OTC: Royals Drop Heartbreaker To Giants As WS Slips Back To The Bay / But KC Baseball Is Once Again Royal

“So unbelievably sad. So unbelievably proud.”
Brian Cunningham, @Hamdogg, after the Kansas City Royals dropped Game 7 to the San Francisco Giants by the score of 3-2, Twitter
GH: Yes, we lost. But Kansas City and its fans proved to be winners in how they bonded with their team and themselves. This was one fantastic October ride we all went on together that was all the more sweet due to its unexpectedness. Not even Madison Bumgarner can erase those memories.

“Hopefully, we can get another opportunity.”
Dayton Moore, 810 AM
GH: Last season we ridiculed Moore for saying that he thought in a small way we won the World Series. It was a ridiculous statement after suffering our 28th year of no postseason play in Kansas City. But that streak not only died this October, it was beaten bloody and he carcasses of some of MLB’s best teams were left in its wake. So let’s do this again sometime. Soon.

“This is a team that is going to go into spring training next year and know that they are a playoff team. And that is something different in this franchise than I can never remember.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“In 16 years of covering Omaha Royals always felt small pang of sadness when season ended. Feeling big pang with end of KC’s wonderful run.”
Steve Pivovar, Omaha World Herald sports writer, PivOWH, Twitter

“I admire those who can genuinely post about how great the season & postseason run was. I’m not there yet. Probably won’t be tomorrow either.”
Ryan Noonan, @ryanjnoonan, Twitter

“I don’t want to spend too much time on Madison Bumgarner…”
TJ Carpenter, during WHB’s Game 7 postgame call-in show, 810 AM
GH: I watched from my right-field seats as Bumgarner’s back slowly grew smaller as he strode from the Giants’ bullpen toward the infield in the fifth inning. The boos from the stands started immediately and only grew louder with each step. As my wife so aptly put it, “That guy takes all the fun out of it.”

“This is probably the best pitching performance of my era that I’ve ever seen.”
David Ross, Boston Red Sox catcher, on Bumgarner, ESPN
GH: That might be the best pitching performance of all time – at least it is definitely in the discussion. Wow. What Bumgarner did Sunday and then come back for five innings of shutout ball on Wednesday is the stuff of legend. And we are now part of that legend.

“Stupidly, I told him, ‘Boy, am I glad we don’t have to face you again.’”
Ned Yost, on what he said to Bumgarner after the Royals beat him and the Giants back in the regular season in early August, 810 AM

“I asked Joe Panik how many times he has done that where he flips the ball with his glove to second base and he said, ‘I’ve got to be honest with you. That’s the first time I’ve ever done that in a play around second base in my life.’”
Buster Olney, ESPN
GH This was the play changed the game and likely turned the World Series in favor of the Giants. Here is a link to the video if you can stomach watching it again. I thought it was brilliant. Devastating, but brilliant.

“You don’t think that I shouldn’t dive (at the first base bag) here. You just want to get there. It’s not a tenth of a second difference between diving at it and running through it.” Mike McFarlane, on Hosmer getting doubled up after the replay showed him to be out after diving at the first-base bag on Panik’s defensive gem, 810 AM
GH: McFarlane likes to defend the Royals players and coaches at almost every turn but this comment strikes me as naïve. You do not dive at the first base bag to get their quicker. You run through it. There is no decision to make. You run through the bag every time. I am amazed that MLB players still do not understand this simple fact of the game.

“I don’t see a villain anywhere.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro must not follow the same folks I do on Twitter. Joe Buck and the Fox boys came away the clear bad boys in the eyes of many Royals fans.

