- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports16 hrs ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – So they sat around for going on three decades, then drove I-70 early, before the traffic you know, and got their good parking spots outside Kauffman Stadium, and dropped their tailgates and had themselves a grand time, because, hell, it'd been almost three decades and all. You might've heard.
They couldn't wait. Could. Not. Wait.
It was this enthusiasm, this life-long (in some cases longer) loyalty, this anticipation that carried them into the ballpark, into their clean blue seats, and into a World Series game that often seemed would never, ever happen here. Somebody'd even blued the skies for the day, and warmed the evening so it felt like rebirth, and it was all so, so wonderful for, like, 4½ pitches.
But, what a 4½ pitches.Wed, Oct 225:07 PM PDTSan Francisco at Kansas CityPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Several years back, when the San Francisco Giants were unsure of who they were or what they had in them (or the organizational riches that awaited), one of their coaches had taken a long walk in the brushy hills behind Dodger Stadium. From among the coyote tracks and spent tall boys, he'd returned dusted from the knees down and having discovered three red-tailed hawk feathers.
Tim Flannery is a spiritual fellow who believes in powers of nature and purity and meaningful secondary leads. Which order depends on what time of day you ask him.
Anyway, he was sure these three hawk feathers – not two, not four, but three – meant something. The number of runs they'd score that night. Or wins over the next few nights. Maybe days 'til the apocalypse. This is how Flannery sometimes views the world, and it's awesome.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
It was Bruce Bochy. He was smiling crooked, which might have had something to do with the bottle in his right hand. His hair was matted and shining. His shirt was damp and hung from his shoulders like a drunken groupie.
Bochy's Giants were going to the World Series, a habit of theirs. They'd done this one a little different than the last, different than most, also a habit. For one, they'd gone hundreds of at-bats at a time without hitting a home run. Until Thursday night, they'd not homered in the National League Championship Series. So, there may or may not have been something in a column here about their offense resembling a "dime-store squirt gun," not a knock (who doesn't love a dime-store squirt gun?) but an observation, and Bochy had chuckled about that just Thursday afternoon.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
SAN FRANCISCO – The ball flew and the San Francisco Giants were going to the World Series again. The third-base coach immediately dry heaved. A veteran pitcher nearly tackled a baserunner, still technically – or maybe spiritually – in play at the moment, out near shortstop. The manager jumped on those tired legs of his. Inside the perfect little ballpark on the edge of the bay, the people went nutty, as a walk-off three-run homer in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series requires. One by one, the St. Louis Cardinals turned their backs and walked away.
"I blacked out," the Giants right fielder, Hunter Pence, said. "I was too elated. I kind of lost my mind, so I couldn't hear, couldn't see, couldn't think. I was just overjoyed. Just absolute anarchy. Chaos. In my head. And in the stadium."
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
SAN FRANCISCO – Matt Adams is a big ol' dude with big ol' tattoos on big ol' muscles, and by late Wednesday night a pretty good-sized scowl as well. He hadn't been the first to be persecuted by the dime-store squirt gun the San Francisco Giants call an offense, only the latest, and so in a little more than a day the questions had moved to his locker, and he didn't seem in much of a mood for that.
"That's what good teams do," he said through lips that hardly moved. "They capitalize on mistakes."
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports7 days ago
SAN FRANCISCO – Before the baseball would skitter down the right-field line, before Brandon Crawford would score the final run with such ease, before the first postseason error walk-off since Buckner and before the San Francisco Giants fell down and laughed over another ridiculous way to win a playoff game, there was 0-and-2.
There was a Diablo wind Tuesday afternoon, and there were weird hops, and the best catcher in the game was relegated to bullpen duty, and Rob Schneider fluffed the AT&T Park crowd before Game 3 of the NLCS, and then what followed 10 innings later was 0-and-2, which was most important of all.
And Juan Perez, a Dominican-born outfielder who'd moved to the Bronx when he was 13 or 14, he couldn't quite recall which, and several years later went to Boston to tell Manny Ramirez he too would be a big leaguer someday (to which Manny replied, "Good luck"), he thought back at that 0-and-2 and said, "I was really mad."
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
In their hopes to become younger and more agile in the wake of another postseason flameout, the Los Angeles Dodgers have started with their front office.
Andrew Friedman, the 37-year-old who for the past nine years helped transform the Tampa Bay Rays into a highly relevant franchise in the competitive AL East, is the new president/baseball operations for the Dodgers.
Ned Colletti, who became GM of the Dodgers within days of Friedman taking the same job in Tampa and built five NL West champions, remains with the club as senior adviser to club president Stan Kasten. The duties will suit him well. He is expected to work closely with Friedman, as well. The two became friends nearly a decade ago and maintained a close relationship.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
SAN FRANCISCO – As he often does, Yadier Molina spoke quietly Monday afternoon, just loud enough to make a point about his involvement in whatever’s left of the St. Louis Cardinals’ season.
“It’s not over,” he said.
That qualified as the best possible news for the Cardinals given Molina fouled his oblique just the night before, hopped a four-hour flight to the coast, slept on a hotel bed, bused to AT&T Park and then was handed a baseball with instructions to throw it. He did, and everybody seemed to think it went fine, including Molina. He did not, however, go anywhere near the bat rack. His side hurts, he said, when he “twists.” The belief that Molina could hit in a game in the near future, beginning with Tuesday afternoon’s NLCS Game 3, would require a schooner-ful of optimism. A round for the house then, ’cause the Cardinals are buyin’.
“That was the worst feeling I had in my career,” Molina said of the pain that nearly toppled him in the batter’s box. “I thought it was going to be bad. [But] this morning I woke up feeling better.”
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports9 days ago
ST. LOUIS – They'd board a flight to San Francisco on a special win, the kind that reroutes a playoff series and lifts a city, and on that the St. Louis Cardinals could rest their heads.
They'd hit four more home runs, including one each in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, the last a Kolten Wong walk-off against Sergio Romo that concluded a perfectly imperfect, unpredictable, reeling Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. They'd won, 5-4, finally when Wong struck a flat slider and lashed it into the seats near the right-field foul pole, and on that they'd tied the series, so they'd gathered at home plate almost before the last of the San Francisco Giants had cleared the Busch Stadium grounds.
"I just made sure I didn't miss any bases," said Wong, who'd nearly skulled a nearby umpire when he'd thrown off his helmet in celebration.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
ST. LOUIS – Only Adam Wainwright knows for sure about that elbow, the one he uses to sling a baseball at big-league hitters, and on Saturday night he was saying it was good. Not like pristine good, but bearably good, like he could've-pitched-better good, and the St. Louis Cardinals seemed willing to take his word on that.
It is, after all, very difficult to look upon Adam Wainwright, their beloved Waino, as anything other than the undisputed staff ace and postseason horse, especially for the folks here. And he hadn't exactly been shellacked Saturday night by the San Francisco Giants, not like he had been in Los Angeles eight days before. There'd just been some uncomfortable imprecision, some unfortunate results, a couple plays behind him that didn't end well for the Cardinals or Wainwright, which is why the Giants won Game 1 of the National League championship series 3-0. They'll choose to see that guy, slightly off, but close enough to good again.