San Francisco goes Orange & Black for ticker tape parade

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San Francisco goes Orange & Black for ticker tape parade

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ecstatic baseball fans crammed the streets of San Francisco on Wednesday for a confetti-drenched parade and rally honoring the World Series champion Giants - a Halloween treat made even sweeter as a repeat performance from 2010.Tens of thousands of people decked out in the team's holiday-appropriate orange and black stood 30 deep behind barriers, climbed trees, camped out overnight and mounted rooftops for a chance to see their favorite players wave from convertibles and get serenaded by Tony Bennett singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."
Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, who hoisted the World Series trophy from the back of a gold Rolls Royce during most of the 1 12-mile procession, credited fans and his players' "unselfish play" for helping to lift San Francisco to its second World Series victory in three years, an improbable double play for a franchise that had not won the title since 1954."In 2010, we characterized the club as misfits that came together and got it done," Bochy told the roaring hordes gathered for the rally in Civic Center Plaza. He said the tagline of the 2012 Giants was "never say die," a reference to the team's come-from-behind, post-season dominance."I thank you for always being there, for never giving up," he said. "Thank you for showing up wherever we've been and making this one of the greatest moments of my life."As with the 2010 parade, this year's two-hour edition drew a cross-section of the region's diversity. Children who were allowed to skip school squeezed cap-to-glove alongside older couples who had been Giants fans since the team arrived in San Francisco from New York in 1958.Series MVP Pablo Sandoval, who swatted three home runs in his first three at bats in Game 1, and second baseman Marco Scutaro, who batted in the winning run of the game that clinched the title, addressed the throngs at the rally in Spanish."This is the second, but there are going to be a lot more," Sandoval said, expressing special thanks to the Bay Area's Latino community. "You should enjoy this and feel this in your hearts."Casandra Buenrostro, 25, who arrived at the plaza at 5 a.m. so she could get pictures of Sandoval, did."He made me cry," Buenrostro said. "He's an inspiration."Earlier in the day, clouds of black, orange and white confetti were shot from cannons positioned on roofs and along the canyon-like, skyscraper-lined street. Spectators and parade participants, who included legendary Giants alumni Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal and politicians such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, reveled in the showers.The unifying energy of the Giants' latest victory was evident as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith drove the car carrying Giants pitcher Matt Cain and his family, while 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh did the honors for first baseman Brandon Belt.The convertibles gave fans clean views along the parade route that began at the foot of Market Street near San Francisco Bay and ended on the steps of City Hall, across from the overflowing plaza."Since I was a kid, I wanted to play on the Giants and win a World Series. So it's fun to be here," said shortstop Brandon Crawford, who grew up in the Bay Area.Star reliever Sergio Romo, wearing a T-shirt that read, "I just look illegal," whipped the roaring crowd into a frenzy when he got out of his convertible and mingled."It's unbelievable! Unbelievable! Just great!" said fired-up right fielder Hunter Pence, who was acquired in a midseason deal and led pregame pep talks. At the rally, Pence persuaded his teammates to jump around the stage to demonstrate the ritual he called the "slow-clap.""I loved it when they started acting goofy," said Janet Clark, 55. "That's exactly who the Giants are."With the victory parade coinciding with Halloween, costumed masses brought an even more festive feel to what city officials hoped would be a family friendly, alcohol-free event.Philip and Alyssa Lozano got up in Sacramento at 3:30 so they and their son could catch a ferry in time to witness the whole spectacle. Nine-year-old Christian Lozano was dressed up for Halloween as, what else, a panda, in tribute to Sandoval, whose nickname is the "Panda.""We've been representing the Giants for a while and couldn't make it to the parade in 2010," Philip Lozano said.San Francisco police spokesman Michael Andraychak said a handful of people were arrested for public intoxication and officers issued a few citations for fighting, but the crowds generally were cooperative.Some fans carried brooms as a reminder of the Giants' four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers. Later, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee handed Giants President Larry Baer a ceremonial metal "broom to the city" along with the customary key.Alex Warlen and Kelly Simms, both 17, were among the hundreds of people who camped out overnight in the plaza to ensure they had prime viewing spots. Warlen is a pitcher and Simms a catcher for the softball team at San Francisco's Mercy High School. The team is co-champion of its division."Buster is the reason I'm a catcher," read a sign Simms carried, referring to the Giants' Buster Posey. The high school seniors said Mercy administrators gave students the day off, so they weren't cutting school."We would have skipped anyway," Simms said.

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The promotion of an intriguing prospect can bring a certain buzz to the ballpark. It didn’t last long. 

The debut of Ryder Jones came in the latest flat performance from the Giants, who collapsed late and fell 5-2 to the Mets. The loss was their 50th of the season. They did not lose their 50th game last season until August 12. 

With the score tied in the eighth, Curtis Granderson crushed a leadoff triple into the alley. Sam Dyson walked the next batter and then whiffed Yoenis Cespedes, but Jay Bruce greeted Steven Okert with an RBI single to right. It kept going poorly from there. 

Here are five things to know from a cool day by the water … 

—- Jones grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then flied out to center, grounded out to first, and grounded out to second. He had one chance in the field, starting a double play that ended the second inning.  

—- Johnny Cueto seems to have turned a corner. Over his past two starts, he has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings. Whether they trade him or not, the Giants certainly could use a nice little hot streak for the next six weeks. 

—- A few seconds after Bruce Bochy shook Cueto’s hand, Brandon Belt got him off the hook for a loss. He hit the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh into the seats in left-center, tying the game. The homer was Belt’s 14th. He’s on pace for 29. 

—- The Mets got eight one-run innings out of Jacob deGrom, who is quietly the most reliable of a star-studded rotation. He struck out seven and gave up just four hits. 

—- If Madison Bumgarner wants another Silver Slugger Award, he’ll have to chase down deGrom, who hit a homer in his last start. His single in the third was his 10th hit, and he finished the day with a .294 average.