“You send (Alex) Gordon, and it’s one of the 5 greatest baseball moments ever, regardless of whether he scores.”
Nate Silver, @NateSilver538, on Royals third-base coach Mike Jirschele holding Gordon at third in the bottom of the ninth, Twitter
GH: From my seat in right I could see the problems Blanco had with the single and then how the left fielder fumbled the ball when he tried to pick it up. The Giants outfield definitely looked nervous and they panicked during the play. But it was not a play you would expect Gordon to go on. But there was that thought…

“I wondered, just for a moment…”
Ian Brisbin, @ibrisbin, Twitter

“Royals 3B coach Mike Jirschele on his decision not to send Alex Gordon: ‘Believe me, I wanted to send him. I couldn’t do it.’”
Jeff Passan, @JeffPassan, writer for YahooSports.com, Twitter

“To write, but one last thought: To all those people who thought Gordon should have been sent home — he’s out by 40 feet.”
Joe Posnanski, @JPosnanski, Twitter GH: Maybe. But there had already been two poor plays made on that ball in the outfield. It is one of those decisions that will likely grow in stature as time moves on. I think Gordon would have been out. But part of me believes that was the Royals chance at their magic moment.

“It was not the wrong call (by Jirschele) at third…I wish he had gone.”
Blair Kerkhoff, KC Star columnist, 810 AM

“Seriously, I thought he had a chance to score on that ball. I thought they might send him there.”
Bruce Bochy, on Gordon stopping at third in the bottom of the ninth, MLB Network

“They just outplayed us. You know, it’s not always the manger’s fault.”
Ned Yost, after Soren Petro asked Yost if he would review his decisions during the series and second guess some of his moves, 810 AM
GH: I listened to Yost praise the Giants in his postgame comments and he made me proud that he was representing the Royals and Kansas City with such class. Ned is not a good in-game strategist and he too often was an ass the past three years with the local media. But something happened to Yost this October. He mellowed, relaxed and he became likeable. As so many others commented on Twitter last night, this is the Ned Yost we need to see at spring training next year and throughout the rest of his tenure in Kansas City. It also would help if his club keeps winning…

“When I heard (Nate Yost) say that (he is now recognized by fans in Kansas City) I thought, ‘What a bunch of idiot Hoosier fans Kansas City has who don’t even know who their manager is.’ People didn’t want to approach him! Seriously, would you not agree Danny that 90% of all Royals fans thought of Ned Yost as unapproachable?”
Kevin Kietzman, after Ned Yost said that he is now recognized everywhere in Kansas City where only one in 30 people recognized him before the Royals playoff run, 810 AM GH: Anybody who bothered to tune into MLB’s postseason saw that Kansas City is not populated by a bunch of idiot Hoosiers. This is a city filled with great sports fans – just like a lot of cities that have professional sports teams. Kevin seems to be obsessed with how the rest of the country views Kansas City and whether or not they look down their nose at us. That is a problem with him not us. I think we are pretty darn great no matter what they’re saying about us on either coast.

“One postseason (questioned) answered: Danny Duffy suffered a stress reaction in his ribcage during his last regular season start, Yost told The Star. Yost wanted to start Duffy in Game 1 of the ALDS. The training staff told him Duffy could only go two innings at a time.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: So everyone on the Royals (including Duffy) was lying about Duffy’s physical status the past month? Why?

“The @KCStar page designers and headline writers won the 2014 World Series.”
J. Freedom du Lac, @jfdulac, Washington Post editor, Twitter
GH: The Kansas City Star should take a deep bow for their work the past month. The photos, layouts and words by their staff were so memorable that they made the print edition of The Star once again a viable and desirable part of many of our mornings. The electronic media also stepped up to add so much to this month of madness here in KC. The local sports talk stations 810 and 610 stepped up their games to deliver some of the best coverage this city has seen in some time. Dare I say that 610 may have matured into a legitimate player with their Royals coverage?

“(Sam Mellinger), put yourself in for a raise you will not get. When that happens, steal office supplies until you consider it fair value.”
Ray Ratto, @RattoCSN, San Francisco sports writer, Twitter
GH: Ratto is a funny west coast follow – and I am sure he has a house full of office supplies.

“I look at this (Royals) team – huge expectations for next season.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“I think we’ll see that excitement reflected in Royals season ticket sales. I think the Royals will jack up the prices and I think people will still buy.”
Blair Kerkhoff, KC Star columnist, 810 AM
GH: A guy in the stands last night made the comment that he could have bought two season tickets this year for what he spent on World Series seats.

