Tim Lincecum

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Posted by sonny 03/31/2009 @ 06:14

Tags : tim lincecum, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
San Francisco Giants: Sabean Should Consider Matt Cain As ... - Bleacher Report
An era that is more than a full run lower than that of teammate and last year's Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. Granted the baseball season is less than two months old, most non-Giants fans would find it odd that Cain is fairing better than...
On deck for Giants: Atlanta - San Jose Mercury News
Today: Giants' Jonathan Sanchez (1-4, 4.74) vs. Javier Vazquez (4-3, 3.39), 1:05 pm Comcast SportsNet. Tuesday: Giants' Tim Lincecum (3-1, 3.45) vs. Kris Medlen (0-1, 15.00), 7:15 pm Comcast SportsNet. Wednesday: Giants' Randy Johnson (3-4, 6.26) vs....
Lincecum gets all he needs vs. Cubs - MLB.com
By David Brown / Special to MLB.com CHICAGO -- Referring to the offensive support his teammates gave him, Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum noted "it takes a village" to win in the Major Leagues. Referring to pitching at Wrigley Field, his favorite...
Giants ask Lincecum to avert sweep - SFgiants.com
By Chris Haft / MLB.com SAN DIEGO -- Tim Lincecum, who has thrived as a stopper for the Giants, will find himself in that role again Thursday. The Giants have lost two games in a row to the San Diego Padres. It's up to Lincecum to halt San Francisco's...
Lincecum Pitch Values - The Queensberry Rules
By Kevin Gibbs We all know Tim Lincecum is totally ridiculously awesome. He legitimately deserved his 2008 Cy Young and one can make a legitimate argument that his 2009 season has been better so far (1.85 FIP vs 2.62 FIP)....
Gwynn relishes role in game-winning rally - MLB.com
As did Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum, who allowed one run in seven innings on four hits. The reigning Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 and walked one. Lincecum was long gone by the time the Padres pieced together an unlikely rally in the...
Lincecum, Greinke due to dominate - ESPN
1 ahead of Tim Lincecum. … The showdown between Joe Saunders and Erik Bedard should be a fun one. Saunders beat the Mariners 5-1 earlier this season and Bedard beat the Angels 8-3. Bedard's career 5.97 ERA against the Halos is the reason we lean...
Lincecum unlikely to start in Seattle - San Jose Mercury News
By Andrew Baggarly The Giants do not plan to use Monday's off-day to alter their rotation, which more or less ensures that Tim Lincecum will not pitch in next weekend's interleague series at Seattle. No big deal, the Giants' reigning Cy Young Award...
Giants stop their slide in Seattle - San Jose Mercury News
"You want to bear down more and be the guy who changes the luck of the team," said Cain, who seems to have taken over the stopper role from Tim Lincecum. Uribe's hit had the expected effect. Fred Lewis followed with a two-run homer as the Giants...
Giants' Frandsen stays up despite his slump - San Jose Mercury News
Tim Lincecum did an obligatory session with the Seattle media and said he spent part of Friday driving around his old neighborhood. He was asked what he most remembered from watching Randy Johnson as a Mariner. "The mullet and the fastball," Lincecum...

Tim Lincecum

Lincecum pitching on August 1, 2008, in San Diego

Timothy LeRoy Lincecum (born June 15, 1984 in Bellevue, Washington) is a starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. Nicknamed "The Franchise" and "The Freak", Lincecum's first major league start occurred on a nationwide ESPN broadcast on the evening of May 6, 2007. He throws right-handed and bats left-handed. Lincecum is known for his long stride, sharp mechanics, and ability to generate high velocity despite his slight build of 5'11", 172 lbs. Lincecum won the 2008 NL Cy Young Award, becoming the first second-year player to win the Cy Young since Dwight Gooden and Bret Saberhagen both won in 1985. His repertoire contains a two-seam fastball that he throws roughly up to 97 miles per hour, a changeup he grips like a splitter, a curveball that can start from a batter's head and to the batter's knees, and a slider he rarely throws.

Lincecum attended Liberty Senior High School in Renton, Washington, where he played two seasons of varsity baseball. As a senior, he won state player of the year and led his school to the 2003 3A state championship.

Lincecum went on to pitch for the University of Washington. In 2004, he became the first player ever to be named both the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year. In 2006, he finished 12–4 with a 1.94 ERA, 199 strikeouts, and three saves in 125⅓ innings. He won the 2006 Golden Spikes Award, which is awarded annually to the best amateur baseball player. Lincecum also played for the Harwich Mariners in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League during the summer of 2005.

Lincecum was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 48th round (1,408th overall) of the 2003 MLB Draft, but did not sign. He decided to attend college instead, and was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 42nd round (1,261st overall) upon re-entering the draft in 2005, but once again failed to sign. The next year, he was drafted 10th overall by the San Francisco Giants, becoming the first player from the University of Washington to be taken in the first round. He signed for a $2.025 million signing bonus on June 30, which at the time was the highest amount the organization had ever paid to any amateur player (until they gave $2.1 million to Angel Villalona a little over a month later).

During his brief minor league career, he was frequently named as the top pitching prospect in the Giants organization.

Lincecum made his professional debut on July 26, 2006 with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (the Giants' Class A Short Season affiliate) against the Vancouver Canadians, pitching one inning and striking out all three batters he faced. After his second outing on July 31 against the Boise Hawks, in which he pitched three innings, striking out seven and allowing just one baserunner, he was promoted to the High Class-A San Jose Giants.

On August 5, in his first start in San Jose against the Bakersfield Blaze, he pitched 2⅔ innings, allowing three runs (two earned), and striking out five. Lincecum finished the year 2–0 with a 1.95 ERA, 48 strikeouts, and 12 walks in 27⅔ innings pitched. He also got the victory in the opening game of the California League playoffs, giving up one run on five hits in seven innings, striking out ten and walking one against the Visalia Oaks. Visalia would win the series 3–2.

Going into 2007, Lincecum was ranked as the #11 prospect in baseball and the #1 prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization by Baseball America. He spent the first month of the season pitching for the Fresno Grizzlies, the Giants' Triple-A affiliate. In five starts (31 innings), he allowed just one run, twelve hits, eleven walks, while striking out forty-six and going 4–0. During his 2006 and 2007 minor league campaigns, Lincecum struck out the highest percentage of batters (minimum 100) of any minor league pitcher in the last ten years: 30.9 percent.

With an injury to the Giants' fifth starter, Russ Ortiz, Lincecum was called up to make his first major league start on May 6, 2007 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He earned a no-decision; the Giants ultimately lost the game, 8–5. In his first career inning, Lincecum gave up two hits, two runs, and struck out three.

He earned his first major league win in his next start, on the road against the Rockies. Lincecum, who is often compared to Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt, faced him in each of his next two starts. After the first matchup, Astros third baseman Mike Lamb said, "The stuff he was throwing out there tonight was everything he's hyped up to be. He was 97 mph with movement. You just don't see that every day. He pitched very much like the pitcher he is compared to and outdueled him throughout the night." The pair dueled to a no-decision the first time, and Lincecum pitched eight innings and got the win the second time.

In his first four starts in June, he allowed twenty-two earned runs in 18⅔ innings, for a 10.61 ERA. He failed to make it to the fifth inning in any of the last three starts, against Oakland, Toronto, and Milwaukee. In July, he went 4–0 with a 1.62 ERA. On July 1, in a seven inning performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he struck out twelve, the fourth highest total ever by a Giants rookie.

Lincecum was shut down in September as a precautionary measure, due to his high inning count in his first full year of professional ball. Between the minors and the majors, he pitched a total of 177⅓ innings.

The Giants asked Lincecum not to throw the bullpen sessions typical of other pitchers during the offseason. Manager Bruce Bochy told The San Francisco Chronicle that they were being careful with Lincecum because there have been studies that show that pitchers who throw 200 innings early in their career were more susceptible to injuries.

