As the San Francisco Giants welcome Halloween with a parade celebrating their triumph over the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, there are a select few players who we need to hear say a few words about the season and the playoffs.
While none of the players is going to say anything inflammatory, you do wonder if we will gain some insight into the way things played out down the stretch for this Giants team that put together one of the most impressive runs to end a postseason in recent memory.
Here are the names that we want to see step in front of the podium to say a few words.
Pitcher Tim Lincecum
One of the biggest assets the Giants had in the postseason was the bullpen. An already-deep group got an even bigger jolt with the addition of two-time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum to the mix.
However, as fans know, Lincecum had a disastrous regular season. He saw his ERA balloon from 2.74 in 2011 up to 5.18 this season. Using Wins Above Replacement (via Fangraphs), Lincecum's 1.5 WAR was the sixth-worst by a starting pitcher with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title in the National League.
But then the postseason happened, and manager Bruce Bochy put Lincecum in the bullpen. All he did was throw 13 innings in relief—he did have one bad start where he gave up four runs in 4.2 innings against St. Louis in the NLCS—with 17 strikeouts, two walks and one earned run.
He is still a beloved figure in San Francisco, as you could tell whenever he ran out to the bullpen at AT&T Park to warm up. His heroics this postseason were crucial for the Giants.
Hearing what he has to say about his season and the way it all ended could be one of the signature moments from this parade.
World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval
Think back two years ago, when the Giants were celebrating the franchise's first championship since 1954, and where Pablo Sandoval was.
The star affectionately known Kung Fu Panda saw his numbers drop to .268/.323/.409 with just 13 home runs in 152 games. There were questions about his conditioning and approach during the season that led to him only having three at-bats against the Rangers in the 2010 World Series.
A hand injury sapped Sandoval's power and limited him to just 108 games this season, but he made up for it with a postseason line of .364/.386/.712 and six home runs in 66 at-bats. Those six homers equal half of his regular season total.
This was an October for redemption. Lincecum got his after a poor season; Sandoval got his after a disastrous playoff run two years ago.
Let's see what the Panda has to say about his long road back and how much sweeter this title feels for him since he was a huge part of it.
Starting Pitcher Barry Zito
Whether or not you think two postseason starts justifies Barry Zito's ridiculous contract, the odds of him ever having to buy another drink in San Francisco again are slim to none.
We mentioned Lincecum's low WAR earlier, but Zito was actually worse this season. The $126 Million Man had the second-lowest WAR (via Fangraphs) among starting pitchers in the National League this season at 0.8.
But for two days in October, Zito was a star. Between Game 5 of the NLCS and Game 1 of the World Series, he threw 13.1 innings, allowed one earned run on 12 hits, two walks and struck out nine.
Considering that he was left off the postseason roster when the Giants won the World Series two years ago, this was a great way to forever earn a place in the heart of fans everywhere.
Plus, Zito has always been an interesting and entertaining personality. Hearing him talk after being thrust into the spotlight is going to be one of the best parts of the entire celebration.
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