Royals Rumblings - News for October 28, 2014
Joe Posnanski writes that the Royals dominant bullpen has covered up a lot of terrible decisions by Ned Yost.
But I will say this: Yost has learned the Dick Stanley art of zen and baseball management. In the sixth inning, Bochy was doing some full contact managing, pacing back and forth between the mound and the dugout like one of those 1950s expectant fathers, leaving his starter in one batter longer than seemed prudent, matching lefties against lefties, righties against righties, going to his homer-prone and hotheaded rookie for reasons nobody could quite fathom. Bochy was working it, hitting all the buttons, pulling all the levers, twisting all the knobs, switching all the switches.
And Ned Yost said: "I’m fine."
"After the sixth inning, my thinking’s done," Yost said, and it drew a little bit of a laugh, but he’s exactly right. The Firm of Herrera, Davis and Holland is so good, so bleeping good, that there are no decisions to be made, no match-ups to be matched, no maneuvers to maneuver.
"Hey Ned, there’s a lefty coming up against Kelvin Herrera."
"Ned, this guy coming up against Wade Davis has got some power and kills righties."
"Um Ned, there’s a giant spaceship over the stadium, and aliens are rushing in from the Planet TaterBopper, and Greg Holland is out there alone."
Neil Paine of Fivethirtyeight writes the Royals may regret not taking advantage of Game 4.
In the top of the third inning of Game 4, the Royals tagged San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong for four runs, opening up a 4-1 lead. As a result, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was forced to bring in reliever Jean Machi from the bullpen early, and Machi promptly walked Jarrod Dyson to load the bases. At that precise juncture — with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning, leading the game 4-1 and the series 2-1 — the Royals had an 82.4 percent probability of winning the World Series....
But they failed to score Hosmer in the fifth, then let the Giants tie the game in the bottom of the inning. An inning later, San Francisco blew the game open with three runs, then tacked on four more in the seventh en route to an 11-4 victory.
We may eventually look back at those two moments of Game 4 as the high-water marks for Kansas City’s World Series chances.
Jonah Keri of Grantland writes about Game 5, where Madison Bumgarner mowed down the Royals and etched his name in World Series history.
One of the Royals’ biggest advantages in this series was supposed to be their glove work. Going beyond traditional metrics and focusing on stats that measure how well a team converts balls in play into outs, K.C. ranked fourth in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved during the regular season and first in Ultimate Zone Rating, according to FanGraphs. The Giants, meanwhile, tied for 16th and 15th, respectively, in those metrics. In Game 5, however, the Giants beat the Royals at their own game, finding holes with grounders, bloopers, and even a bunt, while K.C. failed to match that success
Sam Mellinger writes about how James Shields taught the Royals how to win, but now they'll have to fly on their own.
He hasn’t been great in the playoffs, but there is little doubt the Royals would not have made it this far without him. He’ll almost certainly make his next start in someone else’s uniform, but he will forever be entwined in the fabric of this organization’s rise from two decades of losing. He’ll come back to Kauffman Stadium, of course, first as a player and then maybe for a reunion of the franchise’s greatest team in 29 years.
He’s earned that. He’s done so much for the friends he’s made since joining the Royals.
Now, it is up to them whether he’ll come back as a World Series champion.
Here's a transcript of Ned Yost's nonsensical post-game press conference from Sunday night.
Q. After Infante's double you got a runner in scoring position, for what ended up being the only time all night. Did you consider pinch‑hitting with Willingham and/or Butler in that situation?
NED YOST: It was too early right there. We were still looking to keep our defense in the game. We did come back around in, I want to say the 8th inning, and pinch‑hit Billy. We didn't want to leave our best hitter on the bench knowing that we were way back down after the double‑switch. We double‑switched to try to give Herrera an opportunity to go two innings, if we got back into that game. But, yeah, at that point I want to say it was the fourth or fifth inning. Still a little early for that.
Jeremy Guthrie is ready to come home and win a championship.
We wouldn't want to do this anywhere other than in Kansas City w/you guys... turns out we have no choice. We Ready!— Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) October 27, 2014
On the value of catcher Salvador Perez: "I think his No. 1 unique attribute, aside from his talent, which I think puts him with the elite catchers in the league, is his energy and his excitement, his demeanor. Always very happy-go-lucky, no matter the situation, men on base, cruising, not cruising. He’s always very positive. Has a smile on his face. ‘You can do it, pop. You can do it.’
"That builds confidence in the pitcher when you know he believes in you, and he’s pushing for you to get over whatever obstacles are in your way. I think his talent speaks for itself. I anticipate he would win another Gold Glove this year, and I anticipate he’ll have a lot of those by the time he’s done playing."
Rob Neyer writes about his first baseball game in Kansas City, years before he would turn his back on them.
I remember being surrounded by so many people, more people than I’d ever seen in my (almost) 10 years, and how it exciting that was. Ah, memory. The Royals were one of the top draws in the American League in those years, but fewer than half the seats in the stadium were filled in all three of these games I think I might have attended. But when you’re nine years old and you’ve never been to a major sporting event, 18,000 people still seems like a million.
David Glass flew a bunch of Royals employees and their guests on his dime and got them World Series tickets. But I bet he got served them off-brand soda on the plan, the cheap bastard.
ICYMI, the Royals claimed OF Moises Sierra off waivers from the White Sox over the weekend and designated P Liam Hendriks for assignment. But Dayton is not done yet....
#Royals re-signed Clayton Mortensen to a minor league deal for next season.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) October 27, 2014
The Braves are getting the Seitz Effect.
Nearly half of all TV sets in Kansas City have been tuned into the Royals World Series games, an absurd rating.
Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times writes that the 2014 Royals aren't the first club from this city to have extraordinary pinch-running.
Tyler Kepner, also of the Times, writes about the unique college pedigree of Brandon Finnegan.
Jim Cosgrove (better known to Kansas City-area parents as "Mr. Stinky Feet") writes about growing up cutting George Brett's yard.
The Kansas City Symphony and Chorus record a tribute to the Royals.
Former Tigers pitcher Jeff Robinson, a Kansas City resident, passed away at the too-young age of 52.
Chivas USA folds and will be replaced by a second Los Angeles MLS franchise in a few years. Meanwhile, this means Sporting Kansas City will move to the Western Conference.
Benedict Cumberbatch will play Dr. Strange. Or Dr. Strange will play Benedict Cumberbatch, I'm not sure which one is supposed to be the Marvel character in that sentence.
Could the legal marijuana industry be a $35 billion industry in six years?
Your song of the day is the Les Humphries Singers with "Kansas City."