“I just want to thank all of you (fans) for your support. We definitely heard you out here. Glad baseball is back in Kansas City!”
James Shields, addressing the fans at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday morning following Game 7, 610 AM
GH: Baseball is back in Kansas City. Let’s. Go. Royals.

and @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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49 Responses to OTC: Royals Drop Heartbreaker To Giants As WS Slips Back To The Bay / But KC Baseball Is Once Again Royal

  1. Ptolemy says:

    Proof that sliding is not faster than running…http://regressing.deadspin.com/yes-sliding-into-first-can-be-faster-no-you-still-sh-1652854913?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

  2. Gavin says:

    It seems to me that the “out by 40 feet” argument is dependent on a strong and accurate throw to Posey. And I understand that the outfield is a group of major leaguers who get paid to make that throw, but I’d have preferred to test them than Bumgarner’s ability to get one more out and strand Gordon at third.

  3. randyraley says:

    These guys played their guts out.
    This was the team the beat the Cardinals in St. Louis earlier this year. No bad calls, no controversies, just great, well played exciting baseball.
    The only bad guy was Baumgarner. What a beast.
    We lost to better team but showed grit and guts in defeat. This last month has been such a blast and to see how much love KC got in the national press was a bonus. My thanks to everyone in the Royals organization for showing the whole world what a cool place KC is. This is what sports can do. Even though we lost, I think we won overall.

    • Fred Flintstone says:

      Why the Cardinals comment?

      Are the Cardinals the end all and be all of all things baseball in your world?

      Big frigging deal that the Giants beat the Cardinals IN St Louis this year. We SWEPT the Giants earlier in the season so WTF?

      It’s baseball….anything can happen.

      • randyraley says:

        Jeez, what I meant was they came to St. Louis and beat the hell out of the Cardinals and I happen to see them live. They looked great. They looked like the team we just saw. Then they went into a funk. Man, take a Xanax. I made some comment earlier this summer about what a great team I thought these guys were and I was shot down. Can’t fuggin win, here. Anonymity is wonderful ain’t it?

  4. nick says:

    GREAT year by the Royals. Proud of them. AMAZING performance by Bumgarner. All credit to Giants for finding a way last night.

    All that said, HUGE mistake to not send Gordon. I love Perez, but c’mon. Whatever chance Gordon had (20%?, 10%?, 1%?) was a better chance than Perez getting a hit off Bumgarner.

    On the Hosmer play at 1st, anybody see a replay that showed FOR SURE whether Hosmer’s fingers brushed the bag or not? It looked like his fingers MAYBE went over the bag and his palm hit the base late. But you could never see for sure if his fingers hit the base first. His fingers clearly had reached the plane of the base before the ball hit the glove.

    • Herb says:

      Completely agree, Nick. I did not see definitive proof that Hosmer was out. But I’ve also noticed that baseball does not call it the same way football does, even though they’re supposed to. I believe they get MORE confused when it goes to review and gets slowed down. Which is too bad. If it’s not absolutely obvious then they shouldn’t change the call. But they did last night.

  5. Kyle R says:

    Ned’s quote about it not always being the manager’s fault is dead-on. The Royals got beat by a transcendent pitching performance and I have to think they’re going to look back at game 4 as such an incredibly lost opportunity. Up 4-1 in the 5th or 6th inning and they blew that game and their chance to go back to KC up 3-2.

    As far as sending Gordon, if he had been at full health, I think he’s in. However, (can’t remember what reporter posted this today) but Gordon’s speed on that run was identical to Billy Butler’s speed on his run earlier in the game…so not Gordon’s normal speed. That said, sending him might still have been a better probability than Perez against Bumgarner. Perez was completely overmatched and never had a prayer – look at this pitch chart and see how bad his free-swinging truly was on that AB: http://deadspin.com/salvador-perez-never-stood-a-chance-against-madison-bum-1652763067

    Next year should be very interesting. I hope the Royals can hit 3 million in attendance, which would require 37,000 per game but 2.5 million (31,000 a game) is probably more realistic. There are a ton of guys up for arbitration so the payroll is going to be very different, whether Butler, Aoki and Shields (plus the less important guys) come back or not.

