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Friday, October 31, 2014

World Series: Another Parade, Another Title. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge Did you really see this? Yes! Yes! Yes! - JOE FITZGERALD RODRIGUEZ
  • Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez
  • Did you really see this? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Somehow, despite being caught in the klieg lights of the nation's media, Madison Bumgarner only grows more likable.

The soft-spoken, hard-throwing left-hander, who turned in a metahuman performance in the World Series, seems to have just  two expressions: stoic and bashful. He flashed the latter quite a bit while sitting through tribute after tribute today during the team's World Series parade and coronation, harking to a groom enduring a truly excruciating best man speech.

Bumgarner always says all the right things, which is heartening if not memorable. But, after addressing the vast Civic Center Plaza crowd and turning away from the podium to wander back to his seat, he was hit with one more thought and leaned back toward the microphone. "I love those signs back there," he drawled. "Those are great." 

The signs in question would appear to be the ones illustrating this article: One, the oversize countenance of FOX Sports talking head Joe Buck, and the other an oversize orange phallus emblazoned with three World Series rings. 

Pretty memorable.

Well, that was a distinction from the other two World Series fetes this city has thrown in the past four years. Also, this time, someone kept piloting a drone over the crowd. Perhaps it got a really good shot of those signs. 

click to enlarge These folks waited 12 hours and 45 minutes for the show to get going. In the rain. - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • These folks waited 12 hours and 45 minutes for the show to get going. In the rain.
Some vast number of people braved some truly San Francisco weather today to partake in this spectacle. Your humble narrator chatted with the above folks who said they'd been standing in place since 2 a.m. In rainy weather. Their spots were, directly, behind the media tent. Asked if they could see a thing, they replied, in unison, "naaaaaaaah!" 

But seeing wasn't as important as being. Perhaps you had to be there. 

Giants World Series events are a bit like the Oscars: They start late and go long. This one got going at 2:45, a leisurely hour and 15 past due. The pacing from then on was glacial; it made a postseason baseball game look like the Keystone Kops. But this was a happy crowd, if not the happiest crowd. They even cheered Hunter Strickland.

City Hall insiders were waiting with baited breath to see what malapropisms Mayor Ed Lee would coin this time around (in 2012 he marred Bumgarner's name and called Ryan Vogelsong "Vogelstrong."). This year he managed to celebrate the achievements of "Buster and Posey" and later chirped, "As mayor, is there anything I can do to keep [Pablo Sandoval] in town?" 

Huh. Offer him a tax break? 

Some random observations: 

  • J.T. Snow looked like he was ready to play; 
  • Michael Morse is a Great Dane of a human being and nobody looked like they were having more fun — he jumped around like an oversize kid; 
  • The crowd still loves Tim Lincecum and it's difficult to imagine what he could do to change that; 
  • Jeremy Affeldt, who followed several Spanish-speaking players and broadcasters with a perfectly timed, monotone "hola," is a legitimately funny man; 
  • Watching Pablo "Panda" Sandoval work the crowd during the parade, you can't help but think he's the Peter Venkman of this team;
  • Hunter Pence is a fascinating individual; 
  • Former Secretary of State George Schultz, in attendance, is looking more and more like Bert Lahr

    click to enlarge Lotsa happy people - JOE ESKENAZI
    • Joe Eskenazi
    • Lotsa happy people
After Pence whooped up the crowd one more time this year (yes, there were a few yes, yes, yesses) confetti guns projected orange and black detritus down onto the crowd. But, don't go! Don't go! There was, we were promised, a special musical guest on the way. It turned out to be the singer from Train performing "Save Me San Francisco" — which could well have induced a stampede and mass carnage. 

Thankfully that did not occur. Instead, those wandering (rapidly) from the vicinity were greeted with the sight of any and all Giants knockoff paraphernalia for sale, cheap, and a small army of DPW workers sweeping streamers into the gutter where vacuum trucks sucked them away. 

Winning never gets old, but having won does. As we noted earlier, winning has a shelf life and, if not restocked, you will go without. 

Until next year. Until next year. 
click to enlarge JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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