Bengie Molina heading back to San Fran
Catcher played for Giants in first half of season
No matter what, Bengie Molina will earn a World Series ring this season.
The question is, which team will be handing him the ring? Molina spent the first half of the season with the Giants before being traded to the Rangers on July 1 for Chris Ray and Michael Main. The two teams face each other in the World Series.
"I'm very happy, but it's weird," Molina told MLB.com. "After playing 3 1/2 years there, to wear another color in that stadium will be weird. But I consider myself a professional. Now I'm a Texas Ranger.
"I'm very excited. There are a lot of guys I love over there that I consider friends. There are very good people there who treated me well. The fans were amazing and the coaching staff ... I know how hard they worked over there to get there."
Cody Ross claims NLCS MVP: Hot-hitting Cody Ross hit three home runs and produced the highest slugging percentage ever in a six-game National League Championship Series (.950) in winning the series MVP.
"I could never imagine being in a situation like this," Ross told the San Jose Mercury News. "I'm just going to cherish it. This is a special time for me."
"I can't thank the Giants enough for bringing me over and giving me a chance to be a part of this," Ross said.
Cliff Lee figures to be provide jump-start: Cliff Lee has already shown he can excel in the World Series. Pitching for the Phillies last season, he defeated the Yankees twice. Overall, Lee is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in the postseason during his career.
"Cliff gives us that energy that we like to play with," Rangers manager Ron Washington told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He's an energized guy, and that's our game. Having him go first really jump-starts us. He'll be full of energy, and he'll keep those guys going. Next thing you know, we'll be rolling."
Affeldt plays it smart, sees results: When benches emptied in NLCS Game 6, Jeremy Affeldt stayed put in the bullpen and got ready to pitch. A good decision considering he came on to retire the middle of the Phillies' order.
"I stayed out and warmed up because I knew I'd be in the game," Affeldt told the San Jose Mercury News. "I needed to stay focused with the heart of the order coming up."
"He was terrific," teammate Javier Lopez said. "For him to come in there and shut them down -- facing the heart of the order was unbelievable. He really nailed it."
Guerrero prepares for outfield duties: Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, who played only 16 games in right field and one in left during the regular season, will be in the outfield for at least one of the first two World Series games in San Francisco. He last played in the outfield Oct. 2 against the Angels and he took fly balls on Sunday.
"I'm ready," Guerrero told MLB.com. "I've been practicing during the season catching fly balls in the outfield. I'm ready."
"It's up to the manager," said Guerrero, who has played more than 1,600 games as an outfielder during his career. "If he wants me to play both games, I'll play both games. If they need me to pinch-hit, I'll be ready to do that."
Huff no longer watching from the couch: Aubrey Huff is in his 10th season in the Majors. With the Giants dethroning the two-time defending National League champion Phillies, Huff is advancing to the World Series for the first time in his career.
"All these years, I'm watching the postseason on the couch, wondering how these guys are so up to play these games," Huff told the San Jose Mercury News. "I get it now, man. I get it.
"And it's not over yet. I know America probably wanted to see the Yankees and Phillies, but it's time for some new blood."
Cruz comes through in the clutch: After the Yankees decided to walk Josh Hamilton in the fifth inning of Game 6 of the American League Championship Series with two outs, Nelson Cruz gave on-deck teammate Vladimir Guerrero a little pep talk.
"I went to him and said, 'Don't let them do that to you. Don't let them do that to you,'" Cruz told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Guerrero slapped a two-run double then Cruz then slammed a two-run home run to break the game open and help send the Rangers to their first World Series.
Uribe impresses Ross with blast: NLCS MVP Cody Ross was impressed by the home run hit by teammate Juan Uribe in Game 6 of the NLCS.
"It was something you dream of," Ross told the San Jose Mercury News.
"Fastball away," Uribe said. "I see the ball, and I swing the bat."
Hunter, Holland considered for Game 4 start: The Rangers know who their first three starters will be in the World Series, but there's been no decision about Game 4.
Tommy Hunter, a 13-game winner, has been the fourth starter in both the ALDS and ALCS. However, the Rangers also could go with left-hander Derek Holland, who has pitched 10 1/3 innings out of the bullpen this postseason and has a 2.61 ERA. In 5 2/3 innings against the Yankees in the ALCS, he did not allow an earned run.
"It's a decision we have to wait and see and see what they do," Hunter told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Holland's been great in the bullpen, and a lot of things will factor into it. I really hope I get the ball, but if I don't, I understand."
Victorino confident in pitching staff: While he was disappointed that the Phillies came up short in their quest to get to a third consecutive World Series, Shane Victorino said after losing in the NLCS to the Giants that he firmly believed his team would be right back in the thick of things in 2011. The trio of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels -- among others -- gives him plenty of confidence.
"We'll be back," Victorino told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Look at our pitching."
Werth gets support from Howard: Jayson Werth isn't under contract for the 2011 season, but several of his teammates -- including Ryan Howard -- are very aware of his value to Philadelphia.
"He's meant a lot to this team," Howard told MLB.com. "He's come up with a lot of big hits this year, a lot of big plays. The fans -- especially the ones in right field -- love him. He's been a big part of this team, on the field and just in the clubhouse. His personality in the clubhouse is one that helps make this team what it is. We hope he'll be able to reach a deal and come back next year."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.