ARLINGTON, TEXAS — No longer does Scott Spiezio haunt the San Francisco Giants.
In 2002, San Francisco was eight outs from its first World Series title when Spiezio's home run triggered an unlikely Angels comeback. The Giants had to wait eight years rather than eight outs, but the sting is gone.
"This takes everything away," said J.T. Snow. The first baseman on that 2002 team, Snow shared in the clubhouse champagne celebration Monday, smiling broadly as the current San Francisco players hoisted the Series trophy aloft.
Snow and Shawon Dunston, also on that 2002 team, now work as special assistants in the Giants organization. They had lockers in the visitors' clubhouse here.
As the celebration raged, Snow quietly acknowledged the bittersweet nature of the moment.
"You'd like to win it as a player, obviously," Snow said. "This is the next-best thing.
"These guys got it done. It feels good to be able to come in and help out."
On a Giants' cast full of unlikely heroes, the unlikeliest might have been outfielder Cody Ross. He was marooned in Florida when the Giants claimed him on waivers in August, mostly to keep him away from the San Diego Padres.
Ross spent most of September on the bench. He replaced Jose Guillen in right field for the playoffs, hit five home runs in postseason play and was selected most valuable player of the National League Championship Series. And, in the clinching game of the World Series, Ross batted cleanup for the first time since Aug. 6, 2006.
"If you would have told me two months ago I would be hitting fourth in Game 5 of the World Series, I would have said, 'Where's Vegas?' "
Zito takes fifth
Barry Zito has fallen to fifth in the Giants' starting rotation, but General Manager Brian Sabean said he has no plans to trade the left-hander this winter.
Zito has three years and $64.5 million left on his contract, and the Giants might be able to add some offensive help in trade if they were willing to swallow the bulk of that money. Zito did not make the Giants' playoff roster, and Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner have established themselves as a formidable front four.
"We like Barry's contribution as far as the innings he pitches and the starts he makes," Sabean said Monday. "Part of Barry's problem is that we haven't been able to score for him."
Zito has posted a losing record in each of his four years with the Giants. But he has pitched at least 180 innings every year, supporting the development of the young arms that displaced him in the playoffs.
Texas ace Cliff Lee said New York Yankees fans had spit on families of Rangers players during the American League Championship Series. Lee said he would not indict an entire fan base for the actions of what he said were "just two or three or four people acting like fools."
Chuck Greenberg, the Rangers' chief executive, was not as charitable Monday. "I thought Yankee fans, frankly, were awful," Greenberg said in an interview on Dallas radio station KESN. "They were either violent or apathetic, neither of which is good.... I thought they were an embarrassment."
The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers contributed to this report.