San Francisco treat: Third title just as sweet
Giants' clubhouse kicks off celebration with 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' chants
KANSAS CITY -- It's always a little odd when a road team clinches the World Series. The stands get very quiet, but what's going on on the field is pure chaos -- players piling on each other, hugging, yelling, celebrating, while 40,000 fans watch in relative silence.
That was the scene at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday night. Pablo Sandoval caught the final out -- a popup by Salvador Perez -- in foul territory and laid flat on his back in sheer ecstasy, while teammates, some jumping over him, rushed onto the field to celebrate the Giants' 3-2 victory in Game 7.
But the real party took place inside the clubhouse. Taking their cue from Hunter Pence, who instructed his teammates to "load up," Giants players popped the corks, shook their bottles and let loose.
The Giants, obviously, have done this before. And while celebrating a World Series championship never gets old, the way a team goes about it can differ slightly from team to team, depending on experience. The Giants, similar to their win in '12, preferred to start the party in the middle of the room. They gathered in a rugby-like scrum, shook the bottles in their hands, and, in one fell swoop, let them explode all at once.
"Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" they chanted, repeating the Pence-inspired rally cry that carried them through October.
After that? Just a lot of dancing, hugging, screaming and spraying.
"To go all seven and to come out as the champions, it's a dream come true," said Michael Morse. "I'll never forget this day."
Most of the players wore large orange-trimmed goggles as protection during the celebration. Morse, however, decided to go au natural, letting the bubbly and beer drip down his face as he -- quite literally -- soaked it all in.
"I want to feel it," he said. "I want to experience every bit of this. This is exactly what I thought it would be. This is the greatest group of guys I've ever played with, a group of guys that believed in each other, and the outcome was a World Series victory."
After about 15 minutes of this, manager Bruce Bochy walked through the clubhouse -- slow-footed and deliberate, just as we'd expect from the burly skipper -- tightly clutching the World Series trophy. The music was turned down, and players gathered around as Bochy held the trophy high in the air.
What happened next is no big surprise -- players doused the trophy with champagne and resumed screaming with delight as their manager twirled the trophy in the air.
"We know how hard it is to get in here and win one time," Bochy said. "To get three in five years, it really does amaze me. These guys amaze me. This group of warriors. The road they had to go down this year to get there makes it even that much more special."
Accolades were flying from all corners, mostly aimed at two people: World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and Bochy, who has all but solidified his case as a future Hall of Famer.
"The biggest reason that I signed here in Spring Training was Bruce Bochy," Morse said. "I know he has a winning tradition, the team has a winning tradition. When he told me he was interested in me and his biggest thing was to get back to the World Series, who could turn that down?"
Clubhouse celebrations can be a player's most challenging balancing act of the entire postseason. All at once, they're talking to reporters, getting doused by teammates and hugging family members who are usually allowed into the clubhouse about halfway through the celebration.
Fortunately, order and decorum is not a requirement after a team wins a World Series. The rules are, there are no rules.
"It's so sweet," said veteran Tim Hudson, soaking in the scene of his very first postseason celebration. "It's just how I thought it would be."
On the other side of the room, the cerebral Buster Posey talked about how difficult it is to win a World Series on the road, as evidenced by the 35 years that have passed since a road team last won a Game 7.
"It doesn't get much harder," he said. "It really doesn't. This crowd here was electric from the start. That's what was so impressive about what [Jeremy] Affeldt did and what Bumgarner did. They kept guys off the bases. Once they get guys on base, the crowd's going to get even louder. There really just weren't that many guys on base."
The word "dynasty" came up -- as in, are the Giants in the midst of one?
"I'll leave you guys [reporters] to draw that conclusion," Posey said with a slight smile. "I think with the parity in the game right now, three in five is pretty special. If it's not, I don't know if we can really get much closer."
Brandon Belt's take: "It doesn't matter what you call us. We came here and played as a team. That's why we won the World Series."