World Series Newsbeat
Monday, October 20, 2014
Ned Yost is, objectively, not a good manager and sometimes it’s really hard to see people fall into success despite themselves. This could be mitigated against if, as he sort of did during the ALCS, he shows that he’s learning from his mistakes on the fly, but it’s also possible Yost Yosts it up, the Royals nonetheless win and we’re stuck with a winter in which we’re subjected to “Ned Yost: smarter than you think” articles.
I assume folks will tilt hard towards the Royals but I’m going Giants. Number one reason is that I would like to see Tim Hudson get a ring. Number two is similar to above. I hate to see stupidity rewarded.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
The Royals won 89 games.
The success of the Royals has led to considerable speculation that we will see a return to the WhiteyBall style. Herzog was a meticulous master of defensive preparation, with folders of pitcher- and hitter-specific charts. But the study of defense is not new. The Athletics focused on defensive information two years after the Moneyball draft, and so were the Red Sox, Mets and several other teams. These Royals did not have the ballpark or the payroll to afford a bopper lineup, so Dayton Moore built what they could build, and when the regular season ended, they earned a play-in opportunity, leading the American League in team defensive runs saved, well ahead of runners-up Baltimore and Boston. Cardinals players yesterday were asking to not be reminded of their (defensive) failures, they have not forgotten them.
Posted: October 18, 2014 at 01:26 PM | 7 comment(s)
Please, for the love of baseball, keep the Steve Perrys and Neil Diamonds away from the game broadcasts.
Unlike Peavy, who finally got his long-awaited ring last season with Boston, starter Tim Hudson has waited a teenager’s lifetime to even sniff the World Series.
Now, at 39, he finally gets his chance.
“You go 16 years without being able to experience something like this, you wonder if it’s going to happen,” he said in the locker room. “It’s hard to put into words. It almost feels surreal, like in a dream.”
Barely able to contain his smile, Hudson added, “I can’t believe it’s finally happened.”
With former Journey lead singer Steve Perry on hand to lead the hometown fans in three straight days of late-game karaoke, the Giants never did stop believing. Not when they needed a walk-off bunt in Game 3. Not when they surged ahead thanks to a quirky series of events in Game 4.
And when the homer by Ishikawa, who spent much of the year at Triple-A Fresno, landed in the right-field arcade, high out of the reach of Oscar Taveras’ flailing arms, belief had been replaced by a realization: This team may yet again shock the baseball world.
The Giants have won the pennant. Anarchy is coming to Kansas City.
Posted: October 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
Friday, October 17, 2014
Shorter Schoenfield: Don’t confuse “fun” with “awesome.”
So these aren’t great teams. So this is arguably the worst World Series matchup ever, as far as quality of teams. Giants fans can disagree, but if this was a great team, why did the Giants put themselves in the dice roll of a wild-card game? Why couldn’t they beat out the Dodgers for the division title? Royals fans can point out that their team has won eight postseason games in a row, but if the Royals are a great team, why did they put themselves in the dice roll of a wild-card game? Why couldn’t they win two more games and beat out the Tigers for the division title?
In the regular season, the Royals were ninth in the AL in runs scored and fourth in runs allowed. The Giants were fifth in runs scored and sixth in runs allowed. There’s a reason neither team won 90 games.
Now, that said: This should be a fun World Series between two evenly matched teams with intriguing reasons to root for each. The Royals, for so long the hapless Royals, are a likable bunch of young players, speed demons and defensive geniuses with that awesome bullpen that puts the fear into opposing teams and fans. You get the feeling that if you don’t beat them in six innings you’re not going to win. Everybody starts anew in the postseason and the Royals have played some of the most exciting baseball we’ve seen in years in going 8-0 in the playoffs. They overcame a 7-3 deficit to beat the A’s in the wild-card game and then beat the 98-win Angels and 96-win Orioles. They deserve to be here.
Anyone who claims to have any idea about which club actually will prevail needs to utter the names, “Travis Ishikawa” and “Mike Moustakas” for an hour straight, as fast as humanly possible.
Posted: October 17, 2014 at 09:21 AM | 2 comment(s)
Thursday, October 16, 2014
In early December 2012, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Moore called a meeting for the Royals’ braintrust. Scouts and development guys and transaction specialists and sabermetricians filled Moore’s suite and started to argue.
Him was Wil Myers. Him was Jake Odorizzi. Him was Mike Montgomery. Him was Patrick Leonard. They were four prospects in the Royals’ farm system. Myers was one of the best in baseball, Odorizzi another high-reward sort, Montgomery and Leonard each with significant upside. Trading a prospect such as Myers is somewhere between heresy and lunacy in the modern-baseball handbook. Moore disagreed. He needed a starting pitcher. He wanted the decades of losing to stop.
“It was time to win,” Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo said. “The window for Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and the young guys coming into their own was now. Planning to get to the World Series and the actuality of getting there are two different things.”
Moore believed in himself, in his plan. He told the fans, tired of waiting, to trust the process. The phrase took on a life of its own, the T and P capitalized as the Trust waned and the Process floundered. This was the last step of the process. “Usually when you’re trying to win,” Butler said, “you trade prospects for the veteran guys.”
The veteran guy was named James Shields. He wasn’t one of the 10 best pitchers in baseball, more an excellent No. 2 starter than a lockdown No. 1. No matter. The Royals’ supposedly great class of pitching prospects went belly up, and after days of phone calls to gauge the market, Moore settled on Shields and a maybe-starter, maybe-reliever named Wade Davis.
So he asked the question: “Do we still have a good system?” The answer was overwhelmingly yes, as was the idea the Royals would be better with Shields and Davis than without. Moore consummated the deal. Outrage blazed. Critics accused him of moral hazard, of setting back the franchise years by dealing a potentially dynamic middle-of-the-order bat for two years of a starting pitcher.
Posted: October 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
Friday, October 03, 2014
It’s 2014. I’m thirty-seven. My wife and daughter are both asleep. I’m a thousand miles from the stadium-turned-parking-lot. On YouTube, Kenny Lofton of the American League Champion Cleveland Indians looks at the first pitch for a ball. Inside, low. I don’t remember the call. I remember all of us standing, holding our breath. Then I remember light. Thousands of lights. Waves of tiny diamonds. The whole stadium flashing and Jason, who would die five months later on the side of a south Georgia highway, leaning into my ear and whispering, “Maddux.”
Thursday, October 02, 2014
October 2, 2014 10:48 AM EDT - The Library of Congress recently found nearly perfectly preserved nitrate film of a “Kinograms” newsreel showing the Washington Senators winning the World Series over the New York Giants and fans storming the field at Griffith Stadium to celebrate.
Hey, all. I’m back with my (crude, i.e., doesn’t take into account lineups) postseason projections for you all to tear apart. Below is a summary of my data as the LDS round begins.
Overall WS Win Likelihoods:
* WSN 19%
* LAA 19%
* LAD 18%
* BAL 14%
* DET 9%
* SFG 8%
* KCR 7%
* STL 6%
Most likely WS outcome: LAA over WSN in 7 (2.04%)
Interesting WS match-ups:
* All-Cali Series 18%
* Beltway Battle 10%
* Show Me State Showdown 2%
Check out the full link for more analysis and pretty charts.
Posted: October 02, 2014 at 11:59 AM | 29 comment(s)
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