Brian Sabean pushed all of the right buttons this year

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KANSAS CITY — On July 25, this man played second base for the San Francisco Giants:

source: Getty Images

Yes, that’s Dan Uggla. He of the complete and utter nosedive in production and the albatross contract in Atlanta. The Giants picked him up when the Braves released him because, really, they had no other options. Marco Scutaro suffered a gnarly back injury which basically put him on the shelf for the year and none of his replacements were really getting the job done. They had almost completely frittered away their lead in the NL West which, at one point, had been as big as ten games and the Giants were desperate.

Uggla failed of course. I guess he still gets a World Series ring because the Giants give them to everyone, but he failed and he was sent packing just a few days later. At that point Sabean decided to let Joe Panik, one of those replacements for Scutaro, have the job. Panik improved all season long. Tonight he made the key defensive play of the game, turning a sweet double play that halted a would-be Royals rally. Sabean’s decision paid off.

As did many others. Trading for Jake Peavy who, while he laid an egg in the World Series, certainly helped the Giants stay afloat when they were sinking. Taking a chance on Michael Morse when a lot of teams passed. The Tim Hudson deal. Not that this is new for Sabean and the Giants. In the past he picked up Burrell, Javier Lopez and Cody Ross. Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence. Way back in the day he got Jeff Kent when everyone thought he should keep Matt Williams.

Obviously there are a couple of great players here, both drafted by Sabean, in Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner. But the Giants have not, at really any time in Sabean’s tenure, been a dominant team. A team everyone looked at in March and said “yep, they’re gonna win the World Series.” But here they are tonight, hoisting their third trophy in five seasons. And one of the biggest reasons for that is the guy in the front office, always doing little things to make the Giants better.

Tom Brady has moved into Derek Jeter’s mansion

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The Tampa Bay Times reports that the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneer, quarterback Tom Brady, has a new place to live in the Bay Area: Derek Jeter’s house:

Brady has arrived in Tampa Bay and is in the process of moving his family into the sprawling, 30,000-square foot mansion on Davis Islands built by Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed. The home features seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, an entertainment room and billiards room that wraps around a pool with two boat lifts providing access to Tampa Bay.

It’s like a crossover episode conceived by sports yakkers like me. It’s like a gift from Content Heaven. Like, I had NO reason to talk about Derek Jeter today, but now I can mention how much progress he has made as a human being. After all, a mere 16 years ago he wouldn’t move 25 feet to third base to make room for Alex Rodriguez — and wouldn’t move to his left for anything — but now he’s willing to completely move out of his house for Brady.

See, we can all grow, even in trying times like this. Bless you, Derek.