Royals Rumblings - News for October 23, 2014
Vahe Gregorian writes that Big Game James came up lame. And the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.
"You have to know James Shields," manager Ned Yost said. "You have to know that he’s a tremendous competitor. He has the ability to make adjustments."
The ability, yes, but his reservoir may be another matter after pitching more innings than anyone in the big leagues this season.
Because Shields hasn’t been his customary self for most of the last two months now.
Speaking of which, James Shields never asked to have the nickname "Big Game James."
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs looks at why James Shields was hit so hard in Game One.
You get a sense of the issue for Shields: he’s a location pitcher who’s been struggling with location. In Game 1, he got battered, but this has been a problem through the playoffs. Over the four starts, Shields has allowed 67 balls in play, and 43% of those have been line drives. One can only wonder how bad Shields’ playoff numbers might be were it not for some help from the defense and luck.
Ken Davidoff of the New York Post thinks Shields may be costing himself money with his post-season performance.
Grant Brisbee disagrees.
Shields had a bad start and a worse nickname for that start. He'll still get paid. He'll still be counted on for big games. He's still a better bet than most pitchers in baseball to pitch well in those big games. One start -- or a series of three bad starts -- shouldn't be enough to change that.
Dave Cameron looks at Alcides Escobar's strikeout in Game One, the worst at-bat of the playoffs.
Ben Lindbergh at Grantland thinks that Madison Bumgarner crushed the Royals momentum.
Royals fans will now have to endure some dismaying stats about previous pennant winners who have gone down in Game 1: Ten of the last 11 to do so ultimately succumbed in the Series, and Kansas City’s home-field advantage (which it wouldn’t have gotten until Game 7) is gone. There are some positives: Duffy, returning from his Michael Wacha–esque exile, pitched well after his initial wildness — so well, in fact, that one could question why Yost left him in for 59 pitches rather than keep him fresh for future bullpen work — and Game 2 starter Yordano Ventura has had "absolutely dynamite" side sessions (according to Yost) since his injury-related removal from ALCS Game 2. And then there’s the best news of all: The Royals can look forward to a few games against someone other than Bumgarner.
Oh, and there’s another lesson we (re)learned in Game 1: Momentum, if it exists, is easy to overcome.
Jason Whitlock remembered that baseball is a thing, in fact it is a sport, and he is paid to write and know about sports, so he recounts the bad old days he had covering the Royals.
In Muser's four full seasons as manager of the Royals, he sat through 89, 97, 85 and 97 losses. The local media hammered Muser for being a downer, for scowling too much and being too old-school. We taunted him for criticizing choir boy Mike Sweeney -- K.C.'s highest-paid player -- for being too soft and too religious to lead the Royals.
"Chewing on cookies and drinking milk and praying is not going to get it done," Muser said after his 2001 team fell to 10-18. "It's going to take a lot of hard work, and it's a mindset. I'd like them to go out and pound tequila [rather] than have cookies and milk because nobody is going to get us out of this but us."...
"Of course I regret saying it," Muser lamented. "I didn't mean it the way it came out. I was trying to say, 'It's hard to win. It's hard being .500 in the situation we're in.' I can remember taking my family to the airport the next day when [new general manager] Allard Baird called me. 'We've got a problem, Tony. Do you want all of our players to drink tequila and play drunk?'
"I got 500 bottles of tequila sent to me in the mail," Muser added.
Former Royals Scouting Director Deric Ladnier always knew Alex Gordon would be a Gold Glover. At third base. He also explains his draft philosophy in taking Mike Moustakas.
"That’s part of the process. Some people felt like it was a reach [to draft Moustakas second]. I’ve always been inclined, other than [Zack] Greinke [chosen sixth overall in 2002] and Hochevar, to take a bat. You can get pitching later."
William Rhoden of the New York Times writes that aggressive baseball has been part of Kansas City baseball for decades.
"This is a young Kansas City Royals team that probably doesn’t know they’re playing a Negro league style, they’re just playing," said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a low brick building anchoring its block on East 18th Street here. "That’s O.K. The national spotlight being on Kansas City serves as a reminder that we should not forget the heroes of the Negro leagues and the contributions they made."
San Francisco columnist ain't care that the whole world is hatin' on the Giants.
Those Royals fans attending games in cat-print unitards are not only funny, but pretty swell guys for arranging World Series tickets for a young fan with Cerebral Palsy.
Include Wade Davis' wife as among those who are awesome to fans.
Hunter Pence really didn't know Kansas City was in Missouri.
NPR re-visits how the Royals got their name, and its not through a love of the House of Windsor.
The Simpsons world app! Worst....app.....ever.....
Eight seconds of Taylor Swift not singing is a smash hit in Canada.
Your song of the day is Aerosmith with "Back in the Saddle"