest player or even the greatest pitcher in MLB. Bonds was at the top of the sport for several years and is the greatest slugger the league ever has seen. 

As B/R's Jacob Schafer closes his article with, baseball doesn't have a person who perfectly matches up with Jordan's skillset, personality and impact on the sport.

One thing is for sure: both Bumgarner and Bonds could hit a baseball a heck of a lot better than Jordan ever did.

Nationals honor Gerardo Parra with 'Baby Shark' in World Series ring

Nationals honor Gerardo Parra with 'Baby Shark' in World Series ring

The Washington Nationals unveiled their 2019 World Series ring Sunday, and it has the usual bells and whistles.

Each custom ring features 55 genuine red rubies, 32 sapphires, 170 round diamonds and 23.2 carats of genuine gemstones.

Oh, and one Baby Shark.

What?

That's right. In honor #ForeverGiant Gerardo Parra, who started last season with the Giants before finishing it with the Nationals, the team engraved the "Baby Shark" on the inside of the ring.

Why "Baby Shark?" Because it was Parra's walk-up song for a part of the 2019 season in Washington, and it became the Nationals' rally call.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

According to NBC Sports Washington, Parra was going through a slump and wanted to change his song. He initially didn't want "Baby Shark," but it kept coming up on his phone because his 2-year-old daughter was continually listening to it.

“So, every time I pick, want to move the song -- every time move it -- the “Baby Shark” coming,” Parra told  NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas. “I said, no, I don’t want “Baby Shark.” I do it like three times like that. Baby Shark coming, “Baby Shark” coming. I said, hey, do “Baby Shark,” my song for my kids, my babies.”

Parra signed a minor league contract with the Giants last February, but he played in just 30 games before being released. Little did Parra know that his next stop would result in him winning a World Series ring.

And Parra probably never could have imagined that the "Baby Shark" song he never wanted would be immortalized on the 2019 World Series ring.

[RELATED: Parra impersonated by Batting Stance Guy]

In case you want a glimpse of the Nats' ring, here it is:

That's a nice piece of hardware.

While you wait for the global coronavirus pandemic to end, go ahead and sing "Doo doo doo doo doo doo, Baby Shark" to yourself.