- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
The Kansas City Royals might not have gotten to the World Series if players hadn't started focusing on their own clan instead of playing "Clash of Clans" on their iPads.
As we prepare for Game 1 of the World Series, pitting the Royals against the San Francisco Giants, the Kansas City Star's Andy McCullough gives us a great look into the Royals clubhouse, and how they refocused themselves during the summer doldrums to become a World Series team.
The baseball season is long and full of downtime for players, so inevitably they turn to things like video games to pass the time when they're traveling or waiting for a game to start. Some Royals had such an affinity for "Clash of Clans" — an online strategy game where you build a village and do battle with other clans — that it concerned coaches. Consider this moment after a July loss that sent the Royals under .500:LiveSan Francisco3 - 0Kansas CityFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
You didn't think it was just radio stations having fun with Kansas City Royals being in the World Series, did you? World Wrestling Entertainment's popular "Monday Night Raw" was live from Kansas City on World Series Eve, and the occasion wasn't going to pass without cheap heat.
Randy Orton — the star of those hilarious RKO Vines — was called on to anger the Kansas City crowd by dissing the Royals. He's a good fit, considering he's from St. Louis.
Orton was cutting a promo against John Cena when a "Let's Go Royals" chant broke out in the crowd. Orton quickly flipped into super heel mode and told the fans:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
If you're a fan of the Kansas City Royals or San Francisco Giants, sorry, this list really isn't for you. We don't expect you to root for anybody on the opposing team in the 2014 World Series, which begins Tuesday night at 8:07 p.m. ET at Kauffman Stadium.
But if you're a baseball fan — even a very casual baseball fan — looking for somewhere to place your rooting interest during baseball's championship series, this list is totally for you.
Do you like players with feel-good comeback stories? This World Series has those. Do you like unlikely heroes? It has that too. Do you like a guy who's paid his dues finally getting a chance on the biggest stage? The World Series has that.
It's even got a joker who's very good at his position, a guy who gives great speeches and a rookie who could make history. (btw, one of those guys smells good too).
Get to know the eight World Series players below, and you might find someone new to root for as the series begins.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Stew told you Saturday about a couple San Francisco radio stations that decided to stop playing "Royals," the ubiquitous hit song by Lorde, until the World Series ended. It's a great way for Bay Area radio stations to show their support for the Giants in their series against the Kansas City Royals while also making headlines for themselves. Mostly the second one, though.
Proving that every radio stunt has an equal and opposite reaction (ain't that right, Isaac Newton?), a radio station in Kansas City has decided it will not stand for a San Francisco radio station getting all these headlines. Oh, and it supports the Royals too
Thus, 99.7 The Point (aka KZPT FM) announced Monday that will play "Royals" more frequently, specifically in the hours leading up to Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. This makes sense, we suppose, because it's not like They Might Be Giants have a recent hit song to take out of rotation in K.C.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Are you having baseball withdrawals yet? Yeah, us too.
While we wait for the World Series to begin — that's Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. ET, by the way — The Stew figured it's a good time to relive some of the best moments of the 2014 postseason so far. And what a postseason it's been, with so many close games, great plays and unlikely heroes.
So here's our World Series Eve rundown of the eight best moments of the playoffs. You may not agree with our list 100 percent, and that's OK. Leave your own top moments in the comments or tweet them to @BigLeagueStew.
8. Kolten Wong's walk-off gives Cardinals Game 2 of NLCS The entire NLCS didn't finish the way the St. Louis Cardinals hoped, but they can at least be happy at the emergence of Wong as a postseason star. The rookie was smacking the ball all over the place, but his biggest moment came in Game 2 of the NLCS when he hit a walk-off homer to tie the series at one.
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Will Don Mattingly manage the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015? Yes, says Andrew Friedman, the club's new president of baseball operations.
Friedman, the front-office whiz who shaped the Tampa Bay Rays roster for nine years, was introduced Friday in his new role with the Dodgers. Deciding whether to keep Mattingly was one of Friedman's first orders of business, and he gave Donnie Baseball his seal of approval.
For now, at least.
Friedman: Mattingly will "definitely" manage the Dodgers next season.
Friedman came aboard after the Dodgers' disappointing postseason exit, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Some were calling for the jobs of both Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti. Hiring Friedman was basically replacing Colletti at GM, though Colletti remains with the Dodgers as an assistant to team president Stan Kasten.
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The Kansas City Royals have swept their way through the postseason after earning an American League wild-card spot, knocking off the two top teams in the AL in their first playoff berth since 1985.
The San Francisco Giants are reading from a familiar script. As the second National League wild-card team, they were underdogs again in the postseason, rattling of a series of wins that proved the pundits wrong one more time. Just like during their 2010 and 2012 World Series runs.
Wild-card team vs. wild-card team, doesn't this World Series matchup have to be wild? It's the first such wild card vs. wild card since the Giants lost to the Angels in 2002.
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SAN FRANCISCO — One of the many fans filing out of their seats after the San Francisco Giants clinched a trip to the World Series bellowed, "Travis Ishikawa is the best left fielder ever."
He's not, of course. But such hyperbole is allowed 10 minutes after Ishikawa immortalized himself in the Giants history books.
Ishikawa, the left fielder who isn't actually a left fielder, hit a three-run homer that sent AT&T Park into hysterics, sent the St. Louis Cardinals home, losers of the National League Championship Series and sent the Giants to Kansas City, where they'll play the Royals in the World Series.
This was one of those games that turned everything you thought you knew upside-down, the type of game that made unlikely heroes out of three Giants, as they bucked the club's recent history with three big swings.
SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence is the emotional center of the San Francisco Giants — well, after Thursday night, make that National League champion San Francisco Giants.
Pence has pumped up both his team and its fanbase with great speeches before, onemore famously profane than the rest. After the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLCS to advance to the World Series, Pence was again at the center of a scrum of players in the Giants clubhouse.
He started by saying: "At the beginning of this playoff, there's not anybody who picked us right here to go to the World Series ... It doesn't take anyone to believe in us but us right here."
SAN FRANCISCO — By now, you may know about Madison Bumgarner's playoff beer celebrations. They're both a social-media phenomenon and a San Francisco Giants superstition.
Bumgarner chugged four beers when the Giants won the NL wild-card game. Well, chugged/bathed in/spilled four beers, whatever. When the Giants beat the Washington Nationals in the NLDS, Bumgarner moved up to five beers.
When the Giants won the National League Championship Series on Thursday night — thanks to a Travis Ishiwaka walk-off homer that's sending them to Kansas City to play the Royals in the World Series — Bumgarner knew what he had to do. The personal six-pack.
You'll notice in the video above that teammates even tried to add some champagne to this booze shower.