    My biggest concern into next year though, is the bullpen. The HDH boys were other-worldly this year but bullpens are typically the most volatile part of a ballclub, so it’s hard to imagine them being nearly as dominant next year. I hope they can be but it would sure be bucking history. If they’re not as good, that means the offense has to step up. That means Hosmer, Moustakas, Cain, Escobar, Gordon and Perez all being at or above their performances this year and the other 3 guys in the lineup being decent too. It’ll be fun to watch.

    What a season – I’m glad the Royals die-hards got to see a winner again and that so many people who have never been around that level of excitement know what it’s like now.

  6. Keroauc says:

    (GH) “I think Gordon would have been out. But part of me believes that was the Royals chance at their magic moment.”

    – as it turned out, he never got any farther than 3rd base – the Royals in essence losing the game or a chance to tie it by a distance of but 90 feet… it might as well have been a million miles with the way Mad Bum was pitching.

    If Gordon runs home & ‘does not’ make it, how great would have been the uproar – damned if you do try (and fail), blamed if you don’t try at all. A GIANT once made a baserunning gaffe known as ‘Merkle’s Boner’, a stiff that has remained frozen in infamy for 106 years now in 1908. It came in a GIANTS vs Chicago Cubs game, which just so happens to be the last year the Cubs won a ‘World Series’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkle's_Boner

  7. scoobbb says:

    I wish Gordon would have gone for it! The Giants were looking like the keystone kops out there and the throw might have been off. We might have seen the Buster Posey rule in effect if Posey had tried to block the plate. Even if Posey had tagged Gordon out, he might have been safe due to the Posey rule. (Wouldn’t that have been rich?)

    But…I agree with those who say Gordon looked more like Butler running the bases and didn’t seem to be himself. So yes, it’s likely he would have been out at home. But still, I wanted him to go for it.

    With the benefit of hindsight, of course, how about having Gore run for Gordon and sending Dyson to pinch hit for Perez – have Dyson push a bunt toward first and try to out run it while Gore scores.

    By the way, I grew up in the KC area during the Brett era and went to KU. I was at game 2 of the ’85 series. I now live in the SF area. My 9 year old son is a die-hard Royals fan, and we went to game 3 in SF decked out in our Royals gear. James Shields gave a ball to my son during batting practice. We had a blast! We’re sad that the Royals lost the series, but I’m still stunned that they made it this far.

  8. Herb says:

    Kyle – what really should concern us is whether or not they get a hitting coach that can teach these how to conduct a major league at-bat in a high pressure situation.

  9. scoobbb says:

    One more thing I wanted to comment on – I did not see conclusive evidence that Hosmer was out. I still think he may have been safe and that may have been a far worse call (overturning the safe call on replay) than the Denkinger one in ’85 (which didn’t directly cost the Cards anything).

    The angle that we kept seeing on TV that the announcers thought was conclusive (looking out towards second from behind first base) showed the ball disappearing into Belt’s glove slightly before Hosmer hit the base. But losing sight of the ball isn’t the same as the ball hitting his glove. The ball still had to travel another 6-8 inches to actually hit leather. The one time I saw a shot from second base looking towards first, it seemed like Hos was in there before the ball. So I hope someone affiliated with the Royals is analyzing that video. The umps may have blown it big time overturning that call.

    Also, I agree that Hos should have run through and his head first dive slowed him down. I have that discussion with my son all the time because he likes to dive for first base. Hos is his favorite player so there’s a lesson in there.

  10. Merle Tagladucci says:

    I love this team and this group. They will always hold a special place in my heart. Legendary postseason run. So close. So. Damn. Close.

    Cut Jirsch some slack. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. I think Gordo would’ve been out by three steps, even with a half decent throw. But man what a climax it would’ve been.

  11. Herb says:

    Can’t disagree, scoobbb. What the broadcast was seeing and saying was not what I was seeing on my TV screen.

