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Royals Rumblings - News for October 15, 2014


Ed Zurga

Royals Rumblings - News for October 15, 2014

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs revisits how valuable Alex Gordon's arm is, even when he's not using it.

As a left fielder this season, Gordon had 193 potential throwing opportunities. For example, he fielded 46 singles that were hit to him with a runner on second. Out of those chances, 61% of the time, the runner held at third. The league average was 37%. Gordon’s overall held rate was 75%. The league average was 63%. Setting a minimum of 100 opportunities, second place came in at 69%. So Gordon’s was a valuable presence in left field, even ignoring his actual throws. And his actual throws were good, too. He finished fifth in assists, despite seldom being challenged....

He’s one of the best throwers in baseball, so that stopped people from challenging him during the year, and that’s stretched into October. With tens of thousands of people pleading for the go-ahead run, Bobby Dickerson threw up the stop sign, because he didn’t want Alex Gordon to make him look like a fool.

Pete Grathoff writes about what this post-season run has meant to long-time veterans like Jason Frasor and Josh Willingham, experiencing the playoffs for the first time.

"I think we all just want to be a part of something special and contribute to a winning team," he said. "It’s so gratifying and so much fun to contribute to a team that’s winning."

That he had to wait so long?

"I am not complaining," Frasor said.

Read more here:

The Royals-Orioles ALCS was predicted to be a ratings disaster, but it has held its own.

Through two games, the ALCS has averaged a 3.1 rating and 5.1 million viewers on TBS — up a tick in ratings and 9% in viewership from Dodgers/Cardinals last year (3.0, 4.7M) and down 18% and 16%, respectively, from Tigers/Yankees in 2012 (3.8, 6.1M).


The game had a 30.5 rating in Kansas City and a 21.6 in Baltimore. As previously noted, Game 1 drew a 31.7 in K.C. and a 22.9 in Baltimore.


Rob Neyer isn't surprised by the ratings.

There's a whole swath of the country -- Flyover Land, I've heard it called -- that just isn't interested in what happens on those populous coasts, but will tune in to see a Midwestern team carry the banner for Midwesterners. Maybe more to the point, a lot of sports fans (like a lot of writers) root for the story when their own team is absent.  And you know, both the Royals and the Orioles, underdogs before the season, have become good stories. It helps, too, when the games are exciting. The tension builds, and more people tune in for the next one.

Jesse Lawrence of TiqIQ notes that Royals ALCS ticket prices on the secondary market took an unusual dive.

With a 2-0 series lead and the World Series on the horizon, the average price for the three potential Royals LCS games is now $318, with the cheapest ticket for today's game now going for under face price, at $99. A week ago, the cheapest ticket was almost double that price. Over the last five years of tracking the ticket market at TiqIQ, we've never seen a playoff run where LCS prices are cheaper than LDS prices. When the LCS started, however, that was not the case, and prices for the LCS were 10% more expensive than tickets to the LDS game.

If you wanted to know what face value was for Royals World Series tickets, here they are:

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is on our side.

Ben Lindbergh at Grantland has developed a survivor's guide to beating the Royals ultimate outfield and it requires a lot of luck.

Huffington Post alert! Here are 27 reasons why the Royals are becoming America's favorite team AND HOW IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Maybe its because they're really awesome dudes, as this story about Scott Downs playing catch with a kid in Baltimore attests to.

Or maybe its this story about Brandon Finnegan giving a fan ALCS tickets over Twitter.

Jeff Moore at Baseball Prospectus has his notes from the Arizona Fall League on Kyle Zimmer's impressive performance on Monday.

Amtrak wanted to know about Kansas City from this handsome fellow.

The Chiefs compare their players to Royals players.

Former Royals manager Trey Hillman has been named bench coach for the Houston Astros. Jose Altuve, pick up those folding chairs!

Rays General Manager Andrew Friedman has jumped ship to run the Los Angeles Dodgers. He even left our sister site DRays Bay a nice letter. Try to imagine Dayton Moore doing this.

College athletes signing their name is a national epidemic robbing us of our innocence.

Your song of the day is the Beastie Boys with "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win."