“Now we’ve got a Series.”
Al Wallace, sports anchor, following the Royals 7-2 win over the Giants in Game 2, WDAF Fox 4
GH: GAME ON is what the headline in my very soggy Kansas City Star shouted at me as I carefully removed its sogginess from its micro-thin plastic wrapper. So now the Series moves to San Francisco and becomes a best of five affair. I just hope it doesn’t rain on my newspaper carrier.
“There aren’t that many times when a city is completely invested in a professional sports team. When it happens, players and fans alike remember it forever, how they counted down the hours to game time, how for a brief time the games themselves seemed to be the most important thing on Earth. That’s what’s happening around Kansas City these days. In the coffee shops and bars and restaurants, they’re talking Royals. They’re nervous and they’re excited, and they’re having the time of their lives.”
Richard Justice, writer, MLB.com
GH: If you live with 100 miles of Kansas City, you have some idea how this city flipped on its Royalsness since that Wild Card win over Jon Lester and the A’s. Everybody is wearing Royals gear. Everybody is talking baseball. Everybody is losing sleep, going into debt and happy as heck about it because following a winning baseball team through the postseason might be the single best feeling for a sports fan. The NCAA tourney comes close, but this run the Royals are on right now beats anything I can remember. And I am old.
“I wish we didn’t have to go (away from Kauffman Stadium). It’s so electric. It’s been amazing.”
Lorenzo Cain, on the atmosphere at The K, ESPN
GH: I would like all two million area residents to have the experience of going to The K for one of these postseason games. All who have been there the past three weeks know of what I speak.
“Yesterday was one of the best days of my life – and not just because a baseball team won a game. It was just the electricity in the city. I got to sit on set with Linda Cohn and do SportsCenter. Then I got to go to a World Series game and have an experience with my wife and my son that I will never forget. We’re going to talk about this night for the rest of our lives. I wanted it to last as long as possible.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
“Everybody is very passionate about the Royals. You play here and you get a special feeling. I don’t know if you drink the water or what, but I was very fortunate to play here for eight years.”
Bret Saberhagen, columbianmissourian.com
GH: Most MLB cities love their teams and feel just as passionate about the Royals as Kansas City folks. But perennial losers like the Royals and their fans have a bit more pent up craziness that fills a city once success dawns. We are experiencing that here in Kansas City and it is as glorious as we thought it might be.
“We showed them that we have fight in us. And I think they knew that already. But we stepped up big there as a team, and that gave us some confidence in that clubhouse. You never know how guys are going to respond to that, losing in the World Series.”
Billy Butler, on the Royals tying the Series at one win apiece, MLB.com
GH: One of the goofier discussions lines after Game 1 was how would the Royals respond to a loss? Huh? What MLB franchise is better equipped to respond from a loss than the Royals? We made losing a 29-year habit!
“The big stage is the big stage. The spotlight ain’t for everyone. #Royals #WorldSeriesGame1”:
Rob Lowe, @RobLowe, after the Giants thumped the Royals in Game 1, Twitter
GH: If Lowe is a Giants fan I have no problem with him rooting for his club. But don’t play on the stereotype that KC is a little flyover town that can’t handle the bright lights. We look pretty cool in shades too, Rob. I am eagerly awaiting the Dumb Rob Lowe TV commercial where Dumb Rob falls into the pool while watching people swim and stays there until the Super Bowl.
“The key to the game was forged the day before; Yost avoided using any of his key relievers in a Game 1 that got out of hand early.”
Marc Normandin, MLB writer, sbnation.com
“For at least one night, the critics had little choice but to marinate in the following sentence: Ned Yost out-managed Bruce Bochy. OK, maybe that’s an oversimplification. In Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, the long-derided Yost had the more effective bullpen with which to maneuver than the Cooperstown-bound Bochy. But the facts remain: When the sixth inning began, Yost’s Royals and Bochy’s Giants were tied. By the time it ended, Kansas City scored five runs and had a 7-2 lead it never relinquished. Yost shepherded the game directly from rookie starter Yordano Ventura to middle relief ace Kelvin Herrera, while Bochy deployed five different pitchers in an effort to record three outs.”
Jon Paul Morosi, FoxSports.com
GH: Yost is receiving kudos from many of the same fronts who panned his decision making in the regular season and the Wild Card fiasco. And he deserved the criticism then and the praise now. Read on.
“One minute we’re talking about Bochy as a lock for the Hall of Fame, and now all of a sudden he’s a dunce? Sorry, count me out. It’s true for Bochy, it’s true for Yost, it’s true for all of them: Managerial decisions only look bad when they don’t work out.”
Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com
GH: I disagree. Bad decisions are just bad decisions. Some manage not to hurt a team but while winning makes you quickly overlook a bad managerial move, it doesn’t erase it.
