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Brandon Crawford puts Giants World Series ring on 4-month-old daughter (Picture)

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Very few of us have seen a championship ring in person. We hear how the championship rings that professional athletes receive cost thousands of dollars, but it’s hard to truly understand how massive they are. San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford posted a photo on Twitter Sunday night that should help put it into perspective.

As you can see, Crawford put his Giants World Series ring on the hand of his 4-month-old daughter Braylyn. And now we know — a World Series ring is probably about the size of a newborn baby’s hand. That’s a lot of diamonds. It almost makes you wonder how someone could lose one in a shoe and find it four years later.

H/T Big League Stew

Pablo Sandoval deserved World Series MVP, and so did Giants’ pitching

Pablo Sandoval practically added his name to the World Series MVP trophy when he clubbed three home runs in Game 1 against the Detroit Tigers, so it was no surprise to hear him named MVP of the Fall Classic after the Giants swept the Tigers on Sunday night.

Sandoval was as deserving as a World Series MVP can get. The two-time All-Star hit .500 (8-for-16) in the World Series with a team-high 4 RBIs and 18 total bases. He also made history in Game 1 by becoming the fourth player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a World Series game.

Sandoval was also the team’s overall postseason MVP. His 24 hits were one short of tying a postseason record. He led the Giants with the 24 hits, 6 home runs, 13 RBIs, and 47 total bases. Sandoval posted a 1.098 OPS against what’s supposed to be the best pitching in baseball.

While Sandoval was the clear offensive standout for the Giants throughout the playoffs, San Francisco had many pitchers truly elevate their games during the postseason.

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Baby monkey with Giants colors could be the key to their World Series run

A run to the World Series would not be complete without a lucky animal to share it with, and the San Francisco Giants have continued the tradition this postseason. Just when it appeared that the Giants would be sent packing by the defending champion Cardinals as they trailed 3-1 in the NLCS, a lucky monkey was born. San Francisco has not lost since.

The baby monkey — more specifically a François’s langur — was born at the San Francisco Zoo earlier this month and like other members of its species it has an orange head and a black body. An endangered species, the François’s langur is born with an orange head that will turn black like the rest of its body within three to six months. Fortunately for the city of San Francisco, that means this baby will be sporting team colors for the remainder of the series.

“Things have turned literally since she’s been born,” zoo spokesperson Abigail Tuller said, adding that the baby appears to perk up when she sees people who are sporting Giants logos.

The monkey has not yet been named, but a sign hangs in front of the San Francisco Zoo that reads “Lucky Langur lives here.” Last season, the Cardinals credited a squirrel that ran across the field (video here) during the playoffs for becoming their good luck charm. The squirrel was later featured on a baseball card and even engraved into the side of the Cardinals World Series rings. If the Giants hold on and beat the Tigers, the next animal to end up on a championship ring could very well be a monkey.

Photo credit: Marianne Hale/SF Zoo

Bruce Bochy credits Hunter Pence for firing the Giants up before Game 3

Players who bounce around from team-to-team have a tough enough time getting adjusted to a new situation and being able to click with their new teammates, let alone becoming a clubhouse leader. From the sound of it, that has not been an issue for Hunter Pence.

The Giants outfielder has played for three teams over the past two seasons, having been shipped from Houston to Philadelphia last season and Philadelphia to San Francisco earlier this year. Despite the fact that he is still a relatively new face with the Giants, manager Bruce Bochy said it was Pence’s speech that got the team fired up when they were in an 0-2 hole against the Reds prior to Game 3.

“Hunter (Pence) got up and he just spoke from the heart,” Bochy told KNBR in San Francisco. “Passionate speech and I’m not sure we knew what he said but how he said it, the gist of it was ‘hey we’re not done, we’re not ready to go home.’ That seemed to really fire up the guys. Tremendous job by him and you love when a player steps up. Sure they hear it from me but to have a teammate step up the way he did and the emotion he did when he was speaking it just charged the whole club up.

“They played like it and these guys were determined not to go home. We want to keep playing.”

Considering this is the same Pence who seemed legitimately surprised when the Phillies traded him at the deadline, you have to admire his leadership qualities. Speaking to a locker room full of grumpy players who have put themselves on the brink of elimination isn’t easy for a veteran. It’s even more challenging for someone who has been with the team for just over two months.

Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for transcribing the quotes
Photo credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Tim Lincecum surpassed in playoff rotation by Ryan Vogelsong, possibly Barry Zito

How unreliable has Tim Lincecum become for the Giants this season? So unreliable that he has been surpassed by Ryan Vogelsong and possibly Barry Zito in the team’s playoff rotation.

The Giants announced on Sunday that Ryan Vogelsong will start Game 3 of the NLDS. Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area says Barry Zito is expected to pitch if there’s a Game 4, and if not him, Game 1 starter Matt Cain could return to pitch on short rest. That means Tim Lincecum is officially the Giants’ No. 5 starter this year.

This development isn’t really that surprising.

Tim Lincecum’s 5.18 ERA this season is nearly double Matt Cain’s 2.79 mark. He has given up almost two runs more per game than Madison Bumgarner and Vogelsong, and his ERA is a full run higher than Zito’s 4.15.

Managers generally have confidence in pitchers who have proven they can pitch in the postseason, even if they’re having a down season. Lincecum has won two Cy Young Awards and went 4-1 during the Giants’ 2010 World Series championship run. It shows you how badly he’s pitched this season that he’s been bumped this far.

Think about this: Barry Zito, who was a bust of a signing, is now ahead of the two-time Cy Young winner. I suppose that says a lot about both pitchers.

Giants dress their rookies in spandex suits for hazing (Pictures)

The humility continues. With all the hazing we have seen throughout baseball since rosters expanded at the start of September, the challenging task for teams now is to come up with a unique way to embarrass their rookies. The Giants did their best earlier this week.

As you can see from the photo above that SFGate.com’s The Splash blog shared with us, the Giants made their rookies and sophomores dress up in fantastic spandex suits that really had no rhyme or reason to them. They didn’t beat the Rays and their “Call Me Maybe” stunt or the Marlins with their speedos in Times Square bit, but it did the trick.

Below are some more pictures that Giants reliever Sergio Romo shared on Twitter.

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NFL threatens to fine Alex Smith if he wears San Francisco Giants hat again

Last season, Alex Smith enjoyed showing his support for San Francisco’s baseball team by wearing a Giants hat to some of his postgame press conferences. Although professional athletes didn’t necessarily grow up in the area where they are playing and have allegiances to other teams, fans like to see the symmetry — hence why Tom Brady heard so much grief over this wardrobe selection. However, the NFL has warned Smith that he will be fined $15,000 if he does it again.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the NFL’s dress code mandates that players wear sponsored gear during the 90 minutes before and after games. Since a Giants hat is non-sponsored gear, Smith is not permitted to wear it.

“Yeah, can you call (Giants chief executive) Larry Baer for me?” Smith joked when reporters suggested that he ask the Giants to pay the fine.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports that the NFL actually did fine Smith $15,000 for wearing the hat last year but decided to rescind the fine and leave him with a warning. Smith also let reporters know that he is aware of the Giants’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot and didn’t sound like a man who intends to change his postgame wardrobe. And that, my friends, it what loyalty is all about. And wealth…

H/T NBC Bay Area
Photo courtesy of @SFGiantsFans