Lincecum was on the cover of the July 7, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated, and on July 6, he was selected to play in his first Major League Baseball All-Star Game. However, he was hospitalized the day of the game due to flu-like symptoms and was unavailable to pitch. In a July 26 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he struck out a career-high thirteen batters in seven innings while allowing only seven hits, two earned runs, and no walks.

Lincecum pitched his first complete game shutout against the San Diego Padres on September 13, 2008. In nine innings he threw 138 pitches, gave up four hits and struck out twelve batters. On September 23, he broke Jason Schmidt's San Francisco single season strikeout record with his 252nd strikeout of the season against the Colorado Rockies. He finished the season with 265 strikeouts, making him the first San Francisco pitcher to win the National League strikeout title, and the first Giant since Bill Voiselle in 1944. On November 11, 2008, Lincecum was awarded the NL Cy Young Award, making him the second Giant to win the award after Mike McCormick.

Lincecum throws a two-seam fastball around 95 mph, that can reach upper 90s. This pitch has little lateral movement, but has good sink for the speed at which it is thrown. He also has a curveball that is thrown at about 80 mph with traditional 12-6 break due to his over hand delivery. Lincecum uses a changeup that he grips similar to a splitter to offset his top two pitches and keep batters off-balance and has recently added a cut fastball which breaks down and in against left-handers. His change up appears similar to his fastball for the first 30 feet, but then breaks an additional foot downward as it approaches the plate. With his power fastball and plus secondary pitches, he has quickly established himself as one of the top pitchers in the game.

Italics: led Pac-10. Italics*: Pac-10 record. Bold italics: led NCAA.

Bold italics: leads MLB. Stats through October 2, 2008.

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Major League Baseball 2K9

Tim Lincecum on the mound.

Major League Baseball 2K9 or, in short, MLB 2K9, is a MLB licensed baseball simulation video game published by 2K Sports. The game was developed for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PC, and Wii. The game was released on March 3, 2009.

New and improved features have been implemented for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. Pitching has been simplified from 2K8 to "2-step pitching", with "hold and gesture", eliminating the third "Release Timing" step of 2K8, simplifying the motion while retaining the style. "Meatballs" (mistake pitches) have been removed - instead, badly released pitches will be less effective (fastballs will be straighter, curveballs will hang, and so forth.) The AI's pitch selection was also improved. (Players may elect to use the third step as an option, and users may also still use the older Precision Pitching from 2K7.) "Influence hitting" allows users to control fly and ground balls, improved bunting, zone hitting feature, improved hit distribution, while the game improved fielding realism and AI, with the ability to cancel a throw and hold the ball, as well as pump fake during a rundown. A player can also attempt a "Quick Throw" which gets the ball to a base faster but also increases the chance of an error. Baserunning control has been simplified; a player only needs to hold down the trigger until it vibrates, for instance, to steal a base. There are also separate "Steal" ratings for runners in addition to Speed.

The ballpark realism has been increased as well. Players will move from the dugout to the batter’s box and from the bullpen to the mound, warm up by throwing around the horn, bat swinging practice, run out to their positions, and so forth. Umpires, ball boys and coaches will perform their actions, while vendors and fans perform and react realistically; for example, foul balls will cause people in the crowd to jump out of their seats and try to catch the ball. Stadiums will have their unique fan signatures; for example, Turner Field will have the Tomahawk Chop while Tropicana Field will have the Cow Bell. Players will react properly to such events as a walkoff home run, a no-hitter or a World Series celebration. There are also 300 new Signature Style animations. Rain delays have also been mentioned.

The game will also have "Living Rosters", active rosters that are automatically updated; players ratings will be constantly updated, while trades and acquisitions will automatically update rosters. Living Rosters are not active during Franchise mode, however. The game also features a revamped stat simulation engine for the Franchise mode, while players' career arcs are based on how they play rather than pre-set stat curves. In other words, in order for a rookie to develop, he must receive playing time - he will not develop if he sits on the bench. An entire season can be simulated in a matter of minutes. Other improvements to the Franchise mode includes adding a new revamped stats simulator, trade simulator and over 200 individual MLB.com headlines. 2K9’s franchise mode allows for 30 user controlled teams. The mode also has added stats; for example they have included wins divided by teams payroll.

The game also features an MLB.com-licensed in-game "Virtual Director" website featuring a presentation style similar to NBA 2K9, where the user may check up on league events, trade rumors, player and team performances. The game will also feature an update to 2K8's Inside Edge scouting system. The game will also boast a new level of CPU customization, multi-player functionality, and real player ambitions; for example, Milton Bradley can decline a contract because of lack of playing time, not for monetary considerations. Record-breaking and milestone performances, whether single game, season or career, will be acknowledged with headlines and snapshots of the event. There is also a new gameplay mode, "Playoff Mode", in which the user only plays in the postseason. The PC version, like its NBA 2K9 counterpart, will not feature online play or Living Rosters. Unlike MLB 2K6, 2K9 will not feature the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

In other improvements, users can now add SFX and graphic overlays to in-game replays to create highlight reels, as well as upload the reel to 2KSports.com, while online users' performances are graphed out, displayed in chart form, and comparable against league averages. The previous games Topps Trading Cards system from 2K8 has been improved, while the Home Run Derby mode has also been revamped. Unlike previous MLB titles, there are no pre-rendered cutscenes; all cutscenes are done in real-time with in-game assets.

The game also implements PlayStation 3 Trophies, while Xbox 360 Achievements are represented as trophies in-game.

The Wii, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable versions are not as fully featured as the main version, but have their own platform specific features. The Wii version takes advantage of the Wii remote, with "Wiimote pitching" (players use the Wii Remote to control every pitch) and "Wiimote hitting" (players use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk for hitting, allowing the player to place their hits in relation to their swing timing, swing speed and swing angle.) The PlayStation 2 allows a player to control up to 4 different franchises simultaneously, and will allow PS2 online play. The PSP version features "True to Form Fielding", featuring improved fielding control and single player control. It will also have a minor league farm system, allowing AAA scouting and managing, as well as allowing the player to play full games with AAA clubs.

MLB 2K9 has a new broadcasting team with Gary Thorne for play by play and Steve Phillips for color commentary. The duo replaces Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, who had been the commentators in past 2K installments for the last 5 years. All four personalities are regular ESPN Major League Baseball broadcasters. Fox Sports' Jeanne Zelasko and Steve Physioc remain the reporters, giving 7th inning and post game updates, as well as on-field reports.

2008 NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum is the cover athlete for 2K9, replacing José Reyes.

The high expectations for MLB 2K9 resulted in disappointment, as 2K9 actually received worse average reviews than its derided predecessor, 2K8, as the significant upgrade in graphics were defeated by the inexplicably confused gameplay mechanics, gameplay bugs and bad AI. GameSpot in its 4.5 of 10 review complained, "Either MLB 2K9 shipped in a half-finished state or the developers have never seen a baseball, much less thrown one around," citing bizarre gameplay and noting the game was "crammed with bugs." 1UP.com in its scathing D+ score review for the Xbox 360 - and a lower D score for the PlayStation 3 - called it "...a game that tries so hard to prove that the series is progressing, but ignores fixing the issues that have plagued it for years: poor defense, sloppy animations, and catering to the home run..." IGN in its 6.8 of 10 review stated, "Major League Baseball 2K9 fixes some of the issues from the past and sets the groundwork for a great game, but there are far too many bugs to recommend." Team Xbox moaned, "Lot’s of great improvements to the game’s core mechanics, but the bugs will drive you insane," in its 7.1 of 10 review. OXM panned in its 6.5 of 10 review, "The laundry list of annoying little problems is too substantial." GamesRadar in its 7 of 10 review called the game a "paradox", calling it "fun and accessible" but "suffers from too many gaffes that are impossible to ignore." Operation Sports noted in its 6.5 of 10 review, "...most games play out like a high-pitch summer softball league game... one of those leagues where all the players have $500 NASA engineered bats." GameSpy awarded the game 3½ stars, stating casual fans would be attracted to the game, while "hardcore" simmers would be turned off by it.

