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Big League Stew

Review: San Francisco’s 2012 World Series film

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Editor's note: We asked Giants super fan and Yahoo! Network Contributor  Dave Tobener to keep a running diary of the official 2012 World Series film, which is on sale now. Here is what he wrote.

One of the perks of your team winning the World Series is that the market is flooded with literally every item you can think of with a World Series champs logo on it.

Chances are, you'll want to buy every single thing you see. For instance, I probably didn't need a Giants 2012 champs money clip, but I wanted to give my 2010 champs one a break every now and then. Sue me.

The one World Series item every fan looks forward to, though, is the film produced by Major League Baseball that chronicles the championship team's journey from spring training to the series-clinching last out. The Giants recently unveiled their film at a huge gala in San Francisco. There was an orange
carpet, celebrities, Giants legends, and the World Series trophy was on display. It was a fantastic evening that celebrated the team's fantastic 2012 run.

[Y! Sports Fan Shop: San Francisco Giants World Series champs apparel]

At least I think it was ... because I had to work and I couldn't go. Instead, I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of the movie to watch and review. I put an orange blanket down between my TV and couch, set up my miniature World Series replica trophy on the table, and fired it up.

Here's the live blog that resulted. It does contain a few spoilers — The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! — but it is one fan's view of what will go down in history as the official film of the 2012 champs. 

• One of the first shots shows two little kids running in a park while wearing Giants jerseys. One of them is an Aubrey Huff jersey and I wonder to myself, "What did this kid do to his parents to make them buy him an Aubrey Huff jersey?" Maybe it's file footage from 2010.

• Voiceover: "How do you recover that coveted championship feeling? By doing it again."
That's probably true. Shots of the team celebrating over a very pretty song on the piano and
I'm already choking up. A movie hasn't done this to me since Shoeless Joe Jackson told old
Moonlight Graham that he was good right before Moonlight disappeared into the corn.

• Wait, this thing is narrated by Benjamin Bratt? He was my fourth favorite detective ever on Law and Order. That probably explains why he was at the film premiere.

• Spring training highlights, spring training interviews, hey there's Brian Wilson being wacky! Hey there's Brian Wilson blowing out his elbow in April, immediately followed by shots of Tim Lincecum getting shelled. I don't like this segment.

• Better segment: Matt Cain's perfect game!

[Related: Giants ride eclectic cast to World Series title | Photos]

• On to the All Star game, where we catch our first glimpse of someone named Melky Cabrera.

• A brief, 10-second synopsis of Melky's suspension is followed by highlights of literally
everyone else in the lineup hitting while Benjamin Bratt talks about how the Giants came
together as a team. This is the last we hear of Melky.

• Some shots of the NL West championship celebration, followed by a very short description
of the first two NLDS games with the Reds. I love how this film glosses over things like the suspension of the team's best hitter and heartbreaking playoff losses. Who wants to remember those things? Not me. Not you, either.

[Related: Sergio Romo captures Giants' championship spirit of oddball underdogs]

• Game 3 of the NLDS in Cincinnati is where Hunter Pence first gave one of his pregame "sermons" that fired up the team, and the film spends a lot of time talking about those speeches. Pence's quote: ""I did not ever plan on giving a speech. I just felt like something needed to be said."

• Players talk about just how much the speech meant to them, how much it fired them up, and how it brought them all together. It's amazing to listen to and speaks to the narrative the film develops: the Giants felt as though they were playing for each other, for the concept of the team, and not for anything else. It may sound cliché but it is absolutely what drove this team in October — the movie makes this clear.

• No shots of the Cincinnati fan's sorry-looking broom, sadly.

• Highlights of the Game 4 victory followed by Buster Posey's grand slam off of Mat Latos in
Game 5, which I may have watched 15 or 16 times.

• Onto the NLCS, and again we get a quick gloss over of the Game 1 loss vs. the Cardinals
before we get to Game 2 and Matt Holliday destroying Marco Scutaro with a slide.

• Scutaro talks about how much pain he was in and how he thought he'd broken his leg or
his knee. Scary. Makes what he was able to accomplish in the rest of the series even more
remarkable.

• "Hey, the Giants lost games 3 and 4, but let's forget all that" says Benjamin Bratt, basically.
Highlights of Barry Zito's amazing performance in Game 5 are interspersed with clips of his teammates talking about how happy they were for him. Everyone seems to genuinely like Zito. Maybe he buys a lot of dinners on the road.

• "That was my most magical game," says Barry Zito, who is magical.

• You know what's next: Ryan Vogelsong shutting the Cards down in Game 6, Pence's weird
triple-hit in Game 7, Scutaro with his arms outstretched looking up to the heavens through the pouring rain, and the Giants are World Series bound.

[Related: Pablo Sandoval named World Series MVP | Photos]

•For some reason we get clips of Tigers players talking about how dangerous the Tigers' lineup is, which is kind of endearing after the fact. This is immediately followed by a shot of Freddy Sanchez talking to Huff, which isn't really endearing but is definitely something else.

• Game 1, with Zito outdueling Justin Verlander just like everyone predicted. Pablo Sandoval's
three home run game gets plenty of play, as does the theme of redemption for Sandoval and
Zito who were 2010 playoff outcasts.

• "And Pablo Sandoval looks like the Babe himself has come back to life!" That might be my
favorite call from Jon Miller.

• Game 2, the Madison Bumgarner start. Pitching coach Dave Righetti talks about how the
coaching staff looked at film from Bumgarner's minor-league days to find the flaw in his
mechanics, which was fixed in one bullpen session. Incredible.

• Footage of Prince Fielder being thrown out at the plate in the 2nd inning is made better by audio of the umpire screaming, "YEAH HE GOT YOU RIGHT THERE BANG!" as he calls him out. Fantastic. Giants win again.

• Video of Detroit landmarks helpfully let us know the series has moved to Detroit.

[Photos: Giants celebrate winning World Series over Tigers]

• Brandon Belt to teammates around the batting cage before Game 3: "Do my legs look fat?"
Ryan Theriot: "Dumpy, not fat."

• Here's Vogelsong wearing a bunch of different jerseys to show us how far he's come. Here's
Vogelsong dominating the Tigers, followed by Lincecum doing the same. Onto Game 4.

• Talk of another Pence speech before Game 4. It's clear that Pence is the emotional leader of the team, the guy other players look to and emulate.

• Game 4 highlights. Jeremy Affeldt talks about striking out the side in the 8th inning and how
he had to face "three Babe Ruths" in that inning. Looking back, he struck out Miguel Cabrera,
Prince Fielder, and...uh..Delmon Young. Well he's built like Ruth.

[Photos: Giants fans party in streets of San Francisco]

• Hitting coach Hensley Meulens admits that using Theriot as the DH in Game 4 was his idea, and man does he look like a genius when Theriot leads off the 10th with a single. Scutaro drives Theriot in, Theriot screams like a mad man, and the Giants are three outs away.

• Bruce Bochy, Posey, and Sergio Romo all talk about how Romo shook off Posey calling for a slider with two strikes against Cabrera because Romo knew Cabrera would be sitting on the pitch. Instead, Romo reached back and threw the hardest fastball he could. Strike three, Giants are world champs!

• And now the best part of the entire film: Pence's teammates doing impressions of his pregame speeches.

Man, it felt good to relive that ride again. A very enjoyable film from start to finish, and one that you should buy any Giants fan who's on your holiday shopping list. Or buy it for a Dodgers fan you don't particularly like.

Either way.

Dave Tobener tweets about the Giants at @gggiants and blogs about them for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.

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