Royals Rumblings - News for October 3, 2014
Will Leitch at Sports on Earth writes that the Royals play like they have time-traveled from 1985.
No one plays like this anymore! This has been proven -- and proven is the right word -- to be an inefficient way to run a baseball team. Even with home runs down from their insane early-aughts levels, there are still a ton more of them than there were in 1985, and why not? Home runs are great! Everybody loves home runs ... except the Royals. The Wild Card game was a terrific example of what happens when you construct a team like it's 2014 (the A's) and pit a team constructed like it's 1985 (the Royals)....
And it worked! And I don't mean to disparage the Royals here. Just because so much of what they do flies in the face of current baseball thought doesn't mean it's not deliriously exciting to watch them work. Baseball was really fun in 1985! Efficiency is smart, but it's not always aesthetically pleasing.
Carson Cistulli at Fangraphs looks at Brandon Finnegan's appearance against Oakland and tries to project how Finnegan will fare against Major Leaguers going forward.
Finnegan appears to have recorded a slightly higher strikeout and slightly lower walk rate during his regular-season sample than the model would have predicted — leading, that combination, to just a 38 xFIP-. Insofar as only three relievers since 2002 have transcended that figure in a single season — Craig Kimbrel in 2012 (23 xFIP-), Eric Gagne in 2003 (26 xFIP-), and Aroldis Chapman this season (32 xFIP-) — it’s probably reasonable to conclude that Finnegan benefited from some variance. The general outline of the projected figures is promising, nonetheless — and, notably, the larger regular-season sample leads to almost the same exact conclusions as the smaller, nine-batter postseason sample.
Jeffrey Flanagan writes about the Royals competitive spirit and never-say-die attitude.
"It's a tough-minded team," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "People have doubted us, but when we've had to make a play or had to win a game, we've done it. It's who we are."
Dave Cameron at Fangraphs looks at the strengths and weaknesses of each playoff club remaining. The Royals strength? Domes.
They are great at the little things, which is good, because they kind of suck at the big things. The offense is downright bad. Jason Vargas is their Game 1 starter tonight, and Jeremy Guthrie is occupying a spot in their playoff rotation. While he actually is a very good starter, their ace has been more Low Yields Shields than Big Game James in his postseason career. Defense and relief pitching can only carry you so far; at some point, the Royals will have to actually score runs, and they won’t have 15 pinch-runners for the rest of the playoffs. Some of their young hitters are going to have to hit, or this playoff run won’t go very far.
Barry Petchesky at Deadspin notes the Royals will never stop running, and he loves it.
CLUBHOUSE CONTROVERSY! Sal Perez won't leave Lorenzo Cain alone.
Jason Vargas reflects about his former teammate at both Long Beach State and with the Angels, the man that started against him last night - Jered Weaver.
"He’s one of those special guys that comes into your life, and I don’t really talk to too many people that you come in contact with away from playing baseball," Weaver said on Wednesday. "You kind of lose relationships and things of that nature, but that’s one relationship that I’ve held on to through the years. It’s nice to be able to call him and talk to him."
NPR's "Codeswitch" has the story of Sung Woo Lee, the Korean Royals fans who sparked the team to the playoffs.
Royals baseball is sexy as hell, and I want to watch it for as long as possible.
Groupon's Vice President of Operations Zach Finley writes about what the Royals win on Tuesday meant to him growing up in Kansas City.
By the time we got home last night, it was after 2 am. "Promise me one thing," I leaned over and quietly asked my 10 year-old niece as we pulled in the driveway. "What?" she whispered back. "Promise me you’ll never forget tonight." She looked back with a look of reverence for the evening that was beyond her years, and promised me that she never would.
You see, she doesn’t know it yet, but there’s a really important rule to being a Royals fan: cherish any big moment, because you never know how long you’ll have to wait for the next one.
Whatifsports simulated the Royals-Angels series 501 times, with the Royals winning 40% of the time. I like our odds!
Keith Law picks the Angels in five. Boo I say.
The 2014 Royals as characters from the movie "Major League." ason Vargas puts snot on the baseball.
The Royals should hire Matthew McConaughey to give them a pep talk before the game.
Kansas City bars and restaurants are on the Royals bandwagon with food and drink specials to celebrate the Royals playoff appearance.
Slate's Dana Stevens loved "Gone Girl", the David Fincher film adapted from Kansas City author Gillian Flynn.
Grantland tries to solve the great mysteries of Westeros in "Game of Thrones" with crazy-person math.
Buying Tumblr was a big mistake, says everyone but Yahoo!
Your song of the day is "I Hate California" by the Last Royals.