IGN's 6.4 of 10 review of the Wii version had some diametrically opposed criticism of 2K9, stating it was too easy to strike out hitters with too-precise pitching, as well as a "laughable" franchise mode that featured 1 year, $400M salaries for players like Danys Baez and no online play despite promises for one after 2K8 was released.

As with 2K8, a more "baseball-lite" version of MLB 2K9 was released for the Nintendo DS called Major League Baseball 2K9 Fantasy All-Stars, which features fantasy elements such as power ups and fantasy stadiums.

Then-lead developer Ben Brinkman's 1UP.com log claimed that MLB 2K9 represented the final act of a planned three year development cycle for 2K's baseball series for next gen systems. He restated the "three year plan" in a January 18, 2008 podcast with Official Xbox Magazine. In both interviews, Brinkman stated that 2K9, the third game, would represent the final, most polished version of the next gen series. However, Brinkman walked away from the series after the release of MLB 2K8, handing the reins back to Visual Concepts.

The game received a day one patch on March 3, 2009 to fix a compromised franchise mode and connectivity issues. A second patch has been announced for the Xbox 360, PS3, and the PC, but there is no release date as of yet. The patch will address many issues, but most notably the AI batting aggression and the ease of home runs in online mode and certain difficulties.

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Major League Baseball 2K9 Fantasy All-Stars

2k9fantasyallstars.jpg

Major League Baseball 2K9 Fantasy All-Stars is a Nintendo DS spin-off of Major League Baseball 2K9 in the vein of MLB Power Pros, developed by Deep Fried Entertainment and published by 2K Sports. The game was released on March 3, 2009.

Nothing else about the game is known, though it is expected to retain similar gameplay to its predecessor.

Like MLB 2K9, Tim Lincecum is the cover athlete, albeit in cartoon form.

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2006 Major League Baseball Draft

The 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft, was held on June 6 and 7. It was conducted via conference call with representatives from each of the league's 30 teams.

Pitching accounted for 18 of the 30 selections in the first round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, including the top choice, right-hander Luke Hochevar, who was chosen by the Kansas City Royals. The University of Tennessee product pitched for the Fort Worth Cats of the Independent League after not reaching terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who selected him in the sandwich round (40th overall) of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Six of the first seven picks and nine of the first 12 selections were pitchers. In addition to the 18 hurlers, seven outfielders, three third basemen and two catchers made up the rest of the first round.

The first six picks were from the college ranks. University of North Carolina pitchers Andrew Miller (6th overall, Tigers) and Daniel Bard (28th, Red Sox) and University of Texas teammates Drew Stubbs (8th overall, Reds) and Kyle McCulloch (29th, White Sox) went in the first round.

Kyle Drabek, the son of longtime Major League pitcher Doug Drabek, was chosen by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 18th pick.

Detroit’s Miller became the first player from the 2006 Draft to reach the Major Leagues. He debuted in relief during a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on August 30. He would make eight relief appearances for the Tigers during their pennant-winning season.

Tim Lincecum was the first 2006 draftee to be selected to an All-Star Game. Lincecum was selected in 2008, and joined shortly thereafter by Evan Longoria, who was selected via the Final Vote. Longoria was the only one to play in the game.

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San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants logo 1977-1982.png

The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, that currently play in the National League West Division. One of the oldest of the MLB teams, the Giants hold the distinction of having won the most games of any team in the history of organized sports. The Giants also have the most members in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Giants played in New York through the 1957 season, after which they moved west to California to become the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants began life as the second baseball club founded by millionaire tobacconist John B. Day and veteran amateur baseball player Jim Mutrie. The Gothams (as the Giants were originally known) were their entry to the National League in 1883, while their other club, the Metropolitans (the original Mets) played in the American Association. Nearly half of the original Gotham players were members of the disbanded Troy Trojans, whose place in the National League the Gothams inherited. While the Metropolitans were initially the more successful club, Day and Mutrie began moving star players to the Gothams and the team won its first National League pennant in 1888, as well as a victory over the St. Louis Browns in an early incarnation of the World Series. They repeated as champions the next year with a pennant and World Series victory over the Brooklyn Bridegrooms.

It is said that after one particularly satisfying victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Mutrie (who was also the team's manager) stormed into the dressing room and exclaimed, "My big fellows! My giants!" From then on, the club was known as the Giants.

The Giants' original home stadium, the Polo Grounds, also dates from this early era. The first of the Polo Grounds was located north of Central Park adjacent to Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 110th and 112th Streets in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. Upon eviction from the Polo Grounds after the 1888 season, the Giants moved uptown and renamed various fields the Polo Grounds which were located between 155th and 159th Streets in the New York City neighborhoods of Harlem and Washington Heights. The Giants played at the Polo Grounds until the end of the 1957 season, when they moved to San Francisco.

The Giants remained a powerhouse during the last half of the 1880s, culminating in their first league pennant in 1888 and another in 1889. However, in 1890, nearly all of the Giants' stars jumped to the upstart Players' League, whose New York franchise was also named the Giants. The new team even built its park next door to the National League Giants' Polo Grounds. With a decimated roster, the Giants finished a distant sixth. Attendance took a nosedive, and the financial strain affected Day's tobacco business as well. The Players' League dissolved after the season, and Day sold a minority interest to the PL Giants' principal backer, Edward Talcott. As a condition of the sale, Day had to fire Mutrie as manager. Although the Giants rebounded to third in 1891, Day was forced to sell controlling interest to Talcott at the end of the season.

Four years later, Talcott sold the Giants to Andrew Freedman, a real estate developer with ties to Tammany Hall. Freedman was one of the most detested owners in baseball history, getting into heated disputes with other owners, writers and his own players. The most famous one was with star pitcher Amos Rusie. When Freedman only offered Rusie $2,500 for 1896, Rusie sat out the entire season. Attendance fell off throughout the league due to the loss of Rusie, prompting the other owners to chip in $5,000 to get him to return for 1897. Also, out of pure spite, Freedman hired former owner Day--by now a broken man--as manager for part of 1899.

In 1902, after a series of disastrous moves that left the Giants 53½ games behind, Freedman signed John McGraw as a player-manager, convincing him to jump in mid-season from the Baltimore Orioles of the American League and to bring with him several Orioles' players. McGraw would go on and manage the Giants for three decades, one of the longest and most successful tenures in professional sports. McGraw's hiring was one of Freedman's last significant moves as owner of the Giants; after the season he was forced to sell his interest to John T. Brush. Under McGraw the Giants won ten National League pennants and three World Series championships.

The Giants already had their share of stars during its brief history at this point, such as Smiling Mickey Welch, Roger Connor, Tim Keefe, Jim O'Rourke and John Montgomery Ward, the player-lawyer who formed the renegade Players League in 1890 to protest unfair player contracts. McGraw would also cultivate his own crop of baseball heroes during his time with the Giants. Names such as Christy Mathewson, Iron Man Joe McGinnity, Bill Terry, Jim Thorpe, Mel Ott, Casey Stengel, and Red Ames are just a sample of the many players who honed their skills under McGraw.

The Giants under McGraw famously snubbed their first ever modern World Series chance in 1904—an encounter with the reigning world champion Boston Americans (now known as the "Red Sox")—because McGraw considered the new American League as little more than a minor league. His original reluctance was because the intra-city rival New York Highlanders looked like they would win the AL pennant. The Highlanders lost to Boston on the last day, but the Giants stuck by their refusal. McGraw had also managed the Highlanders in their first two seasons, when they were known as the Baltimore Orioles.

The ensuing criticism resulted in Brush leading an effort to formalize the rules and format of the World Series. The Giants won the 1905 World Series over the Philadelphia Athletics, with Christy Mathewson nearly winning the Series single-handedly.

