O’ the Giants Sweep the World Series

By: Bill Whaley
29 October, 2012

“Oh, somewhere in San Francisco the sun is shining bright;


The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,


And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;


But there is no joy in Detroit – mighty Miguel has struck out.”

(With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer of the [San Francisco] Examiner, who wrote and published Casey at the Bat in 1888)

Last night the wiry bearded Mexican, Sergio Romo, struck out Mighty Miguel Cabrera of Venezuela (triple crowner of the American League) but another Venezuelan, Pablo “Kung-Fu Panda” Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants was named MVP of this year’s World Series winners. Along with his countryman, Marco Scutaro, Panda joined Buster Posey of Leesburg, Georgia as the G’men swept the Detroit Tigers, who had swept the mighty Yankees (though, earlier, Detroit had a tough time beating Billy Beane’s Bad News Bears from Oakland).

Oh, yes the center of the baseball world this year moved to the Bay Area, where the Golden Gate welcomes with open arms your enthusiastic polyglot émigrés from across the nation and the world.

In the midst of last night’s World Series final game, Joe Buck of Fox Television (you might know it), interviewed Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander, Mr. fastball, who got shelled by the Giant’s Kung Fu Panda in the first 8-3 loss, a loss that set the tone and blew the wheels off the Tigers’ lumbering SUV. Just as Willie May’s catch and throw of Vic Wertz’s Polo Grounds’ hard hit ball to center, led to a sweep of Cleveland, lo’ some 58 years ago in 1954, so the Panda duplicated the Willie’s moment and destroyed the morale of mighty Tigers. Like Miguel Cabrera, Verlander told Joe Buck he wanted another crack at the Giants, but then the Mighty Miguel struck out.

For Kung Fu Panda plastered Detroit’s pitchers in AT&T’s park with three, count’em, three blasters, and the Tigers lost their growl, scoring zero runs in the next two games. And sure Miguel hit a wind-aided home-run in the final game only to be matched by Buster Posey’s well-crafted two-run homer and Mighty Miguel watched the last pitch from Sergio Romo–the Wizard of the Slider–fly by the middle of the plate: called strike three at the bottom of the tenth.

Oh, yes, he seemed to say, the Giants are much better.

Sitting with the Detroit crowd, representing her husband, Mitt, who is running for president, was Ann Romney. Mitt once said the America should let Motor City go broke. But Willie Mays rode with President Obama (who bailed out the carmakers) on Air Force One to the all-star game. Obama was the lucky one that day for presidents come and go but there is only one Willie Mays.

One of the Panda’s biggest fans tweeted him after game one’s magnificent four-for four performance, he also hit a single that three-homer night. Yes, the ubiquitous cancer survivor (thanks to Fidel Castro doctors), Hugo Chavez, the mayordomo of Venezuela, known for its heavy oil but more so as birthplace  to ballplayers–who play in the American World Series with names like Cabrera, Sandoval, and Scutaro. For Hugo keeps an eye on all Venezuelans who make the people proud.

Like my friend Andy said, “Let Panda eat.” And like Frisco fans say, “Let Timmy (Lincecum, a marvel in relief) smoke.”

In San Francisco, the fans embody—literally–the culturally rich mix of America’s future now—vibrant young people cheer alongside ancianos, who have been following the Giants since the days when Giant great Christy Mathewson threw down shut-outs and Willie Mays made children and adults sing the song about Say Hey, who played the game with rare abandon and skill. Baseball is as much about the past as the present.

Ask a Chicago Cubs fan or a fan from Detroit about the past and pain-filled present. And watch the fans from San Francisco dance, dance, dance and party like it was 2010.

The Frisco fans—wake up Herb–will attend a parade on Market Street at 11 am on Wednesday, Oct. 31, a national day of celebration—Halloween–though every baseball day is a Grateful Dead event at At&T park, where the Giants wink and dink, chop and sock, and blast home runs out of the park just to please their homies. Across the nation and the world today, the expats are singing, “I left my heart in San Francisco.”

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