Royals Rumblings - News for January 1, 2016
Vahe Gregorian writes that the Royals and Chiefs made Kansas City a town that never quits.
All, of course, made possible by the preposterous escape down four runs into the eighth inning facing elimination against Houston. Along about the sixth inning that day, part of The Star’s tentative plan, ahem, perhaps called for two sports columns along these lines:
"MELLINGER: Best season in 35 years for Royals won’t be remembered for a damn after this meltdown in Houston. "
VAHE: Did the way the Royals approached September lead to their offensive struggles in the ALDS (?). And did the all-out pursuit of players like (Johnny) Cueto after All-Star break put all the focus on October too soon and throw off their chemistry (?)."
That plan got purged, of course, as the Royals reprised the "keep the line moving" routine that sustained them through their breakout 2014 victory in the American League Wild Card game against Oakland.
Jerry Crasnick makes the case for Dayton Moore as ESPN's "Person of the Year."
As MLB's winter hiring carousel has shown, more teams are gravitating to young, Ivy League-educated executives who understand the metrics and the importance of exploiting market inefficiencies. Moore, a proud George Mason University Patriot, embraces quantitative analysis more fervently than his reputation suggests. But he also is adept at making the people around him feel as if they have a voice and that they matter. And he's selfless enough to share the credit, because winning ensures that everyone gets a seat at the championship parade.
Moore didn't finish first in ESPN.com's MLB "Person of the Year" voting, nor did he beat out Toronto's Alex Anthopoulos for MLB Executive of the Year. But he gave Royals fans a reason to cheer and changed the lives of lots of people at various rungs in the organizational hierarchy. That's a tradeoff he'll take every time.
Matt Snyder of CBS Sports lists the Royals as the top story in MLB this year.
Then there was the playoff run, which included them being six outs away from elimination before a six-run eighth inning got them back on track. The dramatic, late-inning comebacks would become a bit of a routine, culminating with an Eric Hosmer baserunning move to tie things up in Game 5. And then there was the parade. It had to be the largest turnout ever for a World Series victory parade. Soak it in, Kansas City. The baseball world belonged to you in 2015.
John Viril at Kings of Kauffman has his ten biggest plays of the year for the Royals.
The Hall of Fame case for former Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek.
The Dodgers sign Japanese free agent Kenta Maeda.
Are the Mets actually having a good off-season?
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs is skeptical the Yankees bullpen will be much better even with Aroldis Chapman.
Grant Brisbee covers the best and worst in baseball in 2015.
Frank Firke at Hardball Times has a new idea for the MLB schedule that involves promotion and relegation.
All the sad Oklahoma fans at the Orange Bowl.
Will Leitch has 100 sports predictions for 2016.
Star Wars is breaking box office records, so why is Disney stock down?
Why is flat beer trending?
Why is Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve such a big deal?
Your song of the day is A Great Big World with "This is the New Year."