OTC: Where Were You The Last Time The Royals Played For Real In October? / Is Vargy Done?

“Goggles? Real men don’t wear goggles!”

“In 1985 my dad got a call the day of game 6 of the World Series from Mike Berbiglia, the owner of Berbiglia Liquors (my dad was in the liquor business) and he asked if we wanted to go to game 6 – (my dad had not been to a game since the 1981 players strike). In’ 76, ‘77, ‘78 and ‘80 I went to every playoff and World Series game – my dad had season tickets.  We went to game 6 in ’85 and sat not in the box seats but I think they use to call them field box, up from first base. We were right in front of Mayor Berkley – I specifically remembering my dad saying we had better tickets than the mayor – one row in front of him.  Anyway we saw the greatest game in Royals history. The next day Mr. B called again and we turned him down.  That was the last game my dad ever saw – he died in ‘97.”
Frank, OTC Email
GH: I know people are wondering how your dad could turn down tickets to Game 7 of the World Series at Royals Stadium – but I almost skipped that game as well. I was living in Omaha at the time and the game was on a Sunday night. Well, if my wife and I were going to drive to KC for the game, we needed to be back at work in Omaha on Monday. I was watching the NYC Marathon that Sunday morning with some running buddies and they convinced me I had to drive to KC for Game 7 or I would never forgive myself. After the game we decided to call in sick for work and get a hotel. One problem – there were no hotel rooms available. We ended up staying at the Capri Hotel on the corner of Independence Ave & The Paseo. I’m pretty sure it was all we could afford anyway. As bad a shape as the Capri Motel was in, I had no idea at the time that the Royals were facing 30 years of even harder times ahead.

“I hope you guys (in Kansas City) get a home playoff game and that city is rocking.”
Scott Miller, MLB writer for BleacherReport.com, in an interview Thursday with The Border Patrol, 810 AM

“Last time the Royals made the playoffs I was 7 and had never seen a computer. Now I’m a husband and father and typing this on a cell phone.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter
GH: When I was seven phones had rotary dials and there were such things as “party lines” and “long distance charges.” But Maxwell Smart had a shoe phone – and an assistant named 99 who made the show far better than it was.

“Last time the Royals made the playoffs I was…never mind. But I watched it at Fuzzy’s with @dennisdoddcbs.”
Tom Shatel, @tomshatelOWH, Omaha World Herald sports columnist, Twitter
GH: 30 years later Fuzzy’s and the Capri are both still around. The great ones die hard.

“October is all about pitching. We have seen that many times before.”
Scott Miller, MLB writer for BleacherReport.com, 810 AM

“Yeah, I want to do better. I wish that I did better. Is it going to play a part in what I do in my preparation in between my next start? No. I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to go about my business the same way. And lace it up the next time, if I get the opportunity, if we keep winning games here.”
Jason Vargas, evaluating his outing against Cleveland where he gave up four earned runs in four innings to extend his four-game run of poor starts, kansascity.com
GH: Okay, that tells me everything I need to know about Vargas’ role in the Royals playoff plans. He has none. Moose’s “Vargy” did a great job in the Royals’ starting rotation until the heat of the pennant race got to him or maybe his arm just got tired. Whatever it is, Vargy should be put on the shelf for the postseason.

“He’ll get it together. He’s a pro.”
Ned Yost, when asked about another poor performance Wednesday in Cleveland from the Royals left-handed starter Jason Vargas’  Kansascity.com
GH: All I can hope for is that this is Ned being Ned in that he will almost never deliver bad news about a player through the media – unless that player is Billy Butler. If Ned hasn’t seen enough of Vargas the past three weeks to know he is not a viable option to start any postseason games then Dayton Moore needs to “Milwaukee” Ned’s professional hitting and pitching behind.

“After 28 years waiting for this, the Royals show little interest in discussing hypotheticals. Yost scoffed at the mere suggestion his playoff rotation.”
Andy McCullough, beat writer for Kansas City Star
GH: Ned scoffs at just about any suggestion from lesser humans like newspaper reporters or electronic media. We may have discovered Ned’s best talent – scoffing.

“Next question. I haven’t made the playoffs yet. Until I make the playoffs, I won’t worry about it. There’s still too many variables. Man, this thing could come down to where we play a one-game playoff for the division. The loser of that game plays the wild card game. There’s too much going on.”
Ned Yost, kansascity.com
GH: Here is another question for Ned – since when did YOU not make the playoffs? Isn’t this more of a WE kind of accomplishment? Ned’s use of pronouns might not mean much but it sure sounded wrong to my ear.

