DETROIT -- As his last act of 2012, Buster Posey exploded out of his catcher's crouch, sprinted to the mound and hoisted 185-pound reliever Sergio Romo over his shoulder.
Apparently, Posey's ankle is going to be OK.
After nothing but pain and frustration a year ago, Posey capped his comeback in the dreamiest way possible. The National League MVP candidate crushed a two-run home run during the Giants' 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 4, then celebrated in a clubhouse where it looked as if Hurricane Sandy was blowing champagne.
Posey is a World Series champion. Again.
The only regular position player back from the 2010 team now has two titles in his first three years. That puts him on a pace that looks positively Jeter-ian, even if Posey laughed at the thought.
"I have no idea what Derek Jeter feels like," he said. "I think he's won a few more."
Jeter has won five titles. But the early parallels are there, at least in pencil. Jeter, the New York Yankees shortstop, won the Rookie of the Year award and a World Series in his first season, just as Posey did.
After missing out his sophomore season, Jeter got a second ring in his third full season -- just as Posey has.
And while the 25-year-old catcher was in no rush Sunday night to invite personal comparisons, he welcomed the idea that the Giants could launch their own team-wide dynasty.
"It's definitely a possibility," Posey said. "I know we're
"I don't think we're off the radar anymore. I think (winning again) is a challenge we're all looking forward to."
Posey, at last, even found a way to contribute with the bat in this World Series. The Giants' cleanup hitter had been uncharacteristically quiet in the postseason aside from his memorable grand slam in the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds.
Entering play Sunday night, Posey had been 11 for 56 (.196) with two homers in the postseason. He nearly vanished in the NLCS, when he was 4 for 26 (.154) with no extra-base hits against the St. Louis Cardinals.
But on Saturday, manager Bruce Bochy said: "Your great players for the most part, seem to play better when the club needs them."
And in the sixth inning Sunday, as if on cue, Posey hooked a high-arching, two-run home run into the left-field seats to give the Giants a 3-2 lead.
It was the kind of moment that Posey -- the savvy World Series veteran -- has learned to better understand.
"After you get that first (title), you want to go through the whole experience again. You want to feel those pressure situations. You want to feel the excitement when you come out on top," he said. "Nothing drives you harder to come out on top."
It was a moment Posey could relish even more considering what happened in May 2011, when a devastating home-plate collision ended his season after just 45 games. He was placed on the disabled list May 26 with a fractured bone in his lower-left leg.
That's why Sunday night, under a cold and drizzling October sky, Posey bounced up on those happy, healed feet and began hugging anyone in sight.
"To get two in three years? It's unbelievable," the catcher said. "I think this time around, I can appreciate it even more. I understand the difficulty of doing it."