ARLINGTON, Texas — Felipe Alou lost a World Series as a Giants player in 1962, and it still haunts him. These days, the 75-year-old Alou remains active, scouting and working with Latin players in his role as a special advisor to Giants general manager Brian Sabean. He takes on The Big Five here:
It’s been 56 years since the Giants last won the World Series. Some great Giants players – yourself included – never won a championship. What will it mean if this Giants team wins it all?
“We were so close in 2002, with a lead late in (Game 7). It will mean a lot. We had good teams, with great Giants. But sometimes the team was not so great.”
Your memory of Game 7 of the 1962 World Series isn’t a good one.
“I was 1-for-4; I got a base hit off Ralph Terry, who pitched a complete-game shutout. But in the ninth inning, I couldn’t advance a runner over (to second base), and that runner was Matty Alou, my brother. So when Willie Mays came up and hit a double, it didn’t score Matty. It’s one of the sore spots in my career, my life, really. If this team wins, maybe I would forgive me a little bit.”
You managed a much-different Giants team than this one as recently as 2006.
“Yes, traditionally we’re a team that relied on the long ball. Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, guys like that. We were an older team. So some kind of transition had to take place, and it only took four years. That’s really awesome.”
So did this team surprise you in reaching the World Series so quickly?
“It got here maybe before its time, maybe a year early. Not so many people believed in the Giants in spring training. But before the playoffs a Padres scout told me, ‘we fear your team because of the way they hustle, the way they play, and you never know who is going to get the big hit.’ That is what this team in all about.”
Your impressions of Madison Bumgarner?
“He doesn’t need to trick anybody. Everything he throws … is awesome. Cutter, slider, fastball. That’s tough on other teams. They have to be thinking, he’s the No. 4 starter?”
Editor’s note: Tony DeMarco is a contributor to NBCSports.com who has been covering the big leagues since 1987. He’ll interview a guest during each day of the World Series for HardballTalk.com.