Royals Rumblings - News for October 7, 2015
Sam Mellinger mulls over what, if anything, would make this season a "failure" at this point.
So, I don’t know, like I said, you have to decide this for yourself. But for me, baseball’s playoffs are such a lottery, unless the Royals embarrass themselves — unless there’s a Bill Buckner moment — I can’t see judging this season as a failure. They won 95 games. Won the division. Best record in the league. More people bought tickets to watch in person, and planned their days around watching on TV, than ever before.
They backed up a playoff run with a dominating 162. They proved that last year was no fluke which, whether people want to admit it now or not, was a real fear among many fans. I just can’t see how that turns into a failure.
But I do think this, and this is part of what I wrote the other day: their greatest accomplishment is playing so well that they will be devastated if they don’t now win the World Series.
After nearly 1,700 games in the big leagues, Alex Rios will experience the post-season for the first time.
The closest he’s come before was playing for the Rangers in a Game 163 as they tried and failed to sneak into the playoffs in 2013.
"It’s something that has crossed my mind many times throughout my career," Rios said last week at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. "I think that that is the main goal for a baseball player, for any athlete, to make it to the playoffs and win it all. … "And to experience it with this bunch of guys makes it special, makes it memorable, you know?"
No surprise, Ned Yost says Yordano Ventura will start Game One, Johnny Cueto will start Game Two, and Edinson Volquez will start Game Three. No word yet on who will start Game Four, if needed.
Aaron Stilley at Royals Authority looks at some end-of-the-season odds and ends.
Jarrod Dyson played in his sixth season for the Royals, and has had positive wins above average (WAA) every year. The only other Royals to put together six or more consecutive seasons with WAA in the black are in the team Hall of Fame: Kevin Appier, Willie Wilson, Amos Otis, George Brett, Dan Quisenberry, and Jeff Montgomery. In Dyson’s first two seasons, he only played 18 and 26 games, so those hardly count, but the larger point is that Dyson has been quietly, consistently brilliant in a part-time role. It could be that he is under-utilized by Ned Yost, but it is also possible the KC brain-trust is correctly guessing that he is most valuable as a part-timer. He is certainly good enough to be an every-day outfielder for plenty of teams, but has found himself part of deep outfields in KC. Oddly, his incredible speed might be leading to more bench time, assuming Yost likes to have the option to use him as a pinch runner at crucial times. He’s been a hell of a player flying under the radar for quite some time though.
Grant Brisbee goes over why it would suck for each playoff team's fanbase to lose.
A lot of these teams are in the middle of substantial droughts. The Blue Jays haven't blah blah blah, the Pirates haven't blah blah blah, and the Cubs certainly haven't blah blah blah. But the last time the Royals won the World Series, a sitting Congresswoman was a toddler, sticking things up her nose and thinking about anything other than George Brett. They have their drought, too. Even if they won the pennant last year. Even if they got close enough to a championship to smell it. Oh, god, it smells like Derek Jeter, like allspice and success, and they need to get back. KATE, WE NEED TO GO BACK....
Okay. The good news is that the Royals were the best team in the AL this year. They have home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Everyone laughed at them for their ridiculous ballot-stuffing before the All-Star Game. "Well, wouldn't it be funny if all those stupid Royals failed and it cost them home-field advantage?" And, no, the AL Royals All-Stars won. They're in. This is the best team they've had since George Brett, and this is the clearest path they've had in decades.
And they're still unlikely to win it all. All of these teams are. That's the point. Doesn't this suck? This all sucks. You sure chose a horrible hobby.
If you're around downtown mid-day today, there will be a Royals event at the Power and Light District.
P and L tomorrow from 11:30 to 1:30. Free ball park fare lunch and q and a with former Royals including Frank White. https://t.co/lrbwvlw9In— Doug Stewart (@dougstewart1) October 6, 2015
Andy McCullough was on "Up to Date" on KCUR which you can listen to here. He produced this gem.
Jim Callis breaks down the composition of playoff teams and finds the Royals have the most free agents.
Dave (Houston, TX): What went wrong with Hunter Dozier this season?
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Moving up a level really separates players. I think the Royals are heartened by Dozier’s power—he did have 40 extra-base hits—and in a different league, he might still have made the top 20. One thing that was noticeable was a large increase in swinging at pitches out the strike zone. He was still making contact, but very weak contact. So perhaps a brush-up on zone awareness is necessary.
Royals fan Eric Stonestreet and other celebrities give their predictions on the playoffs.
Sam Mellinger and Andy McCullough talk Royals on the new KC Star podcast.
SB Nation baseball writers give their MLB playoff predictions.
ESPN contributors give their playoff predictions.
Jonah Keri passes out MLB awards for 2015.
The Baseball Hall of Fame announces its nominees for consideration by the Veterans' Committee from the "pre-integration era."
The average MLB game time dropped to under three hours in 2015.
Jason Whitlock is burning bridges.
The ending of the Monday Night Football game between the Lions and Seahawks was screwed up by everyone.
Here's a look at your new NHL overtime rules.
11,000 photos of moon missions have been made available on Flickr.
Aaron Sorkin cuts right through the Steve Jobs myth in his latest movie.
The guys from Homestar Runner have a new show.
Don't fear, hash browns are included as part of McDonald's all-day breakfast menu, despite the rumors.
Your song of the day is ZZ Top with "Heaven, Hell, or Houston."