Last night, the Giants won the pennant. The Giants... won... the... pennant. It was a great night which stemmed from a great sight. I was elated, you were ecstatic, the Giants were deliriously blind, and then there was Brian Sabean:
Look at him. Dad's crying. Seriously. He's been the captain of this ship for so long now that in Baseball terms he's basically Moses. He was trading for borderline Hall of Famers before some of you had developed object permanence. He's seen the pennant, he's been to the World Series -- heck, he shed tears on one of the rings... this was joy. Tears of joy.
Did I get choked up after seeing this? Of course I did. I'm not a robot. I'm a cold, calculating cynic, but not a robot. Even my emotional algorithms and glass half-empty mindset allow for the fact that sometimes, you just gotta squirt out some tears. Sometimes, the power of a moment can overwhelm us. And he's led the team for so long -- Brian Sabean is as much a part of the Giants' identity as are Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and the stadium at this point. I could not help but get caught up in the moment along with ol' Sabean.
How often do we get to see grown men cry tears of joy? How often does a man get stick around and travel all the way from savvy to idiot to wise man? Does he deserve to get pinned down and derided for his process when his process is actually sound and the results speak for themselves? Not anymore to the last question, and that's been the case for some time. Not very often to the second question. Not enough to the first.
Brian Sabean has always been an emotional guy. He cried when they lost in 2002. He expresses joy, he gets angry, he acts like a human being. Players aren't simply number producers to him. He's held fast to the truth that it takes a manager who can manage personalities just as well game situations to truly run a successful major league team. This isn't meant to start any sort of debate about numbers vs. grit, it's to show that Brian Sabean's humanity has always been his most obvious characteristic. He's loyal to people first and foremost. There's every chance that close friend and long-time Giants scout Stan Saleski's sudden death last Saturday was on Sabean's mind as he watched Travis Ishikawa run the bases. Ishikawa being another good person brought into the fold to help Sabean's team, essentially a retread, but obviously a person and talent who made a lasting impression. Brian Sabean is loyal, a profound emotion.
I love Brian Sabean. I can't fight this feeling anymore. I'd rather the personality of my favorite team be based on some gruff northeasterner with a Cape Cod League fetish and desire for a lineup of Freddy Sanchezes and Marco Scutarii because it's weird and it's imperfect and in all the mess, sometimes there's some truly great improvisation. But even when it doesn't all go according to plan or even the backup plan, the face of management has always been a human one. The bottom line and 40-man roster of investors might make things difficult and corporate, but Sabean will always be the hard worker with the chip on his shoulder, ready to rumble, ready to lay it all on the line, accept full responsibility, and share all the credit.
So, be grateful he's here. He's a character, he's a legend, he's a human being who's committed a chunk of his life to making something we'd enjoy for six-plus months of our lives each and every year. We went to bed happy last night and many nights before it because he didn't sleep. Plus, this moment gave us a cool image where it looks like Brian Sabean has been impaled by a fist.