“I’m not okay with it. I was shocked. I was like, ‘What’s he doing?’ Billy’s swinging the bat better than anybody on the team right now. It was a one-run game and if the Giants come back… I thought it was way premature.”
Kevin Seitzer, Royals former hitting coach under Ned Yost, when asked about Yost having Terrence Gore pinch run for Butler in the sixth inning with second base occupied and the Royals leading 3-2, 810 AM
GH: Removing Butler in the sixth with a slim one-run lead for minimal benefit of Gore’s speed was a bad move that the Royals offense rendered moot. Billy Butler carried this team during Hosmer’s absence in July and August and he looks like he is ready to do it again in October.
“The thing that impressed me most that after giving up that homer after one batter – I don’t think his heartbeat ever raced.”
Curt Schilling, former World Series MVP, on Yordano Ventura’s night as a rookie starter in Game 2 of the World Series, ESPN
“I like the fact that Salvy was trying (to get Ventura) to establish the fastball – even though (Gregor) Blanco the blind squirrel there found an acorn.”
Mike Macfarlane, on the Giants lead-off hitter and former Royal opening the game with a home run, 810 AM
“I don’t know what happened to that guy.”
Salvador Perez, when asked about his on-field conversation with Strickland, ESPN
GH: Thank you Mr. Strickland for adding some venom to this Series. If you were nodding off when this went down, you were wide awake when Moose dropped his lumber and started out toward the mound to defend his catcher.
“He looked at me. I was like ‘Why did you look at me? Omar hit a homer. Look at Omar.’” Salvador Perez, via a tweet from @McCulloughStar, Twitter
“God love him, but I have no idea what Salvy is saying…”
@aceapplebees, Twitter GH: It is fun to watch the national media interview Salvy and then have no idea what he said or how to follow up to whatever he said. Where is Joel Goldberg when the World Series needs him?
“My emotions got the best of me. … I don’t know if (Perez) thought I was yelling at him or not. I was just frustrated with myself.”
Hunter Strickland, Giants pitcher, on his verbal confrontation with the Royals catcher, kansascity.com
GH: Strickland does not appear to be real good at handling failure. Let’s see if we can continue his struggles with that character flaw.
“You want to get rid of this? Don’t give up home runs.”
John Kruk, ESPN analyst, on his advice to Strickland, ESPN
“(Lorenzo Cain) is going 20 miles an hour! Think about that! That’s too fast for a school zone!”
Harold Reynolds, as Fox showed a graphic that depicted Cain’s speed as he scored from second in the pivotal sixth inning on a sharp single to left, Fox
GH: I was screaming for Cain to hold up at third on the single to left but he never slowed – and then scored without drawing a play. Lorenzo Cain is way, way, better than any of us knew.
“Mike Krukow, the longtime major-league pitcher and esteemed Giants broadcaster, told his radio audience during Game 2 that he’d never seen a 100-mph two-seamer until (Kelvin) Herrera threw his Wednesday night.”
Jon Paul Morosi, FoxSports.com
GH: That three-headed monster that Ned Yost has in the Royals bullpen has a chance to make history. I mean some HOF history. There has been so much talk that Davis or Holland need to be traded at the end of the season but my question is why? Pay them both and continue to strike fear into every team in Major League Baseball. This threesome almost makes the Royals Ned-proof.
“The KCRoyals are flying to SF tonight, yet the SFGiants staying in KC and flying home Thursday. (Giants’ third-base coach Tim) Flannery: Sleep doctor told us it’s better.”
Scott Miller, @ScottMillerBbl, Twitter
GH: I have never understood teams’ eagerness to fly at night when there is no game the next day. I like the Giants decision to stay and fly the next day. Do the Royals really need a Thursday workout after 173 games?
“Thanks to TicketsforLess.com for the seats! Even after I threw them in the recycle once today. Thanks to Dan and everyone at Tix4Less!”
Soren Petro, @theprogramkc, Twitter
GH: Confession time: I printed out my Game 1 ticket at work on Friday and forgot to take it off the printer. A coworker walked into my office Monday morning and said, “I thought you might want this.”
“Whoever at 41 printed up those WE BELIEVE signs that have been in every single broadcast……brilliant.”
Aaron Barnhart, @tvbarntv, Twitter
GH: The local media have stepped up their game for this once-in-29-years-happening. The paper crowns that TV 9 were handing out at Game 1 were everywhere on Tuesday. I was disappointed in 810’s postgame show Tuesday night in that TJ Carpenter, their Chiefs beat reporter, was hosting the late-night show. Really? The Royals finally get to the World Series and 810 chose to plug their ninth-string guy into the postgame show?
“This is one of those times I need to call my dad. He took me to my first Royals game in ’69. I was 6 yrs old.”
David Cone, @dcone36, Kansas City native, following the Royals ALCS-clinching win over the Orioles, Twitter
GH: If you still have a dad to call, this is definitely one of those times.