SAN FRANCISCO -- It was one of the main themes that Hunter Pence touchedon during his first spirit session of the postseason.
Sure, he wanted to play one more game with his teammates,and he didnt want to go home. But he mentioned one more thing: I want to see whatJerry is going to wear tomorrow.
Jerry is second baseman Ryan Theriot -- apparently because hecalls everyone by that name in the clubhouse.
Unfortunately for Pence and his teammates, they didnt getto see Theriot at the World Series parade. He was the only member of theplayoff roster unable to attend because he was called away to deal with apersonal matter, Giants CEO Larry Baer said.
His absence was felt -- especially by teammates who werewondering how his victory parade getup would top the wild duds he wore allseason.
Heading to the park for Game 4 of the World Series, Theriotmatched a camel hair coat with a beanie.
It was beautiful, he said.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford could only shake his head.
Hell wear sort of plaid jacket that doesnt match hisshirt, Crawford said. He pulls it off somehow, though.
The Giants pulled off their second World Series in threeyears, and it was beyond fitting that Theriot scored the winning run in the 10thinning Sunday night. He was the designated hitter for the first time in hiscareer, leading to all kinds of guffaws from teammates when they saw thelineup.
Really? Wow, Theriot said. I just know I didnt want toget to the breaking ball. When I face a guy with a legitimate strikeout pitch,I think one pitch and thats what Im going with. It was a fastball up and Iput a good swing on it. I didnt want to get to the slider.
Theriot ripped the pitch into right field. It was just hissecond hit in 18 in World Series at-bats, counting last years experience withthe St. Louis Cardinals. He advanced on Crawfords sacrifice, and after Angel Paganstruck out, a vibe washed through the Giants dugout as Marco Scutaro stepped tothe plate.
Well, Theriot is always talking about how he scored thewinning run in the College World Series, Hunter Pence said. So when he got tosecond base, that lifted our spirits. When Scutaro was up to bat, we were all, 'It has to happen.' And it did.
Scutaro, the guy who took Theriots starting second base jobin August, got Cokes slider. He shot it to right field, as hes done so manytimes since joining the team from the Colorado Rockies.
A throw never came home. And Theriot became that kid from LSU adozen years ago. (Watch this if you care to compare.) He took no chances, slidinglike he was colliding with an imaginary pair of shinguards.
I didnt know it was necessary, Theriot said. But you've seen thehighlights when guys didnt slide. And I, 100 percent, was not going to letthat happen to me.
The dugout is going to erupt any time someone scores ago-ahead run in the 10th inning of a clinching World Series game.But it might have been a little more raucous because it was Theriot who scored it, roaringin a sumo wrestlers pose after flinging himself across the plate.
He was the Giants' daily comic relief -- the guy who wore muckboots to the shower, who dressed to impress and who started throwing sunflowerseeds, bubblegum and even protein bars during the pregame rally throngs.
Youve got to be careful, those bars are hard, Theriotsaid. I did think about getting a couple hundred bucks in 1s and making itrain. That was my plan. Didnt happen, though.
While were on the subject of dollars, it might be worthmentioning that Theriot is the answer to a trivia question: He was the Giantsmost expensive free-agent acquisition last winter, at 1.75 million. Thatsexactly 212.25 million less than what the Tigers gave Prince Fielder, who went1-for-14 in the World Series with no walks and four strikeouts. And its a lotless than the dead money the Dodgers absorbed to get Adrian Gonzalez from theRed Sox.
Its hard to pin a value on what Theriot provided to theseWorld Series champions Giants while winning his second ring in two seasons. Butthose who were around him every day understand what he was worth.
What Scutaro did all season is unbelievable but I dontthink people saw what Theriot did for us, Cain said. He was such an asset forus in the clubhouse. It wasnt an easy spot for him, but when we needed him, hestepped up. And now hes the DH and ends up scoring the deciding run. Thatsjust awesome.