Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew44 mins ago
It's essentially a five-game series now. The San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals split the first two games of the World Series, so now the first team to win three more games gets baseball's ultimate trophy.
The series has shifted to San Francisco for Friday's Game 3, in which Tim Hudson pitches for the Giants against Jeremy Guthrie for the Royals. The Yahoo Sports MLB crew — columnists Tim Brown and Jeff Passan, plus the bloggers from Big League Stew — will be serving up commentary from start to finish.
Use this handy Twitter tracker to follow the game with live commentary from our writers and other MLB experts.Fri, Oct 245:07 PM PDTKansas City at San FranciscoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
It's not Tommy John. It's not supposed to affect his offseason routine, and won't impact his preparation for the 2015 season, the St. Louis Cardinals say.
Regardless, the club confirmed Friday that ace right-hander Adam Wainwright has undergone surgery to "trim cartilage" in his right elbow. Wainwright and club general manager John Mozeliak had been saying that surgery was not on the horizon — as recently as Monday — but the pitcher sought a second medical opinion earlier this week and had a surgical procedure done Friday.
Wainwright has said he's felt periodic discomfort in his elbow going back to June, and it's likely to have affected his performance from time to time — even though Wainwright never used it as an excuse.
Reporter Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was told initially that Wainwright had undergone surgery on an elbow ligament — which, whoa — but it's not that.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
SAN FRANCISCO — You have to wonder, by the end of Game 3 of the World Series, will the pundits be talking about how Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost made all the right moves or will they be calling him a dunce again?
Yost gave the Royals' lineup a shake-up before the pivotal game Thursday night against the San Francisco Giants. He's starting speedy outfielder Jarrod Dyson instead of Nori Aoki and he's moved up both Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas in the batting order.
The moves are partially adjustments to NL rules, because the Royals will bat without designated hitter Billy Butler. They're also adjustments to AT&T Park, where Dyson's more sound defense will play better in a sometimes-unpredictable outfield.
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
From the standpoint of the Kansas City Royals, the throw made by the peanut vendor in the video above might have been the only meaningful highlight from Game 1 of the World Series. Sure, slugger Salvador Perez hit a home run late in the ballgame to get the Royals on the scoreboard, but a 7-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants was emotionally deflating from the time that Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer in the first.
Taking over when the ballclub otherwise was having a down night, Ace Peanut Man pleased the fans in right field by making a gargantuan toss from the lower-deck seats and reaching the pointy seats at the end of the upper tank at Kauffman Stadium.
By the reaction of fans who witnessed it live, this throw does not seem routine. Neither is the payment: $5. We don't see the vendor catch the money, but we definitely see it wadded up and thrown from the fan. Hopefully he tipped the guy with a $10 bill.
To get a spacial idea of this transaction, here's a Flickr photo of the right-field corner:
Here's a photo illustrated with the approximate trajectory of the peanut tossing:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
SAN FRANCISCO — There's a long table running through the middle of the clubhouse. On it sits 54 boxes of baseballs. Each box has 12 balls. Giants players move from chair to chair, signing all the baseballs in front of them.
This is no quick task. There are 648 baseballs, so it's kind of like scrawling your name on a decade's worth of Christmas cards. It's probably not what any player wants to do between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series.
Tim Hudson, however, is playing in the first World Series of his 16-year MLB career. He'd already spent about a half hour signing baseballs Thursday, with many more still to do.
"Better than sitting at home," he said.
Hudson knows all about being at home during the World Series. Even though he's played on many good teams in his career, when the Giants reached the National League Championship Series, that was the furthest Hudson had advanced in the postseason.
- Tim Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Joe Maddon, who guided the Tampa Bay Rays to their first six winning seasons and the 2008 World Series, on Friday opted out of his contract with the club and presumably will seek to manage elsewhere.
He is the second significant figure to leave the Rays this month. Andrew Friedman, their longtime general manager, became president of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 14.
In spite of speculation Maddon might follow Friedman to the Dodgers, that does not appear to be the case. Friedman insisted last week Don Mattingly, who is under contract through 2016, would be his manager in 2015.
Instead, as the Rays regrouped following Friedman’s departure and entered into contract extension talks with their manager, Maddon abruptly resigned. He was under contract through 2015, but could have opted out under certain circumstances, Friedman’s exit among them.
Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times that it was “gut-wrenching” to leave the Rays, but that contract negotiations were not satisfactory.
“We were still too far apart,” he said.
Maddon’s bench coach, Dave Martinez, is an option to succeed Maddon on the top step.
- David Brown at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Contrary tostatements he made 10 days ago after Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Rays to join the Los Angeles Dodgers, Joe Maddon reportedly is using an opt-out clause in his contract with the Rays to leave the organization. He won't manage them in 2015, which Major League Baseball's account on Twitter confirms. Buster Olney of ESPN had the news first.
As Dave Cameron of Fangraphs points out, it's amazing how feelings can change so quickly.
“I’m a Ray, I’ve said it all along, I want to continue to be one,” Maddon said. “‘I still believe … it’s the best place in all of baseball to work…
Until it's not.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
SAN FRANCISCO — Billy Butler stood in front of his locker Thursday afternoon, smiling and talking about his very abrupt role change in the World Series. His two singles and two RBIs keyed the Kansas City Royals' Game 2 victory, but now he'll wait his turn as a pinch hitter when the series shifts to the Giants' home turf for three games starting Friday.
It's something that comes up every year in the World Series — the American League team is forced to find a new role for its designated hitter. For the Royals, a mostly small-ball team, there's reason to worry about what will happen to their offense when Butler is confined to just one at-bat per game at most. But the team is putting a positive spin on it, mostly because it has no other choice.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
SAN FRANCISCO — The last time the Kansas City Royals played at AT&T Park, it was still called SBC Park and Jeremy Affeldt, the San Francisco Giants relief pitcher, was wearing blue.
It was 2005 and those Royals included Terrence Long in the outfield and Angel Berroa at shortstop. Ned Yost was managing the Milwaukee Brewers and Lorenzo Cain was playing his first year of rookie ball.
These Royals, the ones who will take the field Friday for Game 3 of the World Series, are a very different bunch. Playing at AT&T Park for them is like handing a 13-year-old an Atari joystick.
So the Kansas City bunch — a team that relies very much on its defense, mind you — spent their workout day learning the quirks of the Giants' home park. It's not a typical outfield out there, particularly in right field and right-center, where the wall plays an atypical game of geometry.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Kansas City Royals not only evened up the World Series against the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 on Wednesday night, they also scored an impressive victory of sorts against the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs in the local TV ratings.
TV ratings for the World Series Game 2 rebounded somewhat, pulling an 8.8 overnight, winning the night. KC was a 49.6; SF was a 28.7.
Kansas City's TV market is No. 31 in the country, and San Francisco's is sixth, so MLB's strong showing among World Series towns impacts only about 3 percent of the country's televisions. Local results are another matter.Sun, Oct 2610:00 AM PDTSt. Louis at Kansas CityPreview Game