- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Salvador Perez just needed to take a pitch.
A player not known for his patience at the plate, Perez was especially antsy in the late innings of Tuesday's wild-card win against the Oakland A's. With the Royals trailing 7-6 with one out and runners on the corners in the bottom of the eighth, Perez, the Royals' All-Star catcher, was facing the A's Luke Gregerson.
Gregerson, a righty reliever who relies primarily on his slider, attacked Perez with the pitch. Perez was more than willing to go after it. Gregerson threw three straight sliders and Perez chased all three, unable to lay off the last one before it bounced in the dirt. Perez was the second out and the Royals didn't score again in the inning.
After Kansas City tied it in the ninth inning, Perez was up with Eric Hosmer on third and two outs in the 10th. He fouled the first pitch and swung at the second, grounding out softly to second.
- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Royals pitcher James Shields had his goggles perched above his head taking questions away from the fray of the celebration in the clubhouse. He was already drenched, but it was a smart move to escape the mess for a minute.
It's an oversimplification to say the Kansas City Royals' trade for Shields before the 2013 season was for games like Tuesday night's wild-card eliminatorbetween the Oakland A's and Royals. But the Royals knew what Shields' role would be after he logged seven straight 200-plus-innings seasons and six postseason starts with the Rays.
Earlier in September, the Royals shuffled the pitching rotation to ensure the man with the "Big Game James" nickname would be lined up to pitch the franchise's first postseason game in 29 years.
That he did. And while Shields left the game with the lead in the sixth inning, he ended up with a no-decision as the Royals came back three times to win 9-8 in 12 innings.
- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – During Tuesday night's wild card game between the A's and Royals, the TBS camera briefly focused on a Royals fan who was holding a sign with an interesting proposition.
If the Royals won the game, the man she was with would buy her a real, live puppy.
The offer quickly went viral on the Internet and the puppy was often mentioned during a classic game that the Royals would end up winning 9-8 in 12 innings.
While the Royals were leading by a run at the time she was on camera, the Royals soon gave up five runs in the top of the sixth and trailed the game 7-3. The woman's hopes for a puppy were looking bleak.
- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oakland A's catcher Geovany Soto left the game with what the team said was a left thumb injury after a play at the plate with the Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer in the first inning.
Hosmer attempted to score after A's pitcher Jon Lester picked off Billy Butler at first base. As Butler got into a rundown, Hosmer broke for home and was tagged for the third out of the inning.
The tag from Soto was high up on Hosmer's body and Soto's glove ricocheted off Hosmer.
Soto batted in the top of the second inning and struck out looking. He was replaced by Derek Norris behind the plate. Soto, who was acquired from the Rangers in August, hit .262 with a .354 on-base percentage and a .357 slugging percentage in 49 plate appearances with the A's.
His absence may hurt the A's most defensively. The Royals have the most stolen bases in baseball, and Soto caught nine of 17 baserunners stealing against the A's this year. Norris has thrown out 12 in 72 stolen base attempts against him. Norris also had never caught Jon Lester, who the A's acquired before the trade deadline from the Boston Red Sox.
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- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As Royals fans poured into Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night for their team's wild card game against the Oakland A's, you had to look harder than usual to spot George Brett jerseys.
Five years ago, the star of the Royals' 1985 World Series win and last playoff appearance might have been the most popular player apparel item. While the links to the ghosts of the Royals' 29-year playoff drought were visible – there were a few fans wearing shirts from that series with the Cardinals, including Mark Gruber's Don Denkinger shirt (pictured at right) – Tuesday night was all about the present.
When you're the fan of a team always thinking back to the glory days of a World Series that gets further and further in the rearview while simultaneously waiting for next year, living in the present is an odd feeling. And one Royals fans were ready to seize.
"I was 6 years old [when the Royals went to the World Series]," Morgan Grippin said while donning a Royals flag like a cape. "I don't remember a thing. This is, in my opinion, my very first playoff game ever."
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday11 hrs ago
The ACC announced its initial priorities for Power Five conference autonomy on Tuesday.
The priorities resemble many of the steps that schools have taken on their own to help student athletes since the NCAA granted the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC more flexibility to make their own rules.
In June, the Big Ten released a similar set of key points before the autonomy vote was taken in August.
The ACC's priorities are:
• Examination of scholarship protections for student-athletes;
• Meeting a student-athlete’s cost of attendance;
• Ensuring institutional flexibility to provide educational support for former student-athletes;
• Examination of career-related insurance options for student-athletes; and
• Ensuring that nutritional needs of student-athletes are met in a reasonable way.
- Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles14 hrs ago
Our Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it's the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. And you think we dislike your favorite driver, so it makes sense, right? Direct all your complaints to us at email@example.com.
1. Brad Keselowski (LW: 1): We're not going to dump Keselowski from the top spot for finishing second. That's cruel and unusual punishment. While we realize we're suggesting tweaks to a Chase system that seems like it's constantly tweaked, but what if drivers got three bonus points for the next round of the Chase for winning a race in the previous round? It'd give Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon something to show for the their wins, even if it was a net of three positions in a single race.
2. Joey Logano (LW: 2): We mentioned this in Happy Hour on Thursday, but Logano has quietly become one of the best in the Cup Series. That was evident again on Sunday where he finished fourth. Sure, he didn't have the best car or even led a lap, but if Logano keeps this up, don't act surprised when he's going for the title at Homestead.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday15 hrs ago
Oregon won't be wearing pink helmets Thursday night against Arizona but the Ducks will still have pink accents to support women's cancer awareness.
The school revealed this year's uniforms via Twitter on Tuesday.
Last year's uniforms had pink helmets and socks while the numbers and trim were Oregon's colors. This year, the helmet is black and the numbers and name on the backs will be in pink. There will also be pink shoe options as well.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday17 hrs ago
Texas players do not want let Baylor's ascension to the top of the Big 12 go quietly.
Earlier this year, Texas LB Steve Edmond expressed his disdain for the Bears, long the Longhorns' little brother in the state of Texas. Heck, it's more than little sibling. For a while, Baylor was the third of the three other Texas schools in the Big 12.
In the past four seasons, Baylor has finished ahead of Texas in the conference standings three times. The teams meet on Saturday and while Baylor is undefeated and Texas is 2-2, Texas WR John Harris is confident about his team.
“I mean, they’re still Baylor,” Harris said via the Dallas Morning News.“I mean, just because they started playing better in this era, that’s good for them. We are who we are — we’re still Texas. … Baylor has never changed. They are who they are.”
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday19 hrs ago
Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker, wideout Dorian Baker, defensive end Tymere Dubose and running back Stanley Williams are suspended for Saturday's game against South Carolina.
The four were suspended for a violation of team rules after an incident involving BB guns on campus Sunday night. All types of firearms are banned on Kentucky's campus.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said earlier on Monday that he'd been notified of the possibility that persons of interest in Sunday night's on-campus incident - which included a report of possible shots fired - were wearing UK football-issued shirts.
UK police recovered three BB guns from the incident and identified the persons of interest Monday. The four were then suspended.
"Proper conduct is emphasized as a core value of our program," Stoops said in a release "If we have a situation in which someone who does not act according to our standards, we hold him accountable."