    As for sliding…I believe there’s one more oxymoron where players usually slide and probably shouldn’t: force out at home. The only difference is the umpire can’t hear the foot hit the plate as well as they can a base. But still, sliding doesn’t make it any easier to make the call. Just run through, you’ll be a split second or more faster.

  12. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Baseball is back in KC? Yeah, we’ll see next year. Time for Royals fans to step up, and show up at the gate next year. No more excuses. If you’re such great baseball fans, get off your ass and go to the damn games.

  13. Greg says:

    “Stupidly, I told him, ‘Boy, am I glad we don’t have to face you again.’”
    Ned Yost, on what he said to Bumgarner after the Royals beat him and the Giants back in the regular season in early August, 810 AM

    Actually, I heard him say that on 610 and he was referring to Sunday night when he had to walk through their dugout to get to the Game 5 post-game press conference. Yes he said that saying “thank goodness we are done with you for this series.”

  14. The Word says:

    On a side note. I heard Sporting Kansas City was eliminated from the playoffs last night. Of course since there hasen’t been any buzz about this team in the last three months no one cared.

    It will be interesting to see what SKC season ticket and the Royals ST look like in the near future.

    I guess this city wasn’t as soccer crazed as last season made you think.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      +1. Soccer simply filled a vacuum left by the Royals’ incompetence. If the Royals continue their success, SKC will again become a footnote on the sports scene.

    • Kyle R says:

      I agree…but will add that they still have a significant waiting list for season tickets, as they’ve completed their 2015 renewals and I’m still on the waiting list.

      • Kyle says:

        Just curious Kyle R, are season tickets for MLS games only, or does that include CONCACAF (sp?), US Open Cup, friendlies, etc? I think part of the problem with the MLS is the casual observer doesn’t have a clue if they are playing a league game or not.

        Kyle fan, and Fan of Kyle fan, please chime in.

        • Kyle Rohde says:

          It’s only the MLS games with first crack at all the additional matches. And I totally agree – the various championships they’re involved in are confusing to casual fans for sure.

        • Kyle Fan says:

          I have no idea. I don’t love soccer, I just love Kyle…R.

      • Fan of Kyle Fan says:

        Around 2001 the Chiefs had a waiting list too. Now, they send email after email after email telling you tickets are still available.

        I think the Missouri Mavericks have a waiting list as well for season tickets.

        The only difference is between the Mav’s and SKC is that SKC wants you to take them seriously as if you’re following the Chiefs; Royals are your D1 college team. While the Mav’s just want you to have fun.

        By the way…GO KYLE!

  15. Fred Flintstone says:

    The Word, at the World Series game 7, around the 6th inning, a lady in 1 section over tried to start an “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN” chant. She want told very succinctly (but politely) that baseball fans don’t do soccer chants.

    • The Word says:

      I looked at the Star website and all of the trending sports stories are about the Royals. Infact, I clicked to the SKC story and it was really small. Don’t know what it looks like in print form.

      I didn’t buy into the hype then and don’t buy into it now. People wanted to follow a winner and SKC was there for them. But it’s still a niche sport. When the mainstream sport becomes the hot ticket, it takes away from the niche sport.

      If the Royals are still playoff contenders again next year in Aug, expect absolutly no interest in SKC. It’s a good thing their staduim is starting to try to get other sporting events like Division 2 and local HS football. A few more seasons like this, they may need the extra revenue.

    • Richard Cranium says:

      Had the exact same situation happen with a scarf wearer at game 6 about 3 rows in front of me. I did inform said person it is not a soccer stadium. Half the people didn’t even know what the hell he was yelling.

  16. JC says:

    Greg, regarding Duffy, I believe every comment made about his health was “there’s nothing wrong with my shoulder” or “there’s nothing wrong with my elbow”.

    Were they lying about Duffy’s health? No. Were they telling the whole truth? Also no.

  17. BlackJack says:

    Umm, no.

