In trying to explain whether right-hander Kelvin Herrera would be available to pitch Saturday in Game 4 of the World Series following a relatively heavy workload recently, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost used a bizarre adjective to describe his pitching staff as a unit. Herrera has thrown 59 pitches in two games over three days, so the Royals might hesitate to use him much, or at all, in Game 4. If he plays catch Saturday and feels sub-par, Yost expects Herrera to tell pitching coach Dave Eiland without fear of reprisal. "The one thing we do really well as a staff is, we communicate, and our relievers and our starting staff know that we have complete trust in them," Yost said. "And if they tell us they can't go, we trust them. We don't feel that they're soft. We don't feel like they're sissies. We know that they know their body." Ned, the 1970s called and said to stop using outdated words that could be misinterpreted as homophobic or sexist slurs. Who does he think he is, Pete Rose? Or maybe just Washington Nationals broadcaster Ray Knight, who apologized for using "sissy" in 2011 . People who still say "sissy" probably consider it restraint. One could get meaner, more derogative and more profane — and probably would in private. So we're lucky! Just say, "They're not wimps." Or even, "They're tough." Everyone likes to hear how tough someone is. At the same time, Yost prefaced his comments about trust by saying, "We're in the World Series. Everybody is available. But we don't want to be stupid, either. He may be available for an out, or he may not. He may just say, 'I need a break.' " That's about as mixed of a message as can be sent. But they communicate well, so Herrera probably understands. More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnswerDave
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks added Bryan Minniti as assistant general manager and Mike Russell as professional scouting coordinator Thursday.
Just as World Series Game 2 got interesting on Wednesday night, Comcast customers who double as baseball fans in and around Washington D.C. were left in the dark about what was going on at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Royals had already struck for three run in what would prove to be the difference-making sixth inning in their 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants, but the biggest blow and first real incidence of drama was yet to come. All those fans knew was that Omar Infante was about to step in against Giants rookie reliever Hunter Strickland, and the Royals were on the brink of breaking the game wide open with one swing. Then this happened. The most dramatic point this far in the World Series and DC cable goes to an emergency alert test pattern. pic.twitter.com/Jw2T472Fn0 — Brendan Danaher (@bjdanaher) October 23, 2014 This is only a test of the emergency broadcast alert system. It's just a really poorly timed one. As it turned out, Infante launched a two-run home run that essentially iced the game for Kansas City. It also frustrated Strickland, who had just allowed his fifth home run in six postseason appearances, and he let those frustrations get the best of him . As Salvador Perez rounded the bases ahead of Infante, he took exception to Strickland as he stomped around the mound and apparently uttered some less-than-flattering words. This led to the Royals bench clearing and a few more unflattering words. The situation died down quickly and resulted in Bruce Bochy removing the 22-year-old right-hander, but it was arguably the most interesting minute or two in the World Series so far. Yet those poor fans in Washington were stuck with the message above. Needless to say, they weren't pleased. don't get me wrong, if i was under a tornado warning, break away. but this was "only a test." during the WS. NOT OK. missed a 2 run homer. — jenn rubenstein (@jennrubenstein) October 23, 2014 Oh, there was A HOME RUN during my TV's emergency alert test. That seems about right. — Jason Horowitz (@jasondhorowitz) October 23, 2014 I MISSED A HOMER I HATE YOU COMCAST — AmbyBamby (@FeFiFoFamby) October 23, 2014 Though most fans living in the D.C. area have no true rooting interest in this series, there's at least some connection here. It was the Giants who eliminated the Washington Nationals in four games during the NLDS. Ironically, they also had a run-in with Strickland, who took exception to Bryce Harper's game-tying home run in Game 4. Watching Strickland getting lit up again may have warmed their hearts on some level, but nothing could replace the emptiness they all felt as the screen went blue. Well, actually, a Nationals' World Series appearance would have changed things significantly, including the anger level. BLS H/N: Deadspin More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Yusmeiro Petit was running out of choices. His major league career had hit rock bottom and was heading nowhere.
