Royals Rumblings - News for October 16, 2014
BOOM! The baseball world has been YOSTED. Ned Yost is the first manager to go 8-0 in the post-season.
"I don’t need validation, man," Yost said on the field before the post-game trophy ceremony. "People ask me about it, I don’t need it. I’m real comfortable with myself. I get criticized all the time: I’m the dumbest manager in baseball. I’m OK with that.
"Because I’ve got really smart coaches."
Joe Posnanski has a nice long profile on Ned Yost and revisits all the bad Royals managers of Christmas past.
Dayton Moore isn’t going to tell you that he agrees with every strategic move Ned Yost makes. He doesn’t. He gripes when he’s watching games just like everybody else. What he will tell you is something else: It doesn’t matter much. The stuff everybody always talks about — the pitching changes, the lineup cards, the in-game decisions — they are important as far as that goes. But they are not what being a big-league manager is all about.
"Strategy is just strategy, everybody in and around the game disagrees about moves," Moore says. "You have thoughts about strategy. I have thoughts about strategy. Ned has thoughts. Every fan has thoughts. That’s part of what makes the game fun.
"But I’ll tell you what makes Ned Yost a great manager: He’s a leader. You look at his energy level. You look at how positive he is every day. You look at how loyal he is to this organization and to his players. The players play for him. That’s what counts. He has a great coaching staff, and he lets them do their jobs. These things matter more than strategy. … Just about any strategy will work if you execute."
Oh, and NBC seems to have launched a Grantland-type site there if you didn't notice.
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs writes about how all that bunting from Ned actually helped the Royals.
Really, this isn’t just about Yost. Although I’ll mention that, last year, the Royals’ sac bunt attempts also resulted in a positive total WPA. If you look at all of Baseball-Reference’s 2014 sacrifice bunt attempts, you see a cumulative -18.7 WPA. Very bad strategy! But now look what happens when you leave out pitchers: you see a cumulative 0.2 WPA...
That’s the league. For the Royals, the bunts have helped. Not in every case, but, overall. And while that doesn’t mean they’ll continue to help in the future, it means Yost hasn’t sunk anything with the bunting to date, and maybe later on one shouldn’t be so quick to be critical. Yost absolutely makes his mistakes, but so do opposing defenses. That’s one of the ways in which a sac bunt can pay off.
HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE MAD WITH SMALL BALL?
Sullivan also has a terrific piece chock full of amazing defensive plays by the Royals to make the point that the team has been a terrific ambassador to introduce the baseball world to the importance of team defense.
The Royals have demonstrated the importance of team defense, and they’re doing it with everyone paying attention. They’re doing it while never losing in the playoffs, and they’re doing it without a shutdown ace or a mid-lineup slugger. The Royals are proving how far you can get as a defense-first ballclub, and while it’s not the only way to build a winner, it’s a way to build a winner. And if you can appreciate the importance of defense on a team, you can then break that down and better appreciate the importance of individual-player defense.
Wil Leitch of Sports on Earth writes that the Royals look pretty darn invincible.
The Kansas City Royals have one of the more underrated, intelligent, devoted fanbases in all of North American sports. They have been with this team for 29 years of unrelenting pain, of hostile irrelevance. Players, coaches, managers, owners, staff, everyone in the last 29 years have come on gone. And they're still here: They're the only constant. Some of them are even in the same damned seats.
That's what that play so perfect. It wasn't just Moustakas that made it: It was all of them. There was no better metaphor for this surreal run that the Royals have made than that. Moustakas was three years from being born when the Royals last reached the World Series. Some of those fans, though, they were there. They all rose up together.
I don't know about you, but I watched that play and thought: Holy cow: The Royals are going to win the World Series.
Sam Mellinger writes that the Royals have changed the city's sports identity.
The franchise once defined by a manager saying it can always get worse is now, somehow, America’s team and the greatest story in sports. They are the last team standing in the American League, and the betting favorite to win the whole thing. In the stands and even in the clubhouse, over and over, you hear grown men ask each other if this is real life....
"The fans here deserve this," chairman David Glass says. "They’ve stuck with us for a long time."
David Glass says Dayton Moore is "absolutely" staying in Kansas City.
"Absolutely, he's staying," Glass said to CBSSports.com in the afterglow of the Royals' 2-1 victory that punched their ticket to their first World Series in 29 years. "We're all part of this together."
Sahadev Sharma at Baseball Prospectus writes the Royals were a little bit lucky, but also a quite good.
We goin' to the World Series. (h/t mutualfriend )
People had fun at the Power and Light District last night.
Including these guys.
#Royals crowd in PNL
Fox Sports picks up the terrific journey of Lorenzo Cain and how he picked up baseball late and wonders if his tale could help recruit others to the game.
Danny Duffy celebrating in a bear suit? Danny Duffy celebrating in a bear suit.
Royals World Series tickets are already the second-most expensive of the last five years.
The Baltimore marathon is very specific about which cheers you can do. I'm guessing "Seven Nation Army" is on the list.
HBO will offer a stand-alone online service so you don't have to buy cable. Netflix shares plummet.
The Lorenzo "Super Cain" shirts are still for sale and they should be a hot item now that he's ALCS MVP! You can get them in time for the World Series.
Your song of the day is the Foo Fighters with "My Hero"