San Francisco Giants: 'The Franchise' Revels Inside Bullpen, Beltran Trade

Zac ThompsonContributor IAugust 4, 2011

Bruce Bochy greets Carlos Beltran at the dugout
Bruce Bochy greets Carlos Beltran at the dugoutJed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

It seems like every week, each episode of the San Francisco Giants' Showtime series is even better than the last.

This week, “The Franchise” got to film inside the White House, focus on an NLCS rematch in Philadelphia, go behind the Carlos Beltran trade and examine the different characters inside the Giants bullpen.

While visiting the White House, several of the Giants received shout-outs from President Barack Obama.

Obama commented on Tim Lincecum’s hair and Brian Wilson’s beard, saying, “I do fear it.”

Washington D.C. was the former stomping grounds of Giants infielder Emanuel Burriss who told an emotional story in front of the Showtime cameras.

His best friend and teammate in high school was shot and killed while he and Burriss were both back home visiting from college. Burriss was devastated, but remained determined to make the big leagues. After hitting his first Major League home run, he took the ball and buried it at his friend’s grave site.

After their trip to D.C., the Giants immediately shifted their focus toward the powerhouse Phillies in a much-anticipated rematch of the NLCS.

The cameras made sure to follow Cody Ross in Philly knowing the kind of treatment he would get from the fans there—whose dreams he continues to haunt. The former NLCS MVP revealed the “I hate Cody Ross” page on Facebook, noting it as the ultimate sign of respect.

Emmanuel Burriss flashes the leather at second base
Emmanuel Burriss flashes the leather at second baseGregory Shamus/Getty Images

Being in Philadelphia, the Giants knew it would be a tough series, and on top of that, Tim Lincecum was scratched from his start with the flu. Replacing him was Barry Zito, who did not pitch well at all.

Zito got shelled for seven runs in the first game of the series, but Matt Cain shut the Phillies down in the second game for the win. Lincecum was able to start the finale of the three-game series and help the Giants take two out of three.

Before the third game of the series the Giants announced their trade of pitching prospect Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran.

He and manager Bruce Bochy shared the same uniform number, but Bochy said switching his number was nothing a Rolex couldn’t solve. So Beltran simply asked if he wanted it with or without diamonds. Oh, the luxuries of being a professional athlete.

Unfortunately for above-mentioned Manny Burriss, the trade resulted in him being sent back down to Triple-A in Fresno. Surely he will be back up when rosters expand in September.

The Showtime crew did a nice job examining the different personalities within the Giants bullpen.

First off, there is the eccentric closer, Brian Wilson. Everyone already knows about him, but then they took a closer look at guys like Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez. Both are very intelligent and seem to be well-rounded individuals, representing the voice of reason inside the 'pen.

Sergio Romo isn't afraid to show his emotions on the mound
Sergio Romo isn't afraid to show his emotions on the moundJed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Then they took a look at the other guy with a beard, set up man Sergio Romo, and his little pink backpack. It’s a widely practiced bullpen ritual, in which one player—often the youngest—is designated to carry the most humiliating backpack usually filled with treats and gum.

Romo has a good attitude about pretty much everything, so naturally he lugs around the pink pack, and does so with a smile on his face.

It’s the perfect blending of personalities like this that allow for such chemistry not only in the bullpen, but in the rest of the clubhouse as well. The Showtime crew does a terrific job of showing how well all these guys get along, and why that was such a big part of their championship run last year.

Check back again next Thursday for another episode recap.