As the various cable cars, floats and other vehicles of celebration work their way down Market Street today for our great city’s second World Series parade in three years, fans will get another long and loving look at everyone who had a hand in bringing that shiny flag-festooned trophy back to the shores of McCovey Cove.
And there will be, among the hundreds of thousands of revelers, an understandable temptation to ponder the question of who among the many objects of this unconditional outpouring of affection had the biggest hand in creating this Halloween happiness.
In the scope of things, it’s a trivial exercise. Trite as it might sound, when it comes to most things in life, particularly in professional sports, winning, losing, succeeding, failing, rejoicing and facing adversity is truly a team thing. A group effort.
Virtually nobody does what they do solo, and with that simple truth in mind, trying to come up with anyone associated with the 2012 Giants as more worthy of praise than anyone else is pointless.
Not to mention impossible.
Sure, there are some obvious candidates when one starts to consider the MVP question, starting with the most obvious of all: Buster Posey. Even as everyone anticipates his coronation as the National League’s MVP, Posey’s story remains remarkably underappreciated on a national scale, but where it matters most, here at home, what he did a year removed from suffering a potentially career-crushing injury is the stuff of generational legend.
Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval, the respective NL Championship Series and World Series MVPs, are high on the list, too. As is Barry Zito, who with two against-all-odds outings reversed five-plus years of vicious public animosity. And Hunter Pence, whose pregame passion plays put him in the pantheon of all-time playoff heroes.
A case could be made for Tim Lincecum and his selflessness in the face of embarrassment. For Sergio Romo and his Treasure Island-size heart.
For Matt Cain and the sense of calm that his Midwestern-sheriff presence brings to the always-on-edge fans who relentlessly fill AT&T Park. For Ryan Vogelsong and his embodiment of the most essential ingredient to all arduous quests: perseverance.
Bruce Bochy, the father figure nobody wants to disappoint? Brian Sabean, the quiet but brutally blunt and intense architect who delegates praise as well as he does authority? Ron Wotus, Dave Righetti, Tim Flannery and the rest of a coaching staff that somehow comes off as workaday and regal at the same time?
Hell, you could make a case for the disgraced Melky Cabrera as this team’s MVP. First for the production he provided when he was around, including the All-Star excellence that helped give the Giants home-field advantage in the World Series, and then for his absence sparking a circle-the-wagons mentality that seemed to somehow inspire and propel the team to prove wrong the many people who thought they were doomed without him.
Run down the roster. A case could be made for damn near everyone. Some of the cases might be a stretch, but they can’t be dismissed outright. Everyone, in ways small and large, had a hand in this.
And as the orange and black confetti falls, that’s worth remembering. MVP? Who really cares?
After all, the gang that gets to end the season with a parade is the MVT. Emphasis on the T, as in team.
Isn’t that what’s made it all so much fun?
Mychael Urban, host of “Inside The Bigs” (9 a.m. to noon Saturdays) on 95.7 FM The Game, can be followed on Twitter @BigUrbSports. His website is UrbsUnchained.com.