Buster Posey won the Johnny Bench Award in college. He met Bench several times. He’s been compared to him from the day he broke into the big leagues – a solid lead chest protector, as expectations go. Johnny Bench never won a third World Series ring. By the end of next week, Buster Posey just might pick up a claim check for No. 3. What happens when you surpass the standard? What happens when you lead your team to a third World Series in your fifth big league season? What happens when you provide punch in the middle of the order, catch every pitch, bind together three disparate lineups and filter every aspect for a team that is collecting pennants like cocktail stirrers? Well perhaps this: A cessation to those unceasing “when will Posey change positions” questions next spring. “I enjoy catching,” said Posey, on the eve of Game 1 of the World Series. “I’ve told you guys that for awhile. Especially this time of year, the games are so draining. It’s funny to say it, but that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy the feeling you get at the end of the game, being physically and mentally wiped out.” Even after the 18-inning win at Washington? “Eh, no,” he said. “No, not so much.” Sure, Posey might have felt fresher if he had played first base in that marathon Game 2 of the NL Division Series at Nationals Park. But a loss would have felt so much worse. And when you consider that four different Giants threw 135 pitches in the ninth inning or later that night, with the game potentially ending on any of them, it’s hard to imagine the Giants willing themselves to that series-defining win with anyone other than Posey behind the plate. “He had to be exhausted,” Matt Cain said. “Nobody could see he was exhausted.” Sure, Posey might net five extra home runs, another 20 RBI or so and a fancier WAR if he played every day on the infield. But where’s the value in that if you’re sitting at home in October? When baseball analysts use phrases like “positional scarcity,” they scarcely take into account what Posey does for the Giants. This is a franchise that has thrown out three different second basemen, three different left fielders and three different center fielders on its World Series clubs. They’ve had a pair of first basemen, third basemen, shortstops and right fielders over that span. Even Pablo Sandoval, a part of all three pennant-winning clubs, wasn’t a starter in 2010. They’ve used one catcher. Well, for 39 out of 41 playoff games, anyway. “Some really big personalities have come and gone, and some are here now,” Posey said. Posey is not a big personality. He is merely a huge difference maker. “He does everything,” said Madison Bumgarner, who will be making his club-record 11 th postseason start when he takes the mound in Game 1 on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. “He’s stayed the same guy. He’s always been the same. He just worries about doing his job. He’s not worried about anything else. He’s not trying to get attention from anybody. He’s not trying to be flashy. He’s just trying to go out there and do his job the best he can, and be a leader for his teammates, and he has. [BAGGARLY: Giants' World Series message: 'Respect but don't fear' Royals ] “He’s honestly been a leader in the clubhouse since the first year he was here. I mean, you can’t say that about very many guys.” You can’t point to many starting catchers with three World Series rings, either. Posey, if the Giants can win four of the next seven games, would join an exclusive group headed by Yogi Berra (10 rings), Bill Dickey (eight) and Jorge Posada (five) – all Yankees. Elston Howard (four) and Joe Girardi (three) won in pinstripes, too. Then, of course, there is the most coveted job in baseball: the Yankees’ backup catcher. Parade waving became a practiced art for Ralph Houk (six) and Charlie Silvera (five). In the much smaller non-Yankee contingent, with three rings apiece, you’ve got Gene Tenace, John Roseboro, Tim McCarver and Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane. And not much else in the way of everyday backstops. “I've always said this: if you look at a team that's had success, I think you should look behind the plate, because those guys play such a critical role,” Giants manager and former catcher Bruce Bochy said. “Because every day they're handling a pitcher out there trying to get a win, and they have to deal with 11, 12 different personalities. “Buster's got a great way about him. Pitchers love throwing to him. He’s worked on his game behind the plate. When he came up we had some things to tweak to make him a better player, and he gets it. He's made himself into, I think, an all‑around elite player. Not just a hitter, but a catcher.” [RATTO: Prior World Series experience doesn't matter after Game 1 ] Posey still doesn’t have an extra-base hit this postseason. For a No. 3 hitter on almost any other team, there would be loads of breathless analysis about what’s the matter. Not Posey. “Well, I think you're just looking at a great talent,” Bochy said. “He's got the whole game. He understands the game. He takes a lot of pride in handling their pitching staff and he's a guy that's hitting in the heart of our order. “I think it's fair to say he takes priority in handling his staff. We're very fortunate to have such a talented player. Not just a talented player, but great character, and a guy that cares about the pitching staff and handling them and trying to make them better pitchers. That's what good catchers do.” During the NLCS, someone asked Posey how he manages his nerves this time of year. His answer is that he doesn’t. The postseason is why he plays the game. It isn’t a time for anxiety. It’s April and May and August when baseball is a job, when he clocks in and clocks out and puts his head down to get through the tedium in between. This is the fun part, when he’ll do things like run 19 mph while scoring from second base on a single or take an aggressive chance to cut down a lead runner. Posey does carry over one trait from the