- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports1 hr ago
SAN FRANCISCO – The perfect Kansas City Royals victory included every morsel that encapsulates this run to the World Series. Dynamic pitching. Pristine glovework. Enough hitting. And completely curious, illogical managing from Ned Yost that somehow works out for the best.
An early lead that yielded to a tense stretch in the middle of the game crescendoed with a 3-2 victory for Kansas City on Friday night that gave the Royals a 2-1 series lead over the San Francisco Giants. The win ensured the Royals would return to Kansas City – either for a Game 6 or, with two more wins here at AT&T Park, as world champions.
While the postgame focus for the Giants will center on whether to bring ace Madison Bumgarner back on three days’ rest to start Game 4 on Saturday, the Royals will bask in their second consecutive win and 10th in 11 postseason games.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
Most of the people who live in the neighborhood don't use the pond. And that's a shame, because in the summer, it's a gem. Dragonflies dance above. Frogs linger on the edges. Geese teach their goslings about life in the Kansas suburbs. Crappie and bass and bluegill and catfish swim about, waiting for a snack, oblivious to the hook that accompanies it.
Nothing beats a day of fishing, Wade Davis believes, and considering he's in the middle of among the most brilliant relief seasons in baseball history, one culminating with a World Series appearance for the Kansas City Royals, he very much appreciates what the pond offers. Davis, 29, grew up in Lake Wales, Fla., and spent summers with his dad on a johnboat. Three or four days a week he'd bake in the sun, red as the seams on a ball, and not care because he was catching fish.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Nobody quite understood what was happening. Salvador Perez cocked his head askew. All the players on the Kansas City Royals' bench suffered from a case of celebratus interruptus. The umpiring crew raced toward the burgeoning mob at home plate. And after tempers cooled and the detritus of an almost-brawl in the World Series cleared, everyone realized the entire scene mushroomed from the tired act that is Hunter Strickland getting a little sore after another meltdown and just wanting to fight.
The 2014 World Series jolted to life in the sixth inning of Game 2. Until that point, it registered similar to the sloppy Game 1, a runaway San Francisco Giants victory. Then the Royals of every prior day in October arrived, slapping hits, shooting gaps, running bases and frustrating a pitcher badly enough that machismo replaced wits.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tempers flared. The benches cleared. A fight nearly broke out. And a World Series with little verve finally got the jolt it needed Wednesday.
Omar Infante’s two-run home run set off the extracurricular activities and capped a massive sixth inning for the Kansas City Royals, who avenged a Game 1 defeat with a 7-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants in front of a raucous 40,446 at Kauffman Stadium.
Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, who allowed a two-run double to Salvador Perez a batter before Infante, exchanged words with Perez as he rounded the bases on the home run. While unclear who or what prompted the jawing, it grew from stares and words to Strickland challenging Perez to meet him on the mound. Perez declined the invitation, though players from both teams spilled onto the field in case further displays of misplaced manliness manifested themselves.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For nearly a month, the Kansas City Royals forgot what the solemnity of a losing clubhouse felt like. No music straining through the speakers. No boisterous ceremony tabbing the player of the game. No smoke machine coughing out thick clouds of vapor. Just quiet and reflection and stunted voices trying to remind the Chicken Littles in the room that one loss does not a crisis make.
The Royals lost Tuesday. They lost bad, 7-1 in Game 1 of the World Series to the San Francisco Giants. They lost with their best starting pitcher, James Shields, allowing three runs in the first and five over three innings while watching his ERA this postseason balloon to a most inconvenient 7.11. They lost in front of a crowd of 40,459 at Kauffman Stadium that deflated following that first inning and, despite efforts to the contrary, never found any of the energy that permeated in four previous home playoff games. They lost to Madison Bumgarner, a pitcher who better embodies the Big Game nickname affixed in front of Shields' first name.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – James Shields said he's a big believer in amnesia. For his sake, he'd better hope his Kansas City Royals teammates are, too, because they need to forget Game 1 of the World Series if they have a shot against the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants snapped Kansas City's eight-game postseason winning streak, riding a Hunter Pence home run, another sublime Madison Bumgarner performance and a mistake-filled Royals showing to a 7-1 victory at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday.
Shields, the Royals' right-hander who said before Game 1 that he wanted to forget about his previous struggles this postseason, compounded them in grand fashion and continued a week of pain that started with his passing a kidney stone. Shields was more Big Lame James than his nickname Big Game James, yielding three runs in the first inning and five overall in three innings of work. Shields' ERA this postseason leapt to 7.11, his early exit the opposite of convenience for Kansas City.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – At 4:30 a.m. last week, already awake for 90 minutes, Ned Yost began vacuuming his condo. He can't help but get up at 3 a.m. these days, the anticipation of the next day of this incredible Kansas City Royals run to the World Series rousing him from his slumber. With nothing better to do, Yost figured his place could use a once-over, seeing as vacuum hadn't met carpet once all summer and his grandkid was coming to town to watch grandpa continue the biggest surprise of the postseason, even bigger than the Royals: Ned Yost, effective manager.
"I wake up excited," Yost said. "I wake up happy. I wake up anticipating Tuesday."
Now that it's here – now that Yost, the most maligned Ned since Homer first met Flanders, is managing heightened expectations in addition to a ballclub trying to make the first undefeated run ever through a postseason – the permagrin will dissolve into the dead-eyed face of a manager running through all the permutations a manager must. The sorts of decisions that damned Yost to the reputation he's doing his best to abolish.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Not that anyone needs excess motivation to watch the intriguing matchup between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants for baseball’s championship, but just in case, here are 2,014 reasons to watch the 2014 World Series.
1-29: For the 29 years since Kansas City’s last championship. Or playoff appearance. Or relevance. The Royals are a great story because of their spectacular run in October, sure, though seeing it through the lens of nearly three decades of ineptitude only heightens the stakes for a city ready to burst at the seams with excitement.
30-52: For the 23 days between the Royals’ last loss and Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. ET. It was a 5-4 defeat to the Chicago White Sox.
53-60: For the eight consecutive wins the Royals have posted this postseason, the most ever to start a playoff run. They haven’t lost a playoff game since Oct. 23, 1985.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On the biggest night of baseball this city has seen in nearly 30 years, the man responsible for so many great moments here was just like the 40,000-plus people losing their minds around him. About a dozen rows back of the third-base dugout, Frank White sat anonymously – or as anonymously as Frank White can sit in his city – and relished the Kansas City Royals clinching a spot in the World Series for this suddenly baseball-mad town.
It was his third time visiting Kauffman Stadium in the past month, a softening from the stance outlined in his autobiography released less than two years ago: "You'll never see me in that stadium again." White smiled, posed for pictures, signed autographs, momentarily forgetting what kept him away and still keeps him at a distance.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
Tickets to the first game of the World Series in Kansas City have skyrocketed to record prices, with the average seat going for more than $1,000, behind-the-plate seats for more than $13,000 and standing-room-only tickets listed for more than $600, according to an analysis by SeatGeek.
Even in the last five years, as ticket prices for sporting events have multiplied in price, no opening game of the World Series has matched the demand of Kansas City, which last hosted one 29 years ago. The average resale price for a ticket is $1,048, according to SeatGeek, with the cheapest get-in price at $602 and rising.