    Sorry to disappoint you, The Word, (and all of the small group of soccer haters still out there), but SKC still has 19K+ attendance at all their games, the fan base is still around – albeit, pissed off and muted, due to SKC’s stunning on-field disappointment this season. Soccer is still gaining in popularity on baseball, especially among younger people; the WS drew big ratings in this town, but almost nowhere else nationally. Only a fraction of people watched the WS compared to how many watched the World Cup.

    Soccer is no different than any of the other major sports in this town – alot of hype when they are winning, less fanfare when they are sucking. The Royals incredible run in the playoffs pretty much trumpted EVERY other sports league (NFL, college football included), no just SKC/MLS.

    So just keep deluding yourselves..

    • The Word. says:

      Got to love communist kickball. The sport the Third World love because their too broke and uneducated to know there are other things out there.

      Thise 0-0 games with guys with one names had me at the endge of my seat.

    • Kyle R says:

      You’re not totally accurate – game 7’s ratings were up 70% from game 6 and was the highest non-football broadcast for Fox in 3 years, so the ratings were pretty good at least for game 7: http://deadline.com/2014/10/world-series-ratings-game-7-giants-fox-1201267296/ Rest of the series was pretty weak overall though.

    • Mumbai says:

      The only reason SKC draws 19k per game is because they give away 70% of their tickets to every game. Same reason the Comets were able to outdraw an NBA team in the early 80s. Real simple. When they decide they want to try to make a profit, they’ll be drawing 3-5k per game, if they’re lucky. Nobody is fooled, son. Nobody.

      • Kyle R says:

        Hate soccer all you but all-out lying is just dumb. They don’t give away hardly any tickets – it is the hardest ticket to get in the region right now, aside from KU basketball, based on it having a season ticket waiting list. Don’t be dumb.

  18. BlackJack says:

    Sorry, ain’t happening.

    The cat’s already out of the bag. MLS has been around for 19 years now, is expanding like crazy and keeps getting more popular.

    Anyone who tries to diminish soccer’s importance is simply and utterly in denial. Maybe you all are just afraid and look at soccer as a threat to your other beloved dinosaur sports(?)

    • Juan Pablo says:

      A MLS team in LA just folded. and the TV ratings still suck for MSL. TV is where the money is. MSL got a new TV deal but it is not much.

  19. The Word says:

    On another side note. The Top 25 for basketball came out. Not bad respresentation by both the SEC and Big 12. Could this be the all SEC final that last year should of been?

    1

    Kentucky (52)

    29-11

    1,604

    2

    Arizona (5)

    33-5

    1,518

    3

    Wisconsin (8)

    30-8

    1,483

    4

    Duke

    26-9

    1,415

    5

    Kansas

    25-10

    1,346

    6

    North Carolina

    24-10

    1,274

    7

    Florida

    36-3

    1,153

    8

    Louisville

    31-6

    1,114

    9

    Virginia

    30-7

    1,090

    10

    Texas

    24-11

    1,061

    11

    Wichita St

    35-1

    1,027

    12

    Villanova

    29-5

    885

    13

    Gonzaga

    29-7

    840

    14

    Iowa State

    28-8

    781

    15

    Virginia Commonwealth

    26-9

    574

    16

    San Diego St

    31-5

    560

    17

    Connecticut

    32-8

    552

    18

    Michigan St

    29-9

    521

    19

    Oklahoma

    23-10

    426

    20

    Ohio State

    25-10

    340

    21

    Nebraska

    19-13

    309

    22

    SMU

    27-10

    285

    23

    Syracuse

    28-6

    178

    24

    Michigan

    28-9

    167

    25

    Harvard

    27-5

    98

    25

    Utah

    21-12

    98

    • Juan Pablo says:

      Big 12 is one of the best basketball leagues, The SEC is a big giant turd basketball league. Only UK cares about Bball and Florida a little bit.

      • The Word. says:

        Yet, in the last tournament, the SEC had two teams in the F4 and another team one shot away from the elite 8.

  20. Fred Flintstone says:

    Umm, not sure what you mean by “could this be the year of an all SEC final……” when there are only 2 SEC teams in the top 10, and 4 ACC teams in the top ten. Seems to me the argument would be stronger for an all ACC final than an all SEC final.

Do you have a comment?