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Royals Rumblings - News for October 31, 2014

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Royals Rumblings - News for October 31, 2014

Nate Silver at Fivethirtyeight says Alex Gordon should have been sent.

What if Gordon rounds third and tries to score? If he’s successful even 30 percent of the time, the Royals’ win probability is at least 15 percent — a 30 percent chance of Gordon scoring, multiplied by a 50 percent chance of the Royals winning in extra innings. But it’s slightly higher than that. The 30 percent of the time that Gordon scores, Perez still has his 6 percent chance of scoring the winning run in the ninth. That brings the Royals’ overall win probability up to about 16 percent.

We’re splitting hairs. The point is that if even Gordon had been a 2-to-1 underdog to score, he should have tried.

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs disagrees.

Crawford was about as far away there as he was in Game 7. Because his throw was perfect, he was able to nail a runner who was halfway down the line upon release. Gordon wasn’t down the line at all. So the throw could’ve been average, or even a little worse. And I think the odds of that, or some other mistake, were low. They were real! Crawford and Buster Posey don’t make that play 100% of the time. But maybe 95%, or 90%. Maybe 85%, or 80%. The breakeven rate’s around 70-75%. All Crawford had to do was throw the ball, and all Posey had to do was catch the ball, and they’ve thrown the ball and caught the ball before.

Andrew Joseph of the Arizona Republic says a late start out of the box cost Gordon.

It took Gordon an uncharacteristically slow 4.66 seconds to reach first base after making contact. According to the major-league scouting system, a 4.6 home-to-first time from a left-handed batter would place Gordon with the lowest possible score of 2.

Gordon is not a slow runner, so it's clear that he wasn't running out of the box at full speed. He was able to recover some, hitting a top speed of 18.7 mph according to

But that late jump was crucial.

Chris Chase of USA Today writes that Gordon going for it would have made Game 7 the best ending ever - but that he would have been out.

The most important thing to note is that Gordon stepped on the brakes about 30 feet from third base. He didn’t want to overrun the bag and get thrown out while trying to scurry back. That affected the timing of the play. He was never trying to score.

But let’s say he was getting waved around. With a decent throw, Gordon would have almost certainly been mowed down. With a throw that was slightly off — which was a higher probability than usual given the craziness and frenzy of the play — Gordon could have made it.

Gordon says third-base coach Mike Jirschele holding him up was the right call.

"He made a good call holding me up. With a good hitter like Salvy up, we liked our chances. I'm not as fast as (teammate Jarrod) Dyson – that's what I've been saying the whole time – and if I was I probably would've scored."

Jirschele told reporters that Crawford's great arm was part of the reason he held Gordon, saying, " I'm pretty sure [Crawford] made the throw earlier [in the game] when Billy Butler scored, and that play was much closer than I thought it was going to be."


The Giants say that while the Royals didn't win, they did earn some respect.

"Seriously, I’m so proud of them," Blanco said. "I really thought that they were gonna win it. I’m proud because I played there and I know how hard they worked to be in this position.

"I told my teammates, those guys are winners, they know how to win. But at the same time, this team, we’re the same way. There’s a lot of character on this team. We know how to do it. Even though we accomplished three World Series in the last five years, we never had an ego. We’re a humble team, and we play with heart."

Read more here:

Tony Blengino of Fangraphs writes the Giants beat the Royals at their own game - flashing leather.

When you get down to it, defense is played by a team, not a group of individuals. The defensive strengths and weaknesses of each club’s individual members affect each player’s positioning. The Royals likely have superior individual defenders to the Giants – my eyes and the publicly available metrics say as much. The Giants’ individual defenders, however, are pretty solid in their own right, and the big-picture, macro level numbers suggest that their defense "plays up" as a unit.

Lorenzo Cain won't get a Gold Glove, but he will get a Fielding Bible Award, which is more credible these days.

Mike Bates thinks the Royals are doomed. DOOMED.

Sure, they will have access to additional resources next year as they reap the benefits of their postseason run, but enough to cover the huge leap forward they've already taken? It's not easy to have confidence in them to consolidate and build on their success -- the cynic who has watched them in the years before 2014 says that, in real life, Cinderella only gets one chance to wear the glass slipper. Unless she signs someone who can hit some dingers for her, anyway.

Its back to real life, but the Star takes a look back at the memories the Royals left us this year.

Get the real scoop on who in the Royals clubhouse is the bigger jokester.

Ned Yost thanks the fans at the rally at Kauffman Stadium yesterday. There are lots of other videos in the KMBC 9 feed.

Chevy Guy has already drummed up about $2 million in publicity from his impression of "The Chris Farley Show."

Time to look forward to the Hot Stove League. Grant Brisbee ranks the top free agents with James Shields listed as the third best free agent, and Nori Aoki listed 33rd.

Speaking of free agents, Josh Willingham's career may not be over quite yet.

Arrowhead Pride asks where Madison Bumgarner ranks on Kansas City's list of most-disliked rival sports figures.

You have until 3 p.m. this afternoon to order your "Royals Avenue" replica street signs from the city.

You can order the "2014 Royals - The Book!" from the Kansas City Store. Meanwhile, the DVD of the World Series comes out December 2 and makes a great holiday gift.

Royals owner David Glass will sit on the "Golden Era Committee" to determine which candidates that were not elected by the BBWAA will be enshrined in Cooperstown.

KCUR writes that the World Series was like a three-hour commercial for Kansas City.

Sporting Kansas City had their post-season end this week as well, with a 2-1 loss in a knock out game to the New York Red Bulls.

The Chiefs had the #1 overall pick in what is looking like one of the worst drafts in recent NFL history. Bill Barnwell and Robert Mays at Grantland looks at who they might have taken if they could re-do that draft.

Every on-screen death in the Star Wars movies set to the band Girl Talk. Because.

The University of Penn is offering a class on wasting time on the internet. Its called "Royals Review 101."

Ranking all 25 Simpsons Tree-House of Horror episodes.

Your song of the day is "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr. Have a safe Halloween.