Why the Bay Area Is the Sports Capital of the World

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World Series Title? Yeah, I’ll Take Two

No longer are the San Francisco Giants mired in the post-Barry Bonds era or the last phases of the Bonds era itself, when all everyone cared about was when Bonds would hit No. 756.

Well, he did, and it was absolutely fabulous, a moment that will be remembered forever. But they finished 71-91 that season, dead last in the NL West. Bonds was not tendered a contract after the season ended, and it was all downhill from there, as he was found guilty of lying to a grand jury when he testified that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

As for the Giants, they went through an entire year of struggling to find their identity without Bonds. Remember the days of Omar “I can field but can’t hit” Vizquel and Pedro “swing-at-everything” Feliz? Good times, eh?

October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Tony Bennet sings “I left my heart in San Francisco” in front of the San Francisco Giants team during the World Series victory celebration at City Hall. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Under the guidance of Bruce Bochy and the development of a young, stellar pitching staff, the Giants slowly found their identity and accomplished what Bonds failed to do despite all his years of glory: win a World Series title (thanks, Rally Monkey).

In fact, they liked it so much that they decided to win it all twice.

As I like to say, 2010 was about the pitching, and 2012 was about the perseverance. Facing elimination on five separate occasions throughout the NLDS and NLCS, the Giants found a way to rally and pull off victories, culminating in a Sergio Romo slider that froze Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to clinch the championship.

Two World Series in three years, and all of them played at AT&T Park, the most beautiful ballpark in baseball that hosted the World Baseball Classic earlier this year, and leads the majors in consecutive sellouts.

If that doesn’t get the analysts to shut up about the Dodgers and their “big-money acquisitions,” I don’t know what will.