Royals Rumblings - News for October 29, 2014
Sam Mellinger writes that Yordano Ventura has come of age in the playoffs.
"Everybody’s an enemy," Ventura said of his style, through translator Jeremy Guthrie.
"He put us on his back, to be honest with you," outfielder Jarrod Dyson said.
Billy Butler is glad to be back in the swing of things.
"My first at-bat, I was just trying to get back into the flow of things and my timing was out," Butler said. "But I got it back fast."
Nice game and all, but he's no Jayson Nix.
Blair Kerkhoff writes that Game Sevens are the stuff of legend.
They don’t happen often. This will be the 34th game seven since the World Series moved to its current 2-3-2 format in 1924, and the home team is 18-15 in those games.
But like the game-six trend that favored home teams (13 home teams had won the previous 16 game sixes), the seventh game also has smiled on the home team.
They’re riding a nine-game winning streak, and the run includes the 1985 Royals, who battled back from a 3-1 deficit to the Cardinals to claim the franchise’s only crown.
Who will write their chapter in Royals lore?
ESPN's David Schoenfield writes about how Game 6 was served up to the Royals by the baseball gods.
Before the game, Royals manager Ned Yost was asked, "Since there is no tomorrow, if you will -- " and he quickly interrupted with "There is tomorrow."
Hey, maybe he knew something.
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs writes there is no super-duper extra-special advantage to being at home for Game 7 of the World Series, just your typical home field advantage.
Historically, in World Series Game Sixes, the home team has won 64% of the time. Whoa, that’s something! And in World Series Game Sevens, the home team has won 50% of the time. That’s also something, in the other direction. That something basically negates the other something....
This is one of those things you probably don’t even need to research. It doesn’t stand up to general scrutiny. Every baseball game applies pressure, and every postseason baseball game applies a little more pressure. Why would there be something special about higher-leverage playoff games, in terms of the home-field advantage? Everyone’s going to be a little nervous, and a loud crowd isn’t going to help the home team forget about the stakes. If anything those fans might apply more pressure, with their demanding, expectant attitudes. Ultimately, a baseball game gets played, and it’s never been demonstrated that the game itself responds to the volume of the environment.
Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco is extra-motivated to beat the Royals.
In 2010, Blanco, hit .310 in a cameo with the Braves and .274 after a trade to the lowly Royals. Blanco hoped the following spring would end with a trip to Kansas City, and technically it did. He was sent back to Triple-A, with the first stop in early April being Kauffman Stadium for a Futures Game against the Double-A squad.
Blanco hit an inside-the-park homer that day, but that's not what he remembers. Before the minor leaguers took the field, Blanco, already 27, sat in the stands with top prospects barely out of high school. He watched the Royals big leaguers take on the Angels, baffled and saddened that he wasn't in the dugout. "I was sitting there watching my career pass me by," Blanco said Monday. "I thought my career was about to end, and I felt like my future was taken away from me. But I used that game as motivation. It gave me a lot of spirit to get where I am."
David Waldstein of the New York times points out the Royals have been unable to wreak havoc on the bases because they're not getting on base.
Steven Goldman writes that win or lose, the Royals still don't know what they're doing.
The Royals are a one-trick pony. Clearly you can win a World Series that way. Does it make you great or the best team in baseball? No. Does it mean Dayton Moore is a general manager who knows what he's doing, that David Glass is committed to giving the city a first-class organization, or anything else? Nope, not that either. The Royals still don't know quite what they're going, and you can see that carried out in the case of ex-hitting coach Kevin Seitzer....
Celebrate the end of their time in the desert all you want. Cheer the underdog if you like being told what to do. The Giants are just as much weaker canines as the Royals, but they've been here more recently so they apparently don't count. If you're the underdog because you're outgunned, that's one thing. If you're the underdog because you got hot enough at the right moment to surpass your weaknesses, that's luck, not heroism.
The Royals still don't know what they're doing. Win or lose, that truth will be born out in the coming months and years.
Bay Area rapper E-40 was front and center next to Marlins Guy at Game 6, but DON'T TALK BAD ABOUT HIM!
Nothing structural was found in an MRI for Kyle Zimmer, so the Royals opted for exploratory surgery to determine what's wrong.
"All the MRIs he’s had done, there’s been nothing structurally wrong," assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said on Monday afternoon. "So that’s been a mystery with this. Just in talking to our doctors, it might be time just for an exploratory scope, just to see what’s in there. Just because it’s been a little bit of a mystery. Maybe that will clarify something for us. Maybe that will find something that the MRIs just didn’t show."
They removed some damaged tissue in his shoulder, and his 2015 start date is now unknown.
Opera star and Kansas City native Joyce DiDonato will perform the national anthem tonight. I bet she knows the words.
Jose Canseco accidentally shot off his middle finger. Okay.
The decline of baseball symbolizes the decline of America, and we've become fat, lazy, stupid, and bad at math, blah, blah, blah. THANKS OBAMA.
Neil Paine at Fivethirtyeight argues the BCS didn't do any worse of a job than a playoff will do.
Vox.com explains the absurdity of the GamerGate "ethics in journalism" argument in meme form.
"Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia"-inspired Halloween costumes (possibly NSFW). I'm dressing as a "rum ham."
Your song of the day is Eminem with "Lose Yourself."