The Giants then had several frustrating years. In 1908 they finished in a tie with the Chicago Cubs and had a one-game playoff at the Polo Grounds. The game was a replay of a tied game that resulted from the Merkle Boner. They lost the rematch to the Cubs, who would go on to win their second World Series. That post-season game was further darkened by a story that someone on the Giants had attempted to bribe umpire Bill Klem. This could have been a disastrous scandal for baseball, but because Klem was honest and the Giants lost, it faded over time.

The Giants experienced some hard luck in the early 1910s, losing three straight World Series to the A's, the Red Sox, then the A's again (The Giants and the A's both won pennants in 1913; two seasons later, both teams finished in last place). After losing the 1917 Series to the Chicago White Sox (the White Sox's last World Series win until 2005), the Giants played in four straight World Series in the early 1920s, winning the first two over their tenants, the Yankees, then losing to the Yankees in 1923 when Yankee Stadium opened. They also lost in 1924, when the Washington Senators won their only World Series in their history (prior to their move to Minnesota).

McGraw handed over the team to Bill Terry in 1932, and Terry played for and managed the Giants for ten years. During this time the Giants won three pennants, defeating the Senators in the 1933 World Series and losing to the Yankees in 1936 and 1937. Aside from Terry himself, the other stars of the era were Mel Ott and Carl Hubbell, one of the very few pitchers in baseball history to master the screwball (along with Mathewson and Fernando Valenzuela). Known as "King Carl" and "The Meal Ticket", Hubbell gained fame during the 1934 All-Star Game, when he struck out five Hall of Famers in a row: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.

Mel Ott succeeded Terry as manager in 1942, but the war years proved to be difficult for the Giants. Midway during the 1948 season Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher left the Dodgers to became manager of the Giants. This hire was not without controversy. Not only was the mid-season switch unusual, but Durocher had been accused of gambling in 1947 and subsequently suspended for the entire 1947 season by Baseball Commissioner Albert "Happy" Chandler. Durocher remained at the helm of the Giants through the 1955 season, and those eight years proved to be some of the most memorable for Giants fans, particularly because of the arrival of Willie Mays and arguably the two most famous plays in Giants' history.

One of the more famous episodes in major league baseball history, and possibly one of the greatest moments in sports history, the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" is the name given to Bobby Thomson's walk-off home run that clinched the National League pennant for the Giants over their rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers. This game was the third of a three-game playoff series resulting from one of baseball's most memorable pennant races. The Giants had been thirteen and a half games behind the league-leading Dodgers in August, but under Durocher's guidance and with the aid of a sixteen-game winning streak, caught the Dodgers to tie for the lead on the last day of the season.

In game one of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds, Willie Mays made "The Catch"—a dramatic over-the-shoulder catch off a fly ball by Vic Wertz to deep center field. At the time the game had been tied 2–2 in the eighth inning. With men on first and second and nobody out, an extra-base hit could have blown the game wide open, and given the Cleveland Indians the momentum to win not only Game One, but perhaps the World Series itself. Instead, Mays caught the ball 450 feet from the plate, whirled and threw the ball to the infield, keeping the lead runner, Larry Doby, from scoring.

The underdog Giants went on to sweep the series in four straight, despite the Cleveland Indians having won a then American League record 111 games that year. This was the last World Series victory for the Giants, subsequently losing in 1962, 1989, and 2002. It would be their last appearance as the New York Giants, as the team moved to San Francisco prior to 1958 season.

In addition to Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays, other memorable members of the Giants teams during the 1950s include: Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher, coach Herman Franks, Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin, outfielder and runnerup for the 1954 NL batting championship (won by Willie Mays) Don Mueller, Hall of Fame knuckleball relief pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, starting pitchers Larry Jansen, Sal Maglie, Jim Hearn, Marv Grissom, Dave Koslo, Don Liddle, Rubén Gómez, and Johnny Antonelli, catcher Wes Westrum, catcher Sal Yvars, shortstop Alvin Dark, third baseman Hank Thompson, first baseman Whitey Lockman, second baseman Davey Williams, and utility players: Bill Rigney, Daryl Spencer, Bobby Hoffman, and Dusty Rhodes among others. In the late 1950s and after the move to San Francisco two Hall of Fame First Basemen Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey joined the team.

The Giants' final three years in New York City were unmemorable. They stumbled to third place the year after their World Series win and attendance fell off precipitously. While seeking a new stadium to replace the crumbling Polo Grounds, the Giants began to contemplate a move from New York, initially considering Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which was home to their top farm team, the Minneapolis Millers. Under the rules of the time, the Giants' ownership of the Millers gave them priority rights to a major league team in the area.

At this time, the Giants were approached by San Francisco mayor George Christopher. Despite objections from shareholders such as Joan Whitney Payson, majority owner Horace Stoneham entered into negotiations with San Francisco officials around the same time that Dodgers' owner Walter O'Malley was courting the city of Los Angeles. O'Malley had been told that the Dodgers would not be allowed to move to Los Angeles unless a second team moved to California as well. He pushed Stoneham toward relocation. In the summer of 1957, both the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers announced their moves to California, and the golden age of baseball in the New York area ended.

New York would remain a one-team town with the New York Yankees until 1962 when Joan Whitney Payson founded the New York Mets and brought National League baseball back to the city. Payson and M. Donald Grant, who became the Mets' chairman, had been the only Giants board members to vote against the Giants' move to California. The "NY" script on the Giants' caps and the orange trim on their uniforms, along with the blue background used by the Dodgers, would be adopted by the Mets.

As with the New York years, the Giants' fortunes in San Francisco have been mixed. Though recently the club has enjoyed relatively sustained success, there have also been prolonged stretches of mediocrity, along with two instances when the club's ownership threatened to move the team away from San Francisco. Most disappointingly for the large fan base that they have maintained ever since their arrival in the city, the Giants have as yet failed to win a World Series title since the move from New York.

When the Giants moved to San Francisco, they played in Seals Stadium for their first two seasons. The stadium, which was located at 16th & Bryant St. across from the Wonder Bread Bakery, had been the home of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) San Francisco Seals, a minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, from 1931–1957. In 1958, Latino hitter Orlando Cepeda won Rookie of the Year honors. The next season, Willie McCovey won the same award.

In 1960, the Giants moved to Candlestick Park (sometimes known simply as "The 'Stick"), a stadium built on a point in San Francisco's southeast corner overlooking San Francisco Bay. The new stadium quickly became known for its strong, swirling winds, cold temperatures, and thick evening fog that made for a formidable experience for brave fans and players. The park had a built-in radiant heating system, but it never worked. Candlestick Park's reputation was sealed in the ninth inning of the first 1961 All-Star Game when, after a day of calm conditions, the winds rose. A strong gust appeared to cause Giants relief pitcher Stu Miller to slip off the pitching rubber during his delivery, resulting in a balk (and a baseball legend that Miller was "blown off the mound").

There were also many times that Candlestick Park was covered in fog, both inside and out, coming in from the ocean seven miles to the west (through what is known as the "Alemany Gap," a type of wide gorge through which the ocean winds come without major topographical obstacles). At one time, a fog horn was played inside the stadium between innings giving Candlestick another reputation. Other times, the winds would also whirl around in the parking lot, but inside the stadium it would be calm. But even with its reputation of being cold, windy, and foggy, it stood its ground when the ground below it shook violently during the 1989 World Series. At 5:04 p.m., the Loma Prieta Earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay Area during the pre-game ceremonies before Game 3. For 15 seconds the stadium rocked and there was fear that the standing light fixtures above would fall onto the crowd. However, only minor injuries were reported, and the stadium's structure was deemed safe ten days later.

