Friday, June 29, 2012

They Call Him Lechero (it means...Milkman)

Ever since the Giants sent Jonathan Sanchez to the Kansas City Royals for this player the team has been christened with some unbelievable particles.  Let's review, remembering it is only June 29, 2012.

All beautiful stories have questionable beginnings as did the Giants (in Arizona) this season.  Stumbling, bumbling and fumbling the ball all over the diamond it was 'looking for the remote' time. (Because when you cannot bear what you are watching on TV you must change the channel.)

The Panda injured the hammate bone on his other hand (fortunately, after doing it last season, there are no more hammate bones to deal with) and once again, Senor Sandoval got off to a solid start out of the gate. 

Then records were broken.  Melky Cabrera, also known as, Lechero, then broke Willie Mays' record for hits in one month.  Later he became the fastest Giant to get to 100 hits, passing the "Say Hey Kid" one more time. 

Then on June 13, 2012, Matt "the Horse" Cain pitched the first perfect game in New York/San Francisco Gothams/Giants history. 

After the Dodgers visited Oakland for an inter-league series and got swept the belief was the Giants were primed to catch and pass their archrival, a.k.a. "Da Bums" the Los Angeles Dodgers. And after having quite the intense series themselves versus the Oakland Athletics they were ready to face the Dodgers.

Three shutouts in-a-row!  Are you kidding.  Zito-Vogelsong-Lincecum.  The first time ever in New York/San Francisco Gothams/Giants history this happened between the two teams that have been battling each other prior to the turn of the 20th century. And to make their rivalry as fantastic as it has been, they both left New York the same year to go west in 1958.  Think about it, these two teams were meant to butt heads.

They overtook the team in first to be tied for first.  The next team they would face, the Cincinnati Redlegs were leading the Central Division.  They would be pitching their ace, Johnny Cueto against Madison Bumgarner.  MadBum would only add to the lore as he threw a 1-hit complete game shutout over the Central Division leaders.  MadBum himself had as many hits as he allowed, a well placed roller through the middle of the field by Reds' catcher Ryan Hanigan in the top of the sixth inning.

 So now it's four shutouts in a row.  Who's turn is it tonight?  The aforementioned Matthew Thomas Cain.  Now don't you think he wants to join this exclusive party?  (For the record all Cain needs is a scoreless first inning to permanently etch this 2012 San Francisco Giants' team in the Giants' all-time record book.)

For those of us who saw Willie Mays, Willie Mc Covey, and Juan Marichal in the 1960s into the 1970s this is saying something.  There were other exceptional ballplayers like Orlando Cepeda, Bobby and Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, J.T. Snow, Robb Nen (to name a few).  And with all of that talent those guys weren't able to pull off what the 2010 Giants and now the 2012 Giants have accomplished. 

Buster Posey was there in 2010.  He caught Matt Cain's perfecto. He's here in 2012.  Pablo Sandoval, Nate Schierholtz, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, the re-habbing Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff are the remaining bunch from 2010.

Now we have Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera, a.k.a.  Lechero  in the outfield.  Brandon Belt, Ryan Theriot, Brandon Crawford, Joaquin Arias, Hector Sanchez, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito, Clay Hensley, George Kontos as new additions.  (Note:  Zito was left off the postseason roster. Which makes his contributions this season all the more noteworthy.)

And because of the 2010 and these 2012 Giants,  Amigos de Lechero, the Giants fans regale the team with costumes (Milkmen and Milk Maids, a guy in a Horsehead guzzling beer, Panda hats, Giraffe hats, Timmy hair attached to the hat, Brian Wilson's beard) and a positive energy that makes those particles come into play between the foul lines.

All those years of coming in second with Mays, McCovey and Marichal.  Those astroturf years at Candlestick when the team stank out loud. I feel for those who weren't able to make it into 2010.  I empathize and sympathize for those Giant fans who weren't able to witness what those of us who made it are celebrating.  

Break out the Visine 'cause my eyes are fogging up almost as bad as the Candlestick nights.  Nowadays there's an occasional night game at AT&T when the fog rolls in but even that has gotten better.  It's unbelievable, to me, how things have turned around for the better.  And I have to thank Bruce Bochy and his boys for making it happen.

Note:  I would like to thank Duane Kuiper who said on the "Wrap" of June 28, 2012 that someone told him Melky Cabrera's name was "Lechero."  (The "Wrap" closes each and every broadcast when Dave Flemming, Jon Miller, Mike Krukow and Duane all have their say about the game that was just played.)

Kevin J. Marquez