11/02/10 2:23 AM ET
Front office revels in end to title drought
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
Neukom, the Giants' managing general partner, instantly grabbed Uribe before they began to howl at each other like joyful wolves. They hopped up and down like pogo sticks, soaking each other with adult beverages.
It was that kind of night for the Giants' executives. Attending to the business of baseball couldn't be delayed for long. But Monday, after the Giants' 3-1 triumph over the Rangers in Game 5 made them World Series champions for the first time since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958, the team's brass could unwind and celebrate along with the players.
Neukom, finishing his second full season as the Giants' principal owner, expressed admiration for the players, who he often scrutinized while standing behind the batting cage or accompanying them on trips.
"These are guys who love this game," Neukom said. "They have enormous resiliency. Coming in the clubhouse the day after a game, whether we had a seven-game winning streak or a seven-game losing streak, you could not tell. They were loose, they were focused, they love this game and all of its nuances and they love playing with each other."
Some of them won't be with the Giants next season, however. But those decisions will wait.
"We're going to celebrate for a while and go to our organizational meetings, not this week but next week, and sort it out as best we can," Neukom said. "Just like we did this year, we will burn the midnight oil. We will not go to bed any night without having figured out who we are, where we want to get, how we get there, who can get us there.
"We can't let up. It's too competitive."
General manager Brian Sabean seemed to maintain that attitude by barely cracking a smile as he talked to reporters.
Asked about the factors that led to the Giants' triumph, Sabean said, "I think the biggest decision we made was not to trade any pitching. That's our foundation." He didn't mention any names, but at various times the Giants spurned overtures for Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez, and, if rumors were true, Matt Cain.
Sabean acknowledged that other Giants teams have possessed more talent during his 14-year tenure. But this one had more cohesiveness and grit.
"They welded around the pitching, which is redundant," Sabean said. "It started in Spring Training. They had a belief that they had a chance to go to the playoffs. They've been around the game, especially the veterans, knowing how this postseason plays. If you get through the first round, you're dangerous. And we beat three good teams to get to this point."
Sabean heaped credit on manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff, which operated without a regular lineup.
"There was a lot of creative genius along the way by those guys," Sabean said.
In case his listeners weren't paying attention, Sabean repeated his mantra: Pitching wins.
"I think the best lesson learned in all that," he said, "is that pitching and defense will take you a long way. And it took us all the way to the World Series -- and we actually won it."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.