So much for the expression made famous by Tom Hanks that “there is no crying in baseball.”
On Wednesday night after San Francisco’s 3-2 victory over Kansas City to capture the World Series in game seven, there was Giants’ pitcher Jeremy Affeldt trying to hold back tears in a post-game interview.
The tears appeared to have won as the camera moved away from Affeldt as he talked about his emotions after getting a third Series ring in five years.
A few minutes later, Fox reporter Erin Andrews told Giant manager Bruce Bochy “I think I saw some tears in your eyes” down on the field.
The Affeldt interview and several others made the Fox post-game show almost as much a joy to watch as the tense game won by Giant pitcher Madison Bumgarner in a Series performance that every announcer, player and manager interviewed called “historic,” stunning” and “never to be seen again.”
It was the kind of historic performance that almost demanded a viewer stay up past 11:20 p.m. to watch the post-game program to see player reactions. And Fox touched all the bases.
The only player who didn’t seem all that impressed was Bumgarner, who kept his emotions in check as easily as he did the Royals.
I’ve never been a big fan of Fox play-by-play man Joe Buck’s way of capturing the moment. He was on the ball Wednesday.
“Giants win!” he declared after Bumgarner got the final out with the tying run on third base. “A World Series for the San Francisco Giants for the third time in the last five years and their hero, Madison Bumgarner.”
Shortly after that, Buck added “it is hard to put in words … what we saw in this postseason, let alone this World Series from Madison Bumgarner.”
“It was one of the greatest clutch performances we have ever seen in the World Series,” Buck added.
It would have been better if he had said that instantly after the final out, but that might have been asking too much.
His colleagues on the broadcast, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, said at different times it was also a performance that most likely will never be seen again.
“It was something for the ages,” said Verducci. “I’ve never seen anything like it and I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like it again.’
“Especially in this day and age when the pitch count is so important,” added Reynolds.
And in a classy interview near the end of the 30-minute, post-game program, Kansas City Manager Ned Yost admitted he was “stunned” by the five innings of shutout relief thrown by Bumgarner on two days rest after shutting out the Royals in Sunday’s game five.
Buck and his Fox colleagues also were sharp during the game in pointing out that a brilliant double play in the third inning started by Giants rookie second baseman Joe Panik turned out to be one of the biggest plays of the game.
The announcers also noted that both managers – the Royals’ Yost and the Giants' Bochy – left little to second guess throughout the game.
They thought one thing might be second-guessed -- a sacrifice bunt by a Kansas City player late in the game rather than having him swing away. But Yost explained near the end of the post-game show that the hitter made the decision on his own.
There was little to second guess on the Fox broadcast, which deserved a huge audience to see Bumgarner’s “stunning” and “historic” performance.
In Buffalo, the game averaged a 12.0 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate, and won the night locally in prime time. The rating was almost double what the previous six games had averaged here. The rating peaked at 14.1 at 9:15 p.m. and was a 12.9 when the final out was made around 11:20 p.m.
But there is a good chance that many more people will claim years down the road that they watched the historic game.
If they missed Bumgarner’s performance, it was a crying shame.