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US Sports on Off The Ball - Baseball and Brooklyn

The tale of the San Fran Giants and the new Brooklyn Nets

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Eoin Brennan
10:25 Thursday 1 November 2012

It was time for some U.S. Sports with U.S. Murph last night and our man in San Francisco was still a little giddy from watching his San Francisco Giants take their second World Series title in the last three years. He tells Eoin about the big stars to emerge from the World Series and why this Giants team feels like a once in a lifetime event for his city.

You can listen to the podcast here, or subscribe via iTunes.

Giants take World Series with clean sweep of Tigers

The San Francisco Giants claimed their second World Series title in three years on Sunday night, with a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, in Detorit. Brian Murphy told Eoin that the players, the success- it was all a little much for a team so used to being deprived of success, calling it “an embarrasssment of riches”.

The Tigers had been favourites going into the series but in game one the Giants stripped Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander of his invincibiltiy by scoring eight runs in a game they were expected to find a serious offensive struggle. If there were any doubts in the minds of the Giants players that performance would have banished them. In the end the west coast side eased their way to the title, creating folk heroes along the way, or “civic icons” as US Murph described them.

Buster Posey

25 years old, 2 World Series wins and the general of the Giants defense leading from the catcher’s position. Posey won a world Series in 2010, his debut season, suffered a 4 month absence after a sickening collision at home plate in 2011 and then came back to win his second World Series in 2012. And Posey didn’t just win, he led. He hit .200 but that included a 2 run homer in the fourth game, to wipe out the only lead the Tigers had held in the series and, far more importantly, he guided his pitchers to 2 shut outs in the World Series.

Buster Posey is becoming, or more likely has become, a Giants legend. The American press are comparing him with Yankees all time great Derek Jeter for his quick rise to a position of prominence and leadership of an all conquering club. Posey isn’t at the level of the Yankees great yet but nobody in baseball appears better suited to take on the mantle once Jeter finally calls it a day.

Pablo “Kung-Fu Panda” Sandoval

The Venezuelan became only the fourth man in 104 years to hit three home runs in the same world series game, part of his .500 average from the plate that earned him the World Series MVP award.

The Kung Fu Panda spent the last World Series win on the bench, having lost form and gained weight. Following a strict diet and pre-season fitness regime he rediscovered his accuracy from the plate, finding the perfect form in the postseason, hitting .500 and 4 RBIs in 16 at bats. He even hit two home runs off Justin Verlander, and US Murph told us this was a moment that puncutred the ivninvibility of the previously bullet proof Tigers pitcher.

Basketball is back and starting life in Brooklyn

The NBA returned last night and with the Lakers and Dwight Howard now looking the most likely threat to the Miami Heat there is plenty to consider in a refreshingly full season after last year’s lockout robbed fans of games until Christmas.

The biggest moment to come in the first week of the NBA is the start of life in Brooklyn for the Nets on Thursday night. They welcome the New York Knicks to the new Barclays Centre in Downtown Brooklyn for what The New York Times has called “The most anticipated Brooklyn sports event in a half-century“.

The Nets have failed to stir much more than cursory interest while in New Jersey and tickets for their lower profile games were often available on online exchanges for just $1.

The move to Brooklyn, allied with the marketing dream of Jay-Z being part owner of the team, looks set to revive the franchise. They won’t win any rings this year, or probably for a few years after that, but they will hope to cut into the Knicks support in the borough and become the home team of a place that has longed for a professional sports team since the Dodgers left them for LA.

With the combined forces of Jay-Z and The NBA pushing the team generating interest hasn’t been a problem. For the team however, living up to the hype might be more so.

Here’s a couple of videos to get you in the Nets mood and if you like a good time lapse of a stadium being built then today is your lucky day.

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