Giants a new-age dynasty with help from Bumgarner

Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:48pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

KANSAS CITY Missouri (Reuters) - A different kind of Major League Baseball dynasty has emerged.

The San Francisco Giants are champions of a new age of parity, the best at juggling budget and talent, and managing the changing tides of a tumultuous 162-game regular season.

Despite missing key players due to injury in pitcher Matt Cain and center fielder Angel Pagan, the Giants squeaked into the playoffs and won a third World Series title in five years with Wednesday's Game Seven win over the Kansas City Royals.

It took an historic postseason performance by 25-year-old pitcher Madison Bumgarner, but when his last pitch was thrown the resourceful Giants ruled again, following up their 2010 and 2012 Fall Classic triumphs.

The World Series pitted two wild card teams, neither of whom managed to reach the 90-win mark this season.

"Wild card teams are usually pretty good teams, too, and they're usually fighting so hard to get there at the end," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before Game Seven.

"So good chance that they're playing well. It just goes to show you, in baseball, anything can happen when you get to the playoffs."

The Giants are by no means MLB paupers, ranking sixth with a $148 million payroll, but they spent nearly $100 million less than California rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers.   Continued...

San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (bottom) celebrates with teammates after catching a pop out for the final out of game seven of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals  at Kauffman Stadium. REUTERS/USA Today Sports/Denny Medley