In 1962, after another memorable pennant chase with the Dodgers which resulted in a playoff series which the Giants won, the Giants brought a World Series to San Francisco. However, the Giants lost the series 4 games to 3 to the New York Yankees. The seventh game went to the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Yankees ahead 1–0. With Matty Alou on first base and two outs, Willie Mays sliced a double down the right field line. Right fielder Roger Maris, whose 61 home run season in 1961 has historically overshadowed his great defensive work, quickly got to the ball and rifled a throw to the infield, preventing Alou from scoring the tying run.

With the speedy Mays on second, any base hit by the next batter, Willie McCovey, would likely have won the series for the Giants. McCovey hit a screaming line drive that was snared by second baseman Bobby Richardson, bringing the Series to a sudden end. Earlier in the inning, a failed sacrifice bunt by Felipe Alou had ultimately resulted in his brother Matty not scoring on Mays' double, which started a lifelong dedication to fundamentals on Felipe's part. In addition, Richardson was not originally positioned to catch the drive – he only moved there (three steps to the left) in reaction to a foul smash by McCovey on the previous pitch.

Although the Giants did not play in another World Series until 1989, the teams of the 1960s continued to be pennant contenders thanks to several future Hall-of-Famers. These included Gaylord Perry, who pitched a no-hitter with the Giants in 1968; Juan Marichal, a pitcher with a memorable high-kicking delivery; McCovey, who won the National League MVP award in 1969, and Mays, who hit his 600th career home run in 1969. A Giants highlight came in 1963 when Jesús Alou joined the team, and along with Felipe and Matty formed the first all-brother outfield in Major League history.

The Giants' next appearance in the postseason came in 1971. After winning their division, they were easily defeated in the League Championship Series by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Roberto Clemente, who then went on to beat the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. During this decade, the Giants gave up many players who became successful elsewhere. Some of them included Garry Maddox, George Foster, Dave Kingman, and Gaylord Perry. However, the Giants did produce two more Rookies of the Year winners (Gary Matthews Sr. in 1973 and John Montefusco in 1975).

In 1976, Bob Lurie bought the team, saving it from being moved to Toronto. A year later, Toronto was awarded an expansion team (the Blue Jays), but San Francisco baseball fans' worries about losing their beloved Giants had not completely gone away just yet. The rest of the 1970s was a generally disappointing time for the Giants, as they finished no higher than third place in any season. That third place season was 1978. They had a young star in the likes of Jack Clark, along with veteran first baseman Willie McCovey, second baseman Bill Madlock (whom the Giants had acquired from the Chicago Cubs,) shortstops Johnnie LeMaster and Roger Metzger, and third baseman Darrell Evans. Veteran pitchers Vida Blue, John Montefusco, Ed Halicki, and Bob Knepper rounded out the starting rotation with Vida Blue leading the way with 18 victories. The most memorable moment of that 1978 season occurred on May 28, 1978 when pinch hitter Mike Ivie, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres during the offseason, hit a towering grand slam off of Dodgers pitching ace Don Sutton in front of Candlestick Park's highest paid attendance of 57,545. They were atop of the NL West for most of the season, but the Dodgers heated up to eventually win the West and the NL Pennant.

In 1981, the Giants became the first National League team to hire a black manager, Frank Robinson. However, Robinson's tenure lasted less than four years and was generally unsuccessful. In that tenure, the Giants finished a game over .500 in the strike-shortened 1981 season. The next season, the Giants acquired veterans Joe Morgan and Reggie Smith. They were in the midst of a three-team pennant race with the Dodgers and Braves. Morgan hit a homer against the Dodgers on the final day of the season to make sure Atlanta won the NL West.

In 1984, the Giants hosted the All-Star Game at Candlestick Park. 1984 was also the sole year that their infamous ex-mascot, the Crazy Crab, "graced" the field.

In 1985, a year which saw the Giants lose 100 games (the most in franchise history), owner Bob Lurie responded by hiring Al Rosen as general manager. Under Rosen's tenure, the Giants promoted promising rookies such as Will Clark and Robby Thompson, and made canny trades to acquire such players as Kevin Mitchell, Dave Dravecky, Candy Maldonado, and Rick Reuschel.

New manager Roger Craig served from 1985 to 1992. In Craig's first five full seasons with the Giants, the team never finished with a losing record.

Under Roger Craig's leadership (and his unique motto, "Humm Baby") the Giants won 83 games in 1986 and won the National League Western Division title in 1987. The team lost the 1987 National League Championship Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. The bright spot in that defeat was Giants outfielder Jeffrey Leonard, who was named the series MVP in a losing effort.

Although the team used 15 different starting pitchers, the 1989 Giants won the National League pennant. They were led by pitchers Rick Reuschel 1989 National League All-Starter Game Starter) and Scott Garrelts (the 1989 National League ERA champion) and sluggers Kevin Mitchell (the 1989 National League MVP) and Will Clark.

The Giants beat the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series, four games to one. In Game 5, eventual 1989 NLCS MVP Will Clark (who hit .650, drove in eight runs, including a grand slam off Greg Maddux in Game 1) came through in the clutch with a bases-loaded single off of the hard-throwing Mitch Williams to break a 1–1 tie in the bottom of the 8th inning. Clark took the first fastball for a strike, then fouled one away. Williams' next pitch missed the outside corner to bring the count to 1-and-2. After Clark fouled off two more pitches, he hit a screaming line drive up the middle to bring in two runs. In the top of the 9th inning, Steve Bedrosian was shaky as he gave up a run. But ultimately, Bedrosian was able to get Ryne Sandberg to ground-out for out #3. Fittingly, the hero of Game 5, Will Clark caught the final out from second baseman Robby Thompson. For the first time in 27 years, the San Francisco Giants were the champions of the National League.

After taking care of the Cubs, the Giants faced the Oakland Athletics in the "Bay Bridge Series". The series is best remembered because the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989 disrupted the planned Game 3 of the series at Candlestick Park. After a ten-day delay in the series, Oakland finished up its sweep of San Francisco. The Giants never would hold a lead in any of the 4 games and never even managed to send the tying run to the plate in their last at-bat.

In addition to the anticipated move to downtown San Francisco, the Giants' ownership also made a major personnel move to solidify fan support. Before even hiring a new General Manager or officially being approved as the new owners, Magowan signed locally-grown superstar free agent Barry Bonds (a move which MLB initially blocked until some terms were negotiated to protect Lurie and Bonds in case the sale failed), a move that shaped the franchise's fortunes for more than a decade.

The Barry Bonds era started auspiciously as Bonds put up the numbers for the third MVP of his career: 46 homers, 129 runs and 123 RBI, (.336 BA, .458 OBP, .677 SLG, for a total of 1.135 OBP+SLG), all career highs. Matt Williams was solid again (38 HR, 110 RBI, .294 BA), with Robby Thompson and Will Clark (in his last season with the Giants) providing offensive support. John Burkett and Bill Swift both had 20+ wins, and closer Rod Beck was dominant with 48 saves and a 2.16 ERA. All this led the Giants to a 103–59 record in Dusty Baker's first year as manager, which earned him the Manager of the Year award.

But despite the Giants' great record, the Atlanta Braves — fueled by solid seasons from David Justice, Ron Gant, Deion Sanders and their midseason acquisition of Fred McGriff from the San Diego Padres — came back from a 10-game deficit to the Giants to win the NL West by a single game. The Braves also had 20+ wins from both Tom Glavine and Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux.

Desperately needing a win against the Dodgers in the final game of the year to force a one-game playoff with the Braves, the controversial choice of Giants rookie pitcher Salomon Torres proved disastrous as he gave up three runs in the first four innings and the Giants went on to lose the game 12–1. After MLB's establishment of the three-division–Wild Card playoff format following the 1993 season, New York Times sports columnist Dave Anderson captured the feeling of many baseball purists regarding the thrilling (and for Giants fans, heartbreaking) winner-take-all outcome as the "last pure pennant race".

The period of 1994 to 1996 were not good years for the Giants, punctuated by the strike that canceled the World Series in 1994. The strike cost Matt Williams a chance to beat Roger Maris' single season home run record—he had 43 HR in 115 team games, and was thus on pace for 60 when the strike hit with 47 games left to play (Bonds had 37, on pace for 52). But the rest of the team was bad, with no other player having even 10 home runs or even 40 RBI that late into the season.

