Royals Rumblings - News for October 17, 2014
Joe Posnanski writes about this team and what it means to his wife, a lifelong Royals fan.
There are only so many ways to describe the impossible, so let me relate a personal anecdote. Minutes after the Kansas City Royals beat Baltimore and secured their first World Series berth since the first Nintendo game system was invented, my younger daughter, Katie, called on FaceTime. She was wearing a Royals sweatshirt.
"Mom’s crying," she said.
My wife, Margo, is from a tiny town in Kansas called Cuba. Well, Cuba used to be a tiny town – it’s smaller than that now...
Buck O’Neil, the wonderful Negro Leagues player, manager, and spokesman, used to say, "I don’t like that word unbelievable. … Nothing is unbelievable." Buck had a gift for suspending belief and expecting good things even when there was no reason at all to expect them. Most of us don’t have that gift, certainly not to his extent, and so when the Royals got the final out and won the Championship Series and clinched their place in the World Series, I think it all just hit Margo, suddenly; the way people’s kindness hit George Bailey at the end of "It’s a Wonderful Life," the way a belief in magical things hit the farmer in "Babe," the way it all finally made sense when the son asked his Dad for a game of a catch in "Field of Dreams."
Aaaaaand now I'm having trouble keeping it together.
Jeff Passan has a nice long piece on how the Royals got here.
Here is why it is easy to love the Kansas City Royals: Because they spring for $15,000 bar tabs for fans and post amusing Instagram videos from inside the clubhouse and take in a terminally ill cancer patient as one of their own. Because a man from South Korea who adopted them years ago and stuck with them through all those awful seasons finally came to Kansas City this year and watched them rip off 10 straight wins. Because they can score a pair of runs 12 minutes into a clinching ALCS game on a play at home plate that kicks away from the catcher and make it hold for the next 2 hours, 44 minutes. Because Gordon runs into walls. Because Moustakas leaps over railings. Because Cain catches everything hit to him and pretty much everything not hit to him, too.
This is the team Dayton Moore set out to build, one that thrived in scouting and player development, that understood – maybe not this deep an understanding, but understood still – that a bullpen and defense could win some playoff games. The greatest trick Moore ever played was convincing a billionaire that he was being cheap.
Are the Kansas City Royals the future of baseball?
What happens to these grand theories if the Royals don’t come back from a 7-3 deficit with six outs to go in the Wild Card Game? I guess they’re lost to history. Sad.
Baseball, apparently, can’t just happen on its own terms. It all has to be explained via extra-baseball terms. It all has to Mean Something. I wonder if what the Royals have done will still Mean Something if they get swept by the Giants. And if it doesn’t — if we aren’t still told to learn the lessons of these Kansas City Royals as if it were special wisdom — one has to ask how special all of this wisdom is now.
The Orioles were a terrific team that had a Cinderella season of their own, so Jonah Keri looks back at their season and how they got snakebitten by the Royals.
The O’s batted .346 with runners in scoring position in the ALCS … and got swept anyway.
Much of that incongruity stems from a lack of hitting, period, in the series’ final two games, when the Orioles managed just seven total hits and saw just four total opportunities with runners in scoring position. They went 1-for-4. Add in Baltimore’s RISP stats from its ALDS romp over Detroit and the numbers become even weirder, and nearly historic. The O’s banged out 18 hits in 47 at-bats with runners in scoring position this postseason, batting .383/.444/.617 in those situations.
Ben Blatt at Slate writes how the Royals really mark the rise of the bullpens that will conquer all of humanity.
Mike Petriello at Fangraphs wonders how anyone ever beat the Royals bullpen.
It’s not easy to beat this bullpen in the late innings. It’s nearly impossible, especially when you consider that the rare times it’s happened have mostly been either pitchers who aren’t on the playoff roster, or one-off issues like Davis throwing the ball away. Ever so often, they’ll give you a little something to work with, but it’s so, so rare. It hasn’t happened at all this postseason.
So how do you beat this group in the late innings? Make sure you get a lead before that. If not, it might already be too late.
Could Sung Woo return for the World Series?
8:00 pm UPDATE: SungWoo is in his meeting right now. Nothing is decided yet. More details soon. #BringBackSungWoo Keep it trending.— THE Fake Ned (@TheFakeNed) October 17, 2014
These World Series tickets are among the hottest sellers in recent history. From TiqIQ, here are the AVERAGE ticket prices in recent years.
Craig Brown at Royals Authority has a long line of thank yous he wants to get to.
David Hill at Kings of Kauffman thinks the Royals National League-style may be an advantage in the World Series.
Esquire Magazine finds the Royals cap to be a very fashionable item to wear.
KMBC 9's Johnny Kane getting the stuffin' scared out of him by a screaming fan has gone viral.
Jeremy Krashin at Huffington Post talks about the Royals improbable run helped him with the loss of his daughter.
The Kansas City Star has had a nice run of headlines during the Royals run.
Were you wondering what was up with that guy in the Marlins gear behind home plate at Game 4 of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium? He pops up at a lot of sporting events, and here's his story.
Colts owner Jim Irsay is not a boring owner at all.
Jon Gosselin of "Kate Plus Eight" fame is doing great.
Apple introduced a new iPad so my kids will have something new to fight over.
Your song of the day is Aerosmith with "Dream On."