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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Giants finish improbable run with World Series title

ARLINGTON, Texas — On the plus side, Rangers’ fans will not have to be quite as invested in Cliff Lee’s upcoming free-agent winter.

And those who follow the Giants could care less where he winds up.

Fans in the Bay Area will be at least a little numb for months after their franchise’s first World Series championship in 56 years, the first since the move to California.

The title that Barry Bonds couldn’t deliver, Edgar Renteria could.

Isn’t baseball the greatest game?

Renteria, a 34-year-old shortstop who had three home runs and 22 RBI during a regular season in which he battled a series of injuries, drove a 2-0 cut fastball from Lee into the left-center-field bleachers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Monday night. His second go-ahead homer in four games, it broke up a 0-0 battle between Lee and Tim Lincecum, who were both at the top of their games.

The Giants rolled to a 3-1 victory, giving them the World Series four games to one. It is only the sixth championship in the history of the ancient franchise, which had been on the losing side in the Series 13 times, most recently when the Angels came back from a 3-2 deficit to win in 2002.

Thirteen years after he got the winning hit for the Marlins in Game 7 against the Indians, the unsung Renteria was named Most Valuable Player in the Series. He became the fourth player to ever drive in the winning run in two different World Series, joining Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra.

“”This isn’t his first rodeo,”” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “”He’s a big-time player.””

Renteria has been talking about retirement, given how unlikely it is that the Giants will pick up his $10.5 million contract option for 2011, but now there may be a revolt if general manager Brian Sabean lets San Francisco’s latest civic treasure walk.

“”This group deserved it,”” Sabean said of a team manager Bruce Bochy characterized as castoffs and misfits. “”It was fateful from the beginning, in spring training. It was a community effort.””

Few had picked the National League West champion Giants when the playoffs began a month ago, but October baseball is largely about pitching and defense, and no team could touch San Francisco in that category.

“”Unbelievable how good they have been,”” Bochy said.

Texas entered the Series having averaged 5.4 runs in eliminating the Rays and Yankees but got only 12 runs off the Giants. The Rangers came to the World Series with a confident group of hitters who had batted a playoffs-best .284 with runners in scoring position, but against the Giants they hit only .179 in those situations.

“”It’s a great team win again tonight,”” Giants owner Bill Neukom said. “”That’s the way it’s been — players who love to play the game and play it together.””

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