2012 Player of the Year: San Francisco Giants

Ezra Shaw

Yes, the Giants won the World Series and images of Pablo Sandoval and Sergio Romo and perhaps Tim Lincecum are still bright and colorful in our minds. But which Giant best symbolizes this championship season?

Like their World Series opponents, the San Francisco Giants will probably boast, in addition to a league pennant, their league's Most Valuable Player. But an MVP isn't necessarily a team's Player of the Year, as I've defined him: the player who best symbolizes his team's season. And in this case, what a season ...

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In the first half of the season, the biggest story with the San Francisco Giants was Melky Cabrera. The Giants got him for Jonathan Sanchez! He was the MVP in the All-Star Game! He was going to win the batting title. And then he got suspended in the middle of August and didn't play any more.

Blogger Perspective: McCovey Chronicles

by Grant Brisbee

It has to be Buster Posey. He was the player of the year in the traditional sense -- the best player on the team. But he was also the symbol of the 2012 Giants, just as he was the symbol of the 2011 and 2010 Giants. I'll use STATISTICS to back up my case: In seasons without a healthy Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants are 0-for-53 when it comes to championships. With a healthy Buster Posey, they're 2-for-2.

The contrast between his 2011 and this season sells it. The Giants missed out on a wild-card spot last year by four games. Posey had a great chance to be worth four wins. Even if you don't think in terms of WAR, you can guess that with a healthy Posey, the Giants would have made the playoffs in some capacity.

And it followed that he'd give the Giants a good chance this season. If. There were so many ifs. If he were healthy enough. If he could catch 80 or 90 games. If he could run faster than Todd Coffey. If all of those things could happen, he'd give the Giants a chance.

He was far better than expected, and he gave the Giants more than a chance. He gave them another trophy, and he'll pick up one of his own in about a month. He also rides a bald eagle to work and perspires tiny American flags when he gets sweaty, which is hardly ever.

For more Giants coverage, please visit McCovey Chronicles.

In October, the biggest story with the San Francisco Giants was Pablo Sandoval. Well, the biggest story was the Giants winning the World Series. But the biggest story within the story was Panda hitting six home runs in the postseason, including three in one game.

The biggest story with the Giants during all of it, though? Well, that was most certainly their baby-faced catcher, Gerald D. Posey.

You know him as Buster.

Posey, as you might recall, opened the 2010 season in the minor leagues and, when he did finally join the big club in late May, played first base for a few weeks. Because someone thought Bengie Molina was better. Ultimately, sanity did prevail and Posey played a big part in the Giants winning their first World Series since moving to the City in 1958.

As you might also recall, Posey's sophomore season ended in late May when a runner went out of his way to steamroll the catcher on a play at the plate; there was just a tiny bit of collateral damage, as the catcher suffered a catastrophic leg injury.

Would Posey be all healed up in time for the 2012 campaign. Would he ever be all healed up? Had we already seen Buster's best? We didn't know.

Now we know. Buster Posey was healthy enough to play in 148 games, and start 111 behind the plate. He was healthy enough to blast 24 home runs, which was (and this is one of my favorite things) twice as many as any of his teammates. He was healthy enough to drive in 103 runs, which was (this is another good one) 40 more than anyone else on his team. And he was healthy enough to bat .336, which was -- thanks to a favorable ruling from the Commissioner's Office and the Players' Association -- good enough for the National League batting title.

Buster Posey might not always have that baby face, and he might not always hit .336, and he might win a World Series every even-numbered year. But he'll always be the symbol of the World Champion 2012 San Francisco Giants.

And that wraps up this EXCITING SERIES of articles. In case you missed any previous entries, here's the archive.

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