“You just can’t roll out a guy who is going to give up early runs because this (Royals) team has such a tough time battling back. And really, a 4-0 deficit is an insurmountable deficit for the Kansas City Royals.”
Bob Fescoe, on the perils of pitching Vargas in the playoffs, 610 AM

“Jason Vargas is in line for $25M from 2015 to 2017.”
Brandon H., @BHIndepMO, Twitter
GH: Yes, that is a lot of money for a left-handed starter who appears to be leaking fluids from all orifices as he limps down the stretch. But I don’t care about Dan and David Glass’ money right now. I care about taking advantage of a postseason opportunity here in Kansas City that took 29 years to reappear. The Brigadoon Royals may never come this way again. The time is now and Vargas just is not the guy to take us to Dreamland.

“I think for the most part in Sunday’s game (the Chiefs) almost turned the corner. Give those guys credit, they answered the challenge this week. I thought they stepped up and did an outstanding job.”
Deron Cherry, who was particularly complimentary toward the Chiefs defense in their win at Miami, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs are only 1-2 heading into their MNF game with New England but man does it feel better than it did after that week-one home loss to Tennessee. Imagine how excited we would be with  healthy Pro Bowlers Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry? Very eager to see D’Anthony Thomas get on the field and make John Dorsey and Andy Reid look like geniuses.

“I love (Dontari) Poe. They ask a lot of that guy. He blows up things in the middle. He’s impressive. He’s very impressive.”
Kevin Harlan, on the Chiefs nose tackle, 810 AM
GH: Poe is not only an underrated star on the Chiefs but I think he is vastly underused by the local media. This guy deserves his own radio show or TV segment. He’s Bill Maas w/o the baggage (and what’s inside the baggage).  

“Oh, the Chiefs will win (over New England). Arrowhead on a Monday Night? The Chiefs will win this game. That game (in 1991 when the Chiefs beat Buffalo 33-6 on MNF), that night is the single most important game to change Arrowhead. That place was ROCKING! The Chiefs were on the rise and we beat (the Bills) and they left with their tails between their legs. It was electrifying that night.”
Deron Cherry, 810 AM
GH: Hard to believe that Buffalo game was in 1991. Marty and Carl were just getting the football rolling here in Kansas City and that Monday Night introduced the National Football League to Arrowhead, Kansas City BBQ tailgating and a fan base that is just this side of insane.

“I think they’re going to get punched in the mouth by Texas. I think they are going to see the full brunt.” S
oren Petro
, on KU’s game Saturday at 3:00 PM in Lawrence versus Charlie Strong’s Longhorns, 810 AM
GH: Texas might not be as bad as they looked early but the same could be said for the Jayhawks. This game might be one heck of an appetizer for the Mizzou at USC game that night.

“I’m going to risk sounding like a namby-pamby to a lot of our listeners but I know that I do that anyway, so I’m just going to say it – I love Pina Coladas!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM GH: I don’t love Pina Coladas but I love quotes like this.

[email protected] 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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32 Responses to OTC: Where Were You The Last Time The Royals Played For Real In October? / Is Vargy Done?

  1. Alphonse Tooty says:

    Jimmy Buffet would get a good laugh out of your spelling of Pina Colada.

  2. KCPRGuy1 says:

    Last time Royals were in the playoffs, I was 15 and in STL watching the Royals deliver a gut punch I’ll never forget in Game 6 and 7. As much as I would love a rematch, it is also a doomsday scenario for me. Spent half my life in STL and half in KC. Cards were my boyhood team and now the Royals are THE team for my kids. It’s pretty damn fun watching them deal with playoff chase.

  3. Kyle R says:

    KK, how old are you to use a term like “namby pampy”? Geezus.

    As for the Capri, Greg, if it was scary 30 years ago, imagine what it’s like now…because it’s still there and in operation.

    And as for where was I the last time the Royals played for real in October, I’m pretty sure I was running around my parents’ house in Wisconsin with a He-Man sword stuck down the back of my shirt or riding my John Deere kids’ backhoe since I was barely 3 years old.

    I’m bummed my Brewers choked away the NL Central to the damn Cardinals, but I’m so happy for the true Royals fans that have stuck it out with this team for so long. You guys deserve this and so much more.

  4. Gavin says:

    The last time the Royals played for real in October, I was a sophomore in college. My roommate and I saw the ticket lottery process in the newspaper and we decided to try to get some tickets. The way the lottery process worked was you submitted a money order for the cost of two tickets plus some small handling fee along with an SASE and they would draw the winners at random. If you won, they would send you the tickets in. The SASE and if you lost, they’d send you back your money order.

    Being impoverished college kids, we only had enough to enter the lottery twice and we went for the cheapest tickets we could get- standing room only. The cost per ticket? $20 each.

