If that was Ryan Vogelsong's last start in a Giants uniform then it was a not terrible way to go out. It wasn't great, but then again, how often is "the last time" ever really great? We can't all Jeter-off into that good night. Besides, Ryan Vogelsong and all of us should be happy with and even proud of what he's accomplished this season. For one thing, he made it all the way to the end of the season as a member of the starting rotation when most people (outside of the Giants organization) had written him off as a major league caliber starting pitcher.
So, it's a credit to him, of course, for persevering and ignoring the naysayers for such a long time. It's probably unconscious behavior to him now. He just reflexively disregards all of the nonsense and focuses on pitching like a maniac. And it's a credit to the Giants for recognizing that not only did he still have something left in the tank but something that could help them shore up the rotation until reinforcements arrived. Of course, those reinforcements never arrived. One of them was traded. Most of them didn't develop. And then two members of the rotation went down, one felled by a pernicious bag of bone chips, another by Zitoing.
Thank you for everything, Ryan Vogelsong. You were a good Giant. And if you're back next year or if we see you again in the postseason somehow, the thanks will still stand. You've done all that's been asked of you and more. Not a lot of baseball players are able to perform to expectations and the overwhelming majority could not have done what you did to get where you are today. Thank you, congratulations, and, maybe?… hopefully? we'll see you in October mowing down a red team or a blue team?
Grant posted an article already so direct your comments regarding it there, but I wanted to include Madison Bumgarner earning the Willie Mac Award here because it will lead into the bigger point of this recap. One last thing about the award: Madison Bumgarner gave a speech. We do not typically associate Madison Bumgarner with words and certainly not speeches. He did quite well. He was a better public speaker than you'd imagine. His remarks were brief. Almost this brief.
I want to thank my teammates, my coaches, the training staff, the clubhouse staff, my wife, Ali, and you the fans. It’s humbling to win an award named after a great ambassador to the game, Willie McCovey, and again I thank you so much. Willie if you're watching, I wish you a speedy recovery and we all look forward to seeing you at the ballpark soon.
Bumgarner was introduced by Mike Krukow, who walked out to the lectern (a reminder that a podium is something you stand on while a lectern is something you stand behind) with the aid of a cane as a result of the effects of inclusion-body myositis. He was flanked by other winners of the Willie Mac Award, a few of them his current teammates. Two others were Robby Thompson and Jeff Kent. They spoke with Krukow & Kuiper in the booth during the broadcast. Jeff Kent was as charming as someone running for mayor, but Robby Thompson was a little more earnest and heart felt. In one exchange, Kuiper remarked, "It goes fast, doesn't it? It's all a blur." in reference to time. The passage of time. Their careers. It happens so fast it's a blur.
Madison Bumgarner is a kid now, but more a man than when we first met him. He was a prospect with disappearing velocity who allegedly ticked off the Giants because of a wedding. He used to get in fights in the minor leagues. Now he's the Willie Mac Award winner.
From Ryan Spilborghs to Bengie Molina getting traded mid-flight to Scott Cousins to Blanco's catch to twice no-hitting the Padres to today… wow. A blur.
The Giants are still within a window of success, but if something's going to happen this year it's going to be tough to "end the trilogy", as it were. 2010 was a catharsis, 2012 a stunner, but will 2014 be a disappointing conclusion in their final hour… or their finest hour? In any case, it goes fast, and here we are, already at season's end, possibly at the window's end, and just look how far we've traveled. It's all a blur.
Good thing we have video.
The Giants are officially the road team in the Wild Card Game after tonight's loss. If they're playing rope-a-dope, then they must be supremely confident. Since they're the professionals and I'm the amateur, I'm going to assume that this 2 months of awesomeness, 2 months of charred remains, and 2 months of room temperature tap water is all part of their master plan to surprise the other four playoff teams who are statistically and eye test-wise far, far superior.