regular season to the playoffs, though. “With all that’s going on, these pitchers don’t see panic in him,” Righetti said. “They see the same guy. He’s very aggressive, but he comes off with his demeanor of, `This is how I’m going to be.’” He’ll take the weight, even if it’s being loaded off two trucks at once. “He’s able to separate himself from his offense and defense, and he does it so seamlessly on these runs we’ve had,” left-hander Javier Lopez said. “Even in 2010 as a rookie, he’s commanding respect from a rotation at the top of its game and a bullpen that had a veteran presence. And we’ve seen that evolution continue, and watch him get better and better.” Posey easily could be wearing a Royals uniform, by the way. Kansas City is one of four teams that drafted ahead of the Giants in 2008. The Royals took first baseman Eric Hosmer, instead. “We had (catcher) Salvador Perez in the system at the time, but we loved Buster Posey,” Royals GM Dayton Moore told our A’s Insider Joe Stiglich. “He was a terrific talent, we knew he was a great baseball player. Great competitor, knew he was a quality person. But we felt Hos fit us better at the time, especially long term.” The Kansas City Royals, with their running game, would test the composure of any catcher. They will look to press every advantage. That’s one storyline as this World Series gets underway. [RELATED: Giants know it won't be easy to slow running Royals ] Here’s one more trend story making the rounds: Is Buster Posey the new Derek Jeter? “Any time you get compared to Derek Jeter, it’s extremely flattering,” said Posey, answering the question just as Jeter might. “I try to just … again, I’m sorry for being so boring, but I’m trying to focus on winning four more games.” In other words: maybe. But Jeter was a shortstop. Posey might rather be compared to Berra every October. After all, there’s no better déjà vu all over again than going back to the World Series. -- Andrew Baggarly, CSNBayArea.com
Madison Bumgarner has thrown 249 innings since Opening Day. Bruce Bochy did not check on him before deciding to hand him the baseball for Game 1 of the World Series. “I think I would insult him if I did,” Bochy said. The Giants are making very few changes as they prepare to play Missouri’s other team, the Kansas City Royals, in Game 1 on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Bumgarner, the NLCS MVP, will oppose right-hander James Shields and Jake Peavy will follow in Game 2 against right-hander Yordano Ventura. Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong would remain in the rotation for Games 3-4, with Yusmeiro Petit revising his role as a swingman. And yes, Tim Lincecum will remain on the roster as well, Bochy said. “I’m pretty sure at some point he’ll be in a game,” Bochy said of Lincecum, who wasn’t used in the wild card game at Pittsburgh, the NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals or the NLCS triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals. Bochy didn’t comment on his lineup or options at designated hitter for the first two games in Kansas City, where the Giants were swept in August by scores or 4-2, 5-0 and 7-4. But it’s expected Michael Morse’s dramatic, tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 5 against the Cardinals makes him an obvious candidate to DH. [RELATED: Giants' experience may not be enough to beat Royals ] Why stick with 12 pitchers and keep Lincecum, when perhaps the Giants could use an extra pair of legs (Gary Brown or Ehire Adrianza) to pinch run for Morse? Especially when the Royals swiped five bases against Lincecum in a train wreck of a start in August? “Well, Timmy’s done a lot for us,” Bochy said. “I’ll start with that. You get in a playoff series and there’s always a guy or two who doesn’t get a lot of work. But it doesn’t mean Timmy won’t play a big role.” Bochy pointed out that Lincecum would’ve pitched the 18 th inning of Game 2 at Washington if the Giants hadn’t taken a lead. No, it’s not at all likely the Giants will face that situation again. But left unsaid by the manager: Peavy and Vogelsong are coming off short starts, while Hudson is 39 years old and pitching past the first round for the first time in his career. It’s not as if they can just plug in three or four innings from Petit every day. The additional coverage on the innings side might be more valuable, potentially, than another pinch runner. “You can’t ever have enough pitching or experience,” Bochy said. “I think about Timmy, trust me, the fact he hasn’t been in there, because I know what he’s done for us and what he could do for us, and I want him to be a part of this.” As for going with Vogelsong as the No.4 starter over Petit, Bochy cited Vogelsong's strong start in the NLDS and Petit's value and versatility in his current role. There "wasn't a thought" of switching the two, he said. - Andrew Baggarly, CSN Bay Area
(Reuters) - Brief profiles of the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, who will meet in Major League Baseball's best-of-seven World Series starting on Tuesday. ...
By Larry Fine (Reuters) - One of Major League Baseball's wildest postseasons heads into its final chapter as the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants tangle in an unlikely World Series matchup. The American League champion Royals return to the World Series for the first time in 29 years when they host the National League pennant-winning Giants to open the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship on Tuesday. ...
By Larry Fine Oct 18 (Reuters) - One of Major League Baseball's wildest postseasons heads into its final chapter as the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants tangle in an unlikely World Series matchup. The American League champion Royals return to the World Series for the first time in 29 years when they host the National League pennant-winning Giants to open the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship on Tuesday. ...
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