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Wilson: NL pennant is 'delicious'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 24, 2010 01:10 AM

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Brian Wilson clutched the Warren Giles Trophy against his chest as he stood in the clubhouse and entertained questions from reporters tonight after the Giants won the pennant with a 3-2 victory against the Phillies.

Wilson, a native of Londonderry, N.H., has helped turn the Giants into a team worth rooting for. Gone are the days of Barry Bonds joylessly pursuing home run records and infecting the game with his glowering visage. Now the Giants have a cast of characters, none more so than their closer.

"You have every single guy contributing. You can't look and say it was one guy who hit 75 home runs," Wilson said. "It's a guy who steals second base. It's somebody scoring on an errant throw. It's Cody Ross hitting three jacks in the NLCS."

Wilson paid tribute (we think) to the fans in San Francisco.

"San Francisco has been waiting for this. The fans have had our backs. They've let us know, 'Hey, you guys have a chance. Don't ruin it for us.' We went out there and took it one game at a time," Wilson said. "It's a sweet feeling. I can't imagine what's going on in San Francisco. Actually, I can."

Wilson is flat crazy. He has piecing blues, a high-pitched voice and a bushy beard he dyes pitch black. But he has backed it up by not allowing an earned run in nine postseason innings. After walking two in the ninth inning tonight, he struck out Ryan Howard with a nasty backdoor slider on the outside corner.

Howard thought it was low. Regardless, it was too close to take.

Asked what he was trying to do, Wilson laughed.

"Throw it forward," he said.

The Giants have scored only 30 runs in 10 postseason games. But six of their seven victories were by one run. This team knows how to win and they'll give Texas a fight.

“Their personalities work well together. They bust their asses on the field. They respect the game; they respect each other," GM Brian Sabean said. "It’s like the United Nations in there, a clash of cultures. But they know what to do when the game starts.”

Sabean, another New Hampshire guy, is California cool now. He has been in his job since 1996 and has his own way of doing this. The Giants are a flawed team but he built a strong rotation from within and patched the holes in the lineup with guys like Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Cody Ross. Trading for Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez fixed the bullpen on July 31.

Now the Giants have a chance to win the World Series. The franchise last won it all in 1954 when Dusty Rhodes and Willie Mays engineered a sweep of the Indians. The Giants moved to San Francisco in '58 and haven't won it since.

It's hard to like their chances against Texas. But nobody thought they would beat Philadelphia. Then Wilson utterly silenced a crowd of 46,062 with that slider to Howard.

"It was delicious," he said.


We ventured into the Philadelphia clubhouse hoping to ask Jayson Werth about his pending free agency. He did not elect to speak to reporters tonight. Werth was 6 of 30 in the postseason with six RBIs.

After watching him for six games, I can attest to the fact that he pays hard, he has the kind of righthanded power the Red Sox need and he plays right field skillfully.

That all said, I'd rather have Carl Crawford. He will cost a lot more, but is younger, more versatile and seems to have the kind of personality that would fit in well with the Sox.

Covering the NLCS was a blast and hopefully you enjoyed the coverage.

Root for Wilson and the Giants. They're a fun team and seem to be a good bunch of guys. If the Red Sox can't win, it would be neat to see a guy from New Hampshire hoist the trophy, if only to hear what he would say.

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