The Giants then came in last place in both 1995 and 1996, as key injuries and slumps hurt them. 1995 had a strange feeling about it, with fans unsure if they would come back after the strike-shortened 1994 season (something that would keep attendances notably lower for a few more years, probably until the HR chase of 1998). Bonds continued to be the team's driving force, posting decent numbers (33 HR, 104 RBI, 109 R and 120 BB in 144 games). Matt Williams and Glenallen Hill were the only other Giants with 20+ HR, and the rest of the team had mediocre offensive numbers. The pitching staff was bad, with only Mark Leiter having 10 wins (10–12, 3.82 ERA). Rod Beck had 33 saves, but a 4.45 ERA and a 5–6 record, including nine blown saves.

1996 was highlighted by Barry Bonds joining the 40–40 club (42 HR, 40 SB, with 129 RBI, 151 BB and .308 BA). Rookie Bill Mueller also provided hope for the future of the club with a .330 average (66 hits in 200 AB over 55 games). Matt Williams and Glenallen Hill provided offensive support. Pitching-wise, the team was not very good. Only Mark Gardner had more than 10 wins (12–7, 4.42 ERA), and Rod Beck had 35 saves, a 3.34 ERA and nine losses on his record. The low point came in late June when the Giants lost 10 straight games en route to a 68–94 record.

Sabean was proven right, as the players he acquired in the Williams trade—Jeff Kent, Jose Vizcaino, Julian Tavarez, and Joe Roa (plus the $1 million in cash that enabled them to sign Darryl Hamilton)—and a subsequent trade for J.T. Snow were major contributors in leading the Giants to win their first NL West division title of the decade in 1997. Snow, Kent, and Bonds each had over 100 RBI, and pitcher Shawn Estes' 19 wins led the team. Rod Beck had 37 saves.

The Wild-card winning Florida Marlins ended the Giants' season with a 3–0 sweep in the first round of the playoffs, as the Marlins marched on their way to their first World Series championship.

In 1998, the Giants were fueled by good seasons from Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds, both with 30+ HR and 100+ RBI. Also having good seasons were pitchers Kirk Reuter (16–9 W-L record, 4.36 ERA), Mark Gardner (13–6, 4.33) and newly acquired Orel Hershiser (11–10, 4.41). New closer Robb Nen had 40 saves. The Giants tied for the NL Wild card but lost a one-game playoff against the Chicago Cubs.

The next year (1999), the Giants finished second in the NL West with an 86–76 record. While Barry Bonds' production was down, other team regulars put up very good numbers. These included J.T. Snow, Jeff Kent, Rich Aurilia, and Ellis Burks, all who had 20+ HR and 80+ RBI. Marvin Benard also had a career year in center field with 16 home runs, 64 RBIs, and a career and team high 27 stolen bases. The pitching staff was paced by Russ Ortiz (18–9, 3.81) and Kirk Reuter (15–10, 5.41).

With the knowledge that their days in Candlestick Park were coming to an end, the 1999 season ended with a series of promotions and tributes. After the final game of the season, home plate was ceremoniously removed and taken to the new grounds where the downtown stadium was being built.

In 2000, after 40 years at Candlestick Park, the Giants bid a bittersweet farewell to their old home and relocated to a new, privately financed downtown stadium, a long-advocated move. AT&T Park (originally Pacific Bell Park and later SBC Park) sits on the shores of China Basin (often referred to as McCovey Cove by Giants fans) at the corner of 3rd and King Streets (with an official address of 24 Willie Mays Plaza to honor the long-time Giant). Regardless of anything that might happen on the field of play, this move represented an entirely new era for the Giants and their fans. Whereas the team used to occupy what was widely regarded as the least baseball-friendly stadium in all of Major League Baseball, a throwback to the era of suburban, multi-purpose, concrete "cookie-cutter" stadiums that so many teams moved to during the 1960s and 70s, their new home is regarded as one of the better venues in all of professional sports.

The Giants routinely sell out this nearly 43,000-seat stadium, whereas it was not uncommon for them to have a paid attendance of less than 10,000 in Candlestick's nearly 60,000 seating capacity, although by the 1999 season the Giants managed about 25,000 fans a game. The franchise since the move annually vies for highest MLB season attendance, in contrast to being often threatened with having the league-low figure before. While still breezy in the summer time in comparison to other MLB parks, AT&T Park has been a consensus success and has developed the reputation as a "pitcher's park." Its state-of-the-art design minimizes wind-chill, it is well served by mass transit, and it has spectacular views of the bay and the city skyline (which even Candlestick had until it was redesigned in the early 1970s to accommodate the 49ers). AT&T Park is the centerpiece of a renaissance in San Francisco's South Beach and Mission Bay neighborhoods. But most important to Giants fans, the new ballpark means they no longer have to worry about their team moving away from San Francisco, at least not any time soon.

Despite inaugural game festivities at the new ballpark, the Dodgers would spoil the 2000 season opener, with a three HR performance by little-known Kevin Elster. However, the Giants would rebound and put out a solid effort all season long, culminating with a division title and the best record in the Major Leagues. Jeff Kent paced the attack with clutch RBI hits (33 HR, 125 RBI) en route to winning the MVP award, despite Bonds's 49 HR, 106 RBI season. The pitching staff was decent but not great, although 5 starters had at least 10 victories. These included Liván Hernández (17–11, 3.75), Russ Ortiz (14–12, 5.01), Kirk Rueter (11–9, 3.96), Shawn Estes (15–6, 4.26), and Mark Gardner (11–7, 4.05). Robb Nen was nearly perfect, with 41 saves and a minute 1.50 ERA.

The Giants lost the 2000 division series to the New York Mets, three games to one. They had started out solid, winning game one bolstered by Liván Hernández. However, the Mets won the next three games, despite decent performances by Shawn Estes, Russ Ortiz and Mark Gardner. Game two in particular had a tumultuous ending. Down 4–1 in the ninth, JT Snow hit a three-run home run to tie the game, but the Mets scored in the 10th to with the game.

In 2001 the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention on the second to last day of the season. Rich Aurilia put up stellar numbers (37 HR, 97 RBI, .324 BA) in support of Barry Bonds, who once again gave fans something to cheer about as he hit 73 home runs, setting a new single-season record. The pitching staff was good but not great, with Russ Ortiz (17–9, 3.29) leading a staff that also had Liván Hernández (13–15, 5.24), and Kirk Reuter (14–12, 4.42). Shawn Estes and Mark Gardner would have sub-par years, but notably Jason Schmidt (7–1, 3.39) was picked up in a mid-season acquisition from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Robb Nen continued to be a dominant closer (45 saves, 3.01 ERA).

In the 2002 season, the Giants finished 2nd in the NL West behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, bolstered by another MVP season for Bonds (46 HR, 110 RBI, .370 BA, a then record 198 walks and a .582 OBP) and Jeff Kent (37 HR, 108 RBI and .313 BA). Additional roster support was provided by decent seasons from Benito Santiago and Rich Aurilia, plus new acquisitions David Bell, Reggie Sanders and Tsuyoshi Shinjo. The pitching staff again proved solid (but not excellent), with 5 starters having 12 wins or more, including Jason Schmidt, whom the Giants had acquired in 2001 from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Closer Robb Nen had 43 saves and a 2.20 ERA, and setup men Felix Rodriguez and Tim Worrell were solid coming out of the bullpen.

The Giants would make the playoffs as the NL Wild Card team. In the postseason, they defeated the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS three games to two, with Russ Ortiz winning Games 1 and 5 in Atlanta. Then they beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS four games to one, with wins by Reuter, Schmidt and two by Worrell in relief.

