Giants fans faithful to Uribe family
Shortstop's uncle played with the club for eight seasons
When Juan Uribe joined the Giants in 2009, the San Francisco crowd greeted him with a chant of "Oooo-reee-bay! Oooo-la-la!" The same chant had been used to cheer his uncle Jose Uribe, who played for the team from 1985 through 1992. The chant was expected to be louder than ever after Juan's game-winning home run in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series helped the Giants clinch a World Series berth.
"It's something that got me very emotional," Uribe told the San Jose Mercury News when asked about the first time he heard the chant. "I'm very happy fans do it."
"One of the main things I learned was to be disciplined," Uribe said of advice from his uncle, who passed away in a car accident when Juan was only 8 years old. "Your teammates are your family, and whether it's World Series, playoff games or regular-season games, go on the field and try to win."
Guerrero's bat leads him to outfield start: Texas manager Ron Washington announced Vladimir Guerrero will be the starting right fielder in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night. Guerrero has spent most of the season as the team's designated hitter, but Washington didn't want to lose his powerful bat in the National League park.
"My main concern is Vlad's offense," Washington told MLB.com. "I want to keep that in there. I want to keep his presence in there."
Guerrero hit .300 with 29 home runs and a club-leading 115 RBIs during the regular season. He started 16 games in the outfield, including six since the Rangers played their last Interleague road game on June 20. When Guerrero was in the field, the Rangers went 12-4.
Molina brings positive reviews from ex-teammates: When the Giants traded Bengie Molina to the Rangers to open a spot for Buster Posey, it was an emotional time for Molina and the rest of the Giants. Now the two sides meet in the World Series, a matchup few saw coming when the trade was completed, but one that makes his former teammates happy.
"He's been half of the reason why I got here, outside of my dad and my family and my other teammates," Tim Lincecum, who received motivational texts from Molina during August, told the San Jose Mercury News. "He's meant a lot to me, and he's meant a lot to this team. He's a part of the reason we're here and obviously part of the reason why they're there, too."
"First and foremost, Bengie is just a nice person, a good person," Posey said. "Baseball aside, this is a guy who was going to have a great life. He'd be successful with anything he did."
Fast-tracking Moreland soaks up the moment: Rookie Mitch Moreland is making the postseason look easy. The Texas first baseman hit .389 (7-for-18) with three RBIs in the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, helping the Rangers eliminate New York in six games. For the entire postseason, Moreland is hitting .303.
"Before the last out of Game 6 at home, I stopped, took a step back, looked around, all the fans were on their feet and all the guys, you could see the grins on their faces," Moreland told MLB.com. "We knew that we were about to have a shot at history. It set in for everybody."
Giants outfielders try to gain upper hand: With the NL winning the All-Star Game, the Giants get home-field advantage in the World Series. Home field might mean more for the Giants than for most teams because of AT&T Park's odd outfield wall and the tricky winds in San Francisco.
"It's difficult out there because the wall itself is unpredictable, no matter how much you work at it," Nate Schierholtz told the San Jose Mercury News as Rangers outfielders tried to get accustomed to playing the various nooks and crannies. "You can have an idea about how it's going to carom, but it's not always going to be the same."
"It's going all over the place every pitch, every inning," Andres Torres said of the wind coming off San Francisco Bay. "It's crazy how the wind changes on every pitch. You always have to check it and make adjustments toward the corner or gap."
Cruz has history of performing under pressure: When the Texas Rangers need a big hit to tie or win a game, they love to see Nelson Cruz at the plate.
"I saw Nellie when I was in Triple-A; he was in the Milwaukee organization," teammate Ian Kinsler told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We played them in the playoffs, and from what I can remember, he beat us singlehandedly. He was hitting the balls over the fence, doubles, triples, whatever he really needed. It's crazy to see him finally fulfill the expectations he's always had."
Texas had 11 walk-off hits this season, and Cruz was responsible for five of those. In the postseason, Cruz is hitting .375 with a team-high five home runs and eight RBIs. His two-run home run in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees sealed the win for the Rangers.
Cain, Sanchez switch spots in rotation: The Giants have altered their rotation for the World Series, moving up Matt Cain to the second spot while dropping Jonathan Sanchez to the third game. Cain, a fly-ball pitcher, should benefit from the deeper dimensions in San Francisco. Sanchez, who gets more strikeouts, is better suited for the smaller ballpark in Texas.
"We'll go at those guys the same way we went at the Phillie guys," Cain told the San Jose Mercury News. "We know who's hot. We've watched the games. Hamilton has been hitting, so they've been pitching to him real carefully, but Andrus is definitely their fire-starter. He gets on, and he gets them going."
Young ready to fulfill World Series dream: Michael Young has been the leader of the Rangers for the past decade. Now, the veteran will finally get to experience a World Series.
"I'm excited, to say the least," Young told MLB.com. "The guys have put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here. We're ready to roll.
"I started to imagine what it's going to be like, to play there with the opportunity to win a world championship. This is something we've dreamed about since we were kids."
Young grew up in Southern California and played baseball at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Halladay not planning to change offseason plans: After throwing more than 270 innings (including the postseason) in 2010, Roy Halladay has no plans to alter his offseason routine.
"I had some experience with that early in my career," Halladay told MLB.com. "We didn't have the postseason, where you're playing an extra two or three weeks. I definitely learned how to take steps back and manage myself appropriately. But I think a lot of the stuff will be the same."
Inge hopeful of having Peralta back: There is still uncertainty in the Tigers infield for 2011, but Brandon Inge says he hopes to see Jhonny Peralta back at shortstop.
"I am hopeful Peralta returns, and I think everyone in the organization feels the same way," Inge told MLB.com. "Just from what little time that we played with him, he's a class act. He plays hard. He's got some of the best hands I've ever seen. And he and I worked well together, which is strange. You'd think there [would] be a language barrier, but we worked well. He relays offspeed pitches to me, and it takes two seconds for me to look at him and figure out where we're going to position ourselves. I know exactly how far I have to go to help him out. He knows how far he can cover up the middle. It just meshed really quickly with us. I'm glad to have him."
Romero appreciative of time in Philly: With his time in Philadelphia apparently over after the Phillies declined his option, J.C. Romero says he has nothing but good memories in the City of Brotherly Love.
"I've got a brand new arm," Romero told MLB.com. "That's the way it goes. I know next season is going to be a very good season for me. I feel like everything was going back to normal toward the end of this season. The few times I was in the playoffs, I felt like I was getting to where I needed to go. It's just too bad that I couldn't do more.
"But the ride here was great. For four years I felt like I gave 100 percent. I enjoyed every minute that I spent in the clubhouse. But it's business."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.