Royals Rumblings - News for October 1, 2014
Sam Mellinger writes that Royals fans deserve this.
This was more than a baseball game, and even more than a playoff game. This was something more like group therapy, Royals fans emptying a generation of angst into Kansas City’s wildest sports night since at least 1985. Cars parked on the side of Interstate 70, just to watch the crowd before being shooed off by the authorities.
Inside the stadium, the crowd gave this the feel of a night 29 years in the making, the LET’S GO ROYALS chants starting well before the first pitch and carrying through the game. Filling 12 innings with noise wasn’t hard for a crowd that included fans whose parents met at a Royals game, parents who were unborn in 1985, and old-timers who had to wonder if they’d ever see anything like this again.
The Royals are not just a playoff team now, they are a winning playoff team, and doesn’t that sound so much better?
Lee Judge writes its the best game he ever saw.
Longtime Royals scout Art Stewart wanted to know if I’d ever seen one like that. Eric Hosmer walked by and said: "Un-real." A dozen other players and coaches said they’d never seen anything like it. Then Jason Frasor said: "Why don’t you just say it was the best game you ever saw?"
James Shields fulfilled his duties, writes Vahe Gregorian.
"Epic, absolutely epic," pitcher James Shields said. "You don’t write a story that goes this way. It’s truly special."
Sean Keeler at Fox Sports Kansas City writes that James has lived up to his "Big Game" moniker.
Everywhere you looked, validation screamed back. There was bunting -- real, honest-to-God, red-white-and-blue postseason bunting -- as far as the eye could see. There was Alex Gordon, smiling like Christmas morning for the MLB Network cameras. There was Mike Sweeney, the old Royals slugger, the bright light through so many stormy nights, damn near choking up as he hugged former teammates and watched others swing away in the cage.
"As I sat in (my) house in San Diego, and we clinched Friday night (in Chicago), I had tears rolling down my cheeks," said Sweeney, who hit 197 homers for the Royals from 1995-2007 and now works as a special assistant for the front office. "I told my wife, 'This is the greatest moment in my career.'...
So, yeah: The James Shields-Wil Myers trade was worth it. It was worth it before Tuesday night's marathon of bullpen attrition and small ball. And it was absolutely worth it after.
Ned Yost remains a beloved figure in Kansas City, best exemplified when Royals fans shouted "BOOOO-RILLIANT MANAGING!" when he came out to pull Yordano Ventura last night.
If you think Arrowhead was loud Monday, you should have heard the K last night.
Here are start times and dates for the American League Division Series in Anaheim, which, OH BY THE WAY THE ROYALS WILL BE PLAYING IN!
Dave Cameron at Fangraphs had some advice for Ned Yost before the game.
Be Very Aggressive Stealing Bases
Instead of bunting to move guys into scoring position, consider stealing bases instead. Your team led the majors in steals this year, swiping 153 bags at an 81% success rate, also best in the majors. Your team is fast and full of guys who know how to run the bases. That’s a big advantage, especially against the A’s, who allowed 100 stolen bases and only threw out 22% of opposing runners, the fourth worst mark in baseball.
Yea, I think someone else already gave him that prescient advice!
Speaking of which, here are some critical spirits:
Bunch of critical spirits. pic.twitter.com/TZZcKCs9dC— Royals Review (@royalsreview) September 30, 2014
Puppies for all!
It wasn't all puppies and pop tarts for Ned Yost, who made some questionable managerial decisions that nearly cost the Royals. Ned's explanation for his bullpen usage?
After the game, Yost was asked about why he went with Ventura. He said that he had "mapped out" the game, bullpen-wise, and that "we didn’t want to push [Kelvin] Herrera two innings." In actuality he ended up using Herrera one and two-thirds innings and 36 pitches, so maybe that whole mapping-out process didn’t work. The only other comment he made about the decisions that led to the A’s rally in the sixth was "it’s just one of those things."
ESPN's David Schoenfield thinks the Wild Card game showed why Ned Yost is a terrible manager due to the Ventura relief appearance.
Pedro Martinez agreed.
What Ned Yost it's saying about bringing in Ventura, it's horrible. How much gas do you want? Why don't you just go and get a gas station?— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) October 1, 2014
Your song of the day is Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." Enjoy your most hung-over day of work ever.