The Giants faced the American League's Wild Card team, the Anaheim Angels, in the World Series. With the Giants leading by three games to two following a 16–4 blowout win in Game 5 at Pac Bell Park and leading 5–0 in the bottom of the 7th inning of Game 6, the series' momentum changed decisively when Manager Dusty Baker removed starter Russ Ortiz and handed him the "game" ball as he left the mound. Moments later, Scott Spiezio hit a three-run home run for the Angels, who went on to win the game 6–5. The following night, Anaheim won Game 7, 4–1 to claim the Series. Angels third baseman Troy Glaus was named MVP.

After the season 2002, the Giants would go through many personnel changes. Baker did not have his contract renewed, and left the team after 10 seasons to manage the Chicago Cubs. Closer Robb Nen had pitched despite a damaged shoulder, an injury which eventually ended his career. Jeff Kent was not re-signed, and instead went to play for the Houston Astros. Position players David Bell, Reggie Sanders, Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Kenny Lofton, as well as pitchers Liván Hernández, Russ Ortiz and relief pitcher Aaron Fultz all played for other teams the following season.

After two consecutive close second place finishes, the Giants under new manager Felipe Alou, recorded 100 victories for the seventh time in franchise history and the third time in San Francisco, winning their division for the third time in seven seasons. The team spent every day of the season in first place, just the ninth team to do so in baseball history. Their offense was paced by yet another MVP season from Bonds (45 HR, 90 RBI, .341 BA, 148 BB, and an OBP of .529). Decent offensive support was provided by Rich Aurilia, Marquis Grissom, Jose Cruz Jr., Edgardo Alfonzo, Benito Santiago, Pedro Feliz and Andres Galarraga. The pitching staff was led by Jason Schmidt (17–5, 2.34 ERA) and Kirk Reuter (10–5, 4.53), but had a dropoff after that, as no other starter had 10 wins.

Once again in the playoffs, and just like in 1997, the Giants faced the Florida Marlins in the NLDS. Jason Schmidt won game one in San Francisco with a complete game victory, but the Marlins would win the series three games to one as the Giants bullpen proved unable to prevent their opponent from scoring. Both times the Marlins were the NL Wild Card and yet went on to win the World Series.

On November 13, 2003, Brian Sabean engineered what is considered by many to be the worst trade in Giants history. He traded Francisco Liriano, Boof Bonser, and Joe Nathan for A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski would last only one season with the Giants.

In 2004, Barry Bonds broke his own records with 232 walks and a .609 OBP on route to his 7th and last NL MVP award (45 HR, 101 RBI, .362 BA). The team also had a solid but not stellar supporting cast including Marquis Grissom (22, 90, .279) and Pedro Feliz (22, 84, .276), along with decent showings by Ray Durham, Edgardo Alfonzo, Michael Tucker and AJ Pierzynski. Jason Schmidt was the star of the staff (18–7, 3.20 ERA, 251 SO), and the team was constantly looking for a new closer (Matt Herges and Dustin Hermanson split the role during the season). After sitting out most of the first half of the season, JT Snow led the league in hitting after the All-Star Break.

As in 1993 and 2001, the Giants again avoided elimination from playoff contention until the final weekend of the season. The team would come close but still finished two games behind the division-winning Los Angeles Dodgers, marking the third time in four seasons the Giants would finish within 2½ games of the leader. The season ended in frustration, as San Francisco needed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers in the final weekend of the season to force a one-game playoff in San Francisco for the NL West title. After winning the first game, the Giants lost the second game 7–3 (L.A. scored seven runs in the 9th, the last four on a walkoff grand slam by Steve Finley) as the Dodgers clinched the division title. Houston won the wildcard spot the next day, rendering the Giants' season finale (a victory) meaningless.

The Giants' 2005 season was the team's least successful since moving to its new stadium. Bonds missed most of the season with a knee injury, closer Armando Benitez was injured for four months, and ace Jason Schmidt struggled after numerous injuries. However, team management has taken advantage of the off year to give playing time to numerous young players, including pitchers Noah Lowry, Brad Hennessey, Kevin Correia, Scott Munter, Matt Cain, and Jeremy Accardo, as well as first baseman Lance Niekro and outfielders Jason Ellison and Todd Linden. The acquisition of Randy Winn from the Seattle Mariners also proved invaluable in the stretch run.

On May 25, the Giants held a celebration in honor of Baseball Hall of Famer Juan Marichal. A statue of Marichal was dedicated on the plaza outside of the ballpark. Leonel Fernández, the President of the Dominican Republic, was in attendance. In the two games which followed the ceremonies, the Giants wore uniforms with the word "Gigantes" on the front (the Spanish word for "Giants"). On July 14, 2005, the franchise won their 10,000th contest defeating their long-time rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4–3, becoming the first professional sports franchise to have five digits in its winning total.

On September 28, the Giants were officially eliminated from the NL West race after losing to the division champion San Diego Padres. The team finished the season in third place, with a record of 75–87, their worst season—and first losing record—since 1996. Despite the disappointing finish, manager Felipe Alou was offered a one-year extension of his contract by Giants management.

The Giants were expected to contend in 2006, as they were bolstered by a strong starting staff. Despite a losing streak in May, and the worst batting performance by Barry Bonds in about 15 years (which led to the general observation that age had eroded his skills) the Giants did contend in the less-than-stellar Western Division and by July 23 were in first place. On that day, however, during the last game of a home stand and leading San Diego going into the 9th inning, closer Armando Benitez blew a save by giving up a home run and the Giants lost in extra innings. That was the first loss of a horrendous three-week stretch that saw San Francisco go 3–16, losing nine games by one run.

At the end of August the Giants recovered to again contend for both the division crown and the Wild Card berth. Bonds returned to form after his legs healed (batting .400—34 for 85—in 27 games from August 21 to September 23), the starting staff pitched well enough to lead the National League in ERA among starters, and the team found an effective closer in Mike Stanton, acquired in a trade at the end of July. However on the final road trip of the season the Giants lost eight of nine games to fall out of all contention for post-season play, despite an offensive explosion by both Bonds and right-fielder Moisés Alou. The starting staff collapsed, bombed in all nine games, and Giants pitching gave up 93 runs on the trip (by comparison, the Giants gave up 86 runs during the 19-game losing span in August), and the Giants were "officially eliminated" on September 25, and finished the season with a record of 76–85, just 1½ games better than the previous season.

On October 2, 2006, the day after the end of the regular season, the Giants announced that they would not renew the contract of manager Felipe Alou, but did extend him an offer to remain with the club in an advisory role to the general manager and to baseball operations.

With 11 free agents excluding Jason Schmidt who has now signed with the Dodgers for roughly $15 million a year, a new manager on board with Bruce Bochy coming from division rival San Diego, and the loss of veteran catcher Mike Matheny due to complications resulting from concussions sustained during his career, the Giants' prospects for the 2007 season were less than favorable going into the winter off-season. Since then, the team has agreed to several deals—resigning Pedro Feliz, Ray Durham, and old time Giants fans favorite Rich Aurilia, and picking up catcher Bengie Molina, Ryan Klesko, and Dave Roberts. They also signed free agent pitcher Barry Zito to a seven year contract worth $126 million. The deal, which was the richest contract for a pitcher in baseball history, includes a $20 million player option for an eighth year. On January 9, 2007, the Giants resigned pitcher Russ Ortiz to compete for the fifth starting position in spring training. Ortiz was slotted for the position in late March due to his outstanding spring.

The Giants started the regular season slowly, had spurts of promise but more often stretches of mediocre to worse play. Pitching was often bad (such as when Barry Zito pitched) or the offense was non-existent (such as during a pair of 1–0 losses for losing pitcher Matt Cain).

The season did have memorable action, such as the Giants playing the Red Sox in Boston for the first time since 1912. Most notable during the season, however, was Bonds march towards Hank Aaron's career home run record of 755. Bonds' close proximity to the record brought heavy media attention to the San Francisco Giants.