    We sent in our entries and a couple of weeks later I got back two envelopes, one with my money order and the other with two SRO tickets to game one of the World Series.

    I had been to Royals Stadium a lot and many of them were during insane playoff pushes, but I had ever see acrid like that before. I had a guy offer me a thousand dollars for my ticket on the way in and I was really tempted, but I asked myself which I’d be happier about twenty years later, having the memory of a thousand dollars in my pocket that I would just blow or having the memory of attending a World Series game with my first sports love playing in it. I turned the guy down.

    Bret Saberhagen was a scratch for that game, which was a disappointment, and we got to see Danny Jackson versus John Tudor. As we all know, the Royals lost, but god damn that was a fun time.

  5. MightyMo says:

    For Game 6, I was 11 and slumber partying at a friend’s house. We were there, with his brothers, and we would quickly turn on Intellivision Baseball between innings and play for a bit, because the players were red and blue. I am sure the picture quality was horrific, but we hung on every at bat. The Cardinals and Blue Jays seemed so much better than we were that year, and that’s what made it such a wonderful ride. You only need to be better on certain days to be the best. For 1985, in history, we were the greatest.

  6. Kyle says:

    Remember, the Royals could still make the playoffs this year and NOT play in October.

    • Fred Flintstone says:

      “Um, waiter, would you mind? My glass is half empty.”

    • Juan Pablo says:

      Great point. If the Royals are the wild card then lose the one game playoff would be a disaster. The Royals are the kind of team that can do it.

  7. Java Man says:

    The only thing negative about ending this 29 year playoff drought, is people feeling the need to express where they were 29 years ago. Sorry, but I just don’t care.
    On second thought, I’m not sorry, I just don’t care.

    • Alphonse Tooty says:

      It’s like visting Grandpa at the retirement home. These are the kinds of stories you hear. I don’t mind.

    • BlackJack says:

      Funny how the Royals staduim only holds about 38,000 for game 6 and game 7 of the ’85 WS, but everyone (even people who weren’t even born yet) claims they were there and has some kind of nostalgic story to go along with it.

  8. Mike B says:

    KK love Pina Colada’s and can’t stand to watch Network (NETWORK, not cable) TV shows due to the violence (The Blacklist) – namby-pamby sounds about right.

    • JHawkScott says:

      I’m guessing KK watches scat porn on the side. This is the same “family man” that was getting a hummer from his intern in his car.

      • Alphonse Tooty says:

        I had to Google this. Disturbing, but I guess you learn something new every day!

        Coprophilia (from Greek κόπρος, kópros—excrement and φιλία, philía—liking, fondness), also called scatophilia or scat (Greek: σκατά, skatá-shit),[1] is the paraphilia involving sexual arousal and pleasure from feces.

  9. LL says:

    Right after Royals won game six, a buddy and I decided to drive all night from western Kansas. We had no tickets and very little money. Slept in our car for a few hours in the parking lot. Spent the whole day trying to find a way in. We did get into the Chiefs-Broncos game. That was easy and Broncos won easy. About to give up on seeing the Royals, we decided to at least hang around for the atmosphere. About that time, a guy running the handicap gate approached and said for 100 bucks he’d let us in as family members. I not only got to see the Royals win, I ran on to the field after the game and stuffed dirt from the pitchers mound into the pockets of my jacket. Still got the jacket. Still got the dirt.

  10. Richard Cranium says:

    Everyone’s getting WAY ahead of ourselves here, aren’t we? I mean the game they are playing in is on Tuesday 9-30-14. That is not October, and I’m 100% certain Yost can still Yost this team. Hell, Tuesday isn’t even guaranteed.

  11. JimmyD says:

    I was in twelve and recorded the game seven, the entire locker room celebration…including Karen Kornacki in the locker room getting soaked with alcohol, and the parade the next day, all on Betamax. My favorite Al Michaels line “Motley found the right bat” after Darryl Motley homers one pitch after breaking his bat nearly homering

  12. The Independent Rage says:

    Greg, you may have been the last couple ever to actually spend a full night at the Capri Motel — as opposed to about 10 minutes. It ain’t a bad joint for the latter endeavor, however. Or so I’ve heard.

  13. keitzman wants an intern says:

    I can see Clink and KK looking into each others eyes at the Gaslight Grill as the song “If you like Pina Coladas” plays in the background.
    ……………….and getting caught in the rain……………

  14. Herb says:

    Did Ned have his arms crossed when he used the wrong pronoun?

    I still say fire Ned Yost. Some teams succeed in spite of their dipshit manager or coach. Besides, getting to the postseason and actually WINNING during it are two completely different levels of playing and coaching. Ned will NEVER win in the postseason.

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