On July 27, in the first inning of the Giants' three game series against the Florida Marlins, Bonds hit his 754th career home run. Also contributing to the Giants' 12–10 victory was pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney, who moved ahead of Manny Mota on the all time pinch hits list with a clutch RBI single in the sixth inning.

Leading off in the top of the second inning of game two versus the Padres, before a sell-out crowd at PETCO Park, Barry Bonds hit a high fastball off the facing of the upper deck in left field for his 755th career home run. The opposite-field shot tied the game at 1–1 and tied Hank Aaron for the all-time home run record. The Giants lost in extra innings, this time by a score of 2–3.

In the bottom of the 5th inning at home against the Nationals on August 7, 2007, Bonds hit his 756th home run which caused a melee in the crowd. Hank Aaron appeared on the big screen and congratulated Bonds. The Giants went on to lose the game 8–6.

On August 9, 2007, Mark Sweeney was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for AA second baseman Travis Denker. The trade was the first between the Giants and the Dodgers since 1985.

The discouraging theme of 2007 would continue as solid pitching was not backed up with offense. Tim Lincecum held the Chicago Cubs to two hits through eight innings on August 21, but the team scored only one run, losing to the Cubs by a score of 5–1.

On September 22, 2007, the Giants officially announced that the team would not re-sign Barry Bonds for the 2008 season. After much speculation and debate, owner Peter Magowan announced Bonds' departure at a press conference, stressing the fact that the Giants needed to get younger and start fielding a more efficient offense.

Barry Bonds played his last game as a San Francisco Giant on September 26, 2007. He went 0 for 3, driving a ball that was caught at the warning track in left-center field in his final at bat.

2008 marked the first year that Barry Bonds was not a member of the team since 1992. The Giants signed former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Aaron Rowand to a 5-year contract for $60 million. Barry Zito got off to a poor start, losing his first eight decisions. However, the team found hope in pitcher Tim Lincecum. After going 7–5 in his 1st stint in 2007 with the Giants, he exploded onto the scene the following year winning 4 straight before losing his 1st game of the year on April 29, 2008 to the Colorado Rockies. Lincecum was selected to the 2008 MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium but was unable to pitch that day due to being hospitalized due to flu-like symptoms, and went on to win the 2008 NL Cy Young Award, finishing at 18–5. The Giants finished the season in 4th place in the NL West with a record of 72–90.

The historic rivalry between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers is the longest in baseball history, which began when these two National League clubs both played in New York City (the Giants at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan and the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn). Both franchises date back to the 19th century, and both moved to California in 1958, where the rivalry found a fitting new home, the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco having long been rivals in economic, cultural, and political arenas. Although the feud between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees gets more publicity, the Dodgers/Giants rivalry is the oldest in baseball. The Giants have won the World Series 5 times in their history, while the Dodgers have won the World Series 6 times. Since historically, the playoff race in the NL West has been fairly tight, the feud often leads to one team spoiling the other's chances of any hopeful playoff spot. An example of this phenomenon was in the 1951 season, where the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers faced off in a 3 game playoff. Supported by Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World (baseball), the Giants won the game 5–4, defeating the Dodgers in their pennant playoff series, two games to one. Another more recent example played out in the 2004 season when the Dodgers beat out the Giants for the NL West by two games after Steve Finley hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. The rivalry has been pretty evenly matched and the records are right around .500 for each team.

In 1944, Hubbell became the first National Leaguer to have his number retired by his team.

Terry, Ott and Hubbell played/managed their entire careers for the New York Giants. Mays began his career in New York, moving with the Giants to San Francisco in 1958; he did not play in 1953 due to his service in the Korean War.

John McGraw (3B, 1902–06; Manager, 1902–32) and Christy Mathewson (P, 1900–16), who were members of the New York Giants before the introduction of uniform numbers, have the letters "NY" displayed in place of a number.

Broadcasters Lon Simmons (1958–73, 1976–78, 1996–2002, 2006) and Russ Hodges (1949–70) have a stylised old-style radio microphone displayed in place of a number.

The Giants present the Willie Mac Award annually to the player that best exemplifies the spirit and leadership shown by Willie McCovey throughout his career.

Giants' telecasts are split between KNTV (over-the-air) and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (cable). Miller regularly calls the action on KNTV, while the announcing team for CSN telecasts is Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, affectionately known as "Kruk and Kuip". Papa occasionally does play-by-play on TV as well. KNTV's broadcast contract with the Giants began in 2008, one year after the team and KTVU ended a relationship that dated to 1958, the team's first year in the Bay Area.

On May 28, 2006, Flemming called the 715th career home run of Barry Bonds, putting Bonds second on the all-time home run list. Unfortunately, the power from his microphone to the transmitter cut off while the ball was in flight, so the radio audience heard only crowd noise. Papa took over the broadcast and apologized to listeners. Kuiper's TV call was submitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame as an artifact, instead of the usual radio call.

Just as the Chicago Cubs have the Curse of the Billy Goat and the Boston Red Sox had the Curse of the Bambino, the Giants have two superstitious ghosts. The first originates when the New York Giants left for California at the end of the 1957 season. Fans at the Giant's home ballpark, the Polo Grounds (located at a site in New York called Coogan's Bluff), professed that the Giants would never win a World Series away from New York. Since the 1958 season, the Giants have failed to win the Fall Classic, despite the near-misses of 1962 and 2002, and the 4-game sweep at the hands of Oakland in 1989.

Another curse popular amongst Giants fans is related to long time Giants personality Mike Krukow. The "Krukow Kurse" is a "tongue-in-cheek" hex upon the Giants used to explain their more than fifty year failure to win the World Series. It is attributed to current Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow based upon his yearly optimistic pre-season predictions that the Giants "have a chance" to win the World Series. Once Krukow stops making such claims- says the legend- the Giants will in fact win the World Series.

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2008 San Francisco Giants season

The San Francisco Giants are an American baseball team. Their 2008 season marks their 50th Anniversary in the Bay Area since moving from New York in 1958. It is also their first since 1992 without all-time home run champion Barry Bonds, who was not re-signed following the 2007 season. At the end of the season, Tim Lincecum was voted the 2008 National League Cy Young Award winner.

On September 21, 2007, Giants' ownership announced that Bonds would not return after the 2007 season. The Giants did not resign Ryan Klesko and Pedro Feliz. On December 12, 2007 the Giants signed Aaron Rowand to a five year and $60 million contract.

The Giants finished spring training with a record of 9-23-2, the worst spring training in their recorded history. The Giants had the highest ERA and the lowest batting average among teams whose spring training was in Arizona. The team lead the majors with 40 errors. The Giants lost a spring training game 4-3 to their Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies. Giants opening day starter Barry Zito allowed 24 earned runs in 25 innings in Spring training.

Giants spring training included injuries and competitions for several roster positions. Steve Holm won the back up catcher spot against Eliezer Alfonzo and Guillermo Rodriguez. Relievers Merkin Valdez, Erick Threets, and Keiichi Yabu earned spots on the opening day roster. Noah Lowry, Vinnie Chulk, Kevin Frandsen and Omar Vizquel started the season the on disabled list. Brian Bocock was the opening day shortstop in place of Vizquel. Steve Kline was designated for assignment. The Giants claimed Jose Castillo off waivers from the Florida Marlins late March 2008. He was the opening day third baseman. Kevin Correia won the competition to be the teams 5th starter.

The Giants were widely expected to miss the playoffs in 2008, according to numerous sports writers.

On May 16, 2008, Peter Magowan, the owner who brought Barry Bonds to San Francisco, built a new ballpark and kept major league baseball in the city, announced he would be stepping down as the managing partner of the Giants. Effective October 1, 2008 William (Bill) Neukom would be the new managing partner of the Giants. On July 20, 2008, San Francisco Giants purchased the contract of pitcher Geno Espineli from Fresno of the Pacific Coast League (AAA).

As of September 28, 2008.

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Source : Wikipedia