Oct 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of the field with logos before practice the day before the start of the 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The World Series starts tomorrow. It is basically Christmas in October. While the Brewers have been knocked out of the fight, the Giants and Royals are still going at it.
While Brewers fans (at least those on the #Brewers hashtag) are fond of remembering Nori Aoki, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Travis Ishikawa and placing them into the currently lineup all willy-nilly and pretending it would have changes Milwaukee’s fortunes this season, we all know that is ridiculous.
The Royals and Giants earned their way into the World Series from the Wild Card spot, because once you get in, you have a legitimate shot.
Kansas City Royals
Our friends at Kings of Kauffman have been busy this weekend and have some great reads for you to take a look at.
"Once the World Series matchup was set, one had to expect that there would be some remarks about how this would be the World Series no one would care about. After all, this is not a matchup of teams that involves the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Dodgers. Aside from Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, neither team really has a player that resonates on the national stage.When coupled with the fact that both teams came through the Wild Card game, it should be no surprise that there would be commentary denigrating both teams. In fact, ESPN recently had an article calling the upcoming matchup the worst World Series in history. It seems that there has to be some sort of negative connotation when two teams that were not considered powerhouses during the regular season end up getting through the playoffs."
Hunter Samuels: How James Shields Can Keep the Giants’ Bats at Bay
"Madison Bumgarner has gotten quite a bit of coverage in the postseason, and rightfully so. He’s been utterly dominant in the playoffs, and was also extremely good in the regular season. As I wrote this weekend, the Royals are going to have their hands full with the Giants’ ace. Of course, Bumgarner won’t be the only guy making a start tomorrow night, in Game 1 of the World Series.James Shields will be making his 4th start of the playoffs, and for the most part, he hasn’t looked terribly sharp. He did pitch well enough against the Angels to throw 6 innings of 2-run ball, but his starts against the A’s and Orioles both left quite a bit to be desired. The Royals will need their ace to deliver a better performance if they hope to best Bumgarner tomorrow night. Despite Shields’ struggles in the postseason, he does have a couple of things working in his favor."
Ed Connealy: How The Royals Win Part 1 Of The World Series
"There are several keys, and some potential surprises that guided me to my World Series prediction. Instead of breaking down the entire series, I am going to give it to you in 3, easy to digest posts. Games 1 and 2, games 3-5, and games 6 and 7. Yes, I think there will be games 6-7. Yes, I think the Royals will win it in 7. First things first. How do they fare in Games 1-2?The A number one key to the Royals in Game 1-2, and the whole World Series, is their starting pitching. I still expect the back end of the bullpen, HDH, to be brilliant. That said, it would be nice to see the starters not abuse the privilege that is HDH. Take a quick look at these numbers from the ALCS."
David Hill: Four Keys for the Royals to Win the World Series
"Tomorrow, the Kansas City Royals will be playing in the World Series. Games One and Two, as well as Six and Seven, if needed, will be at Kauffman Stadium. For the first time in 29 years, the Royals are not only in the playoffs, but they have literally run rampant, sweeping their way through the playoffs."
San Francisco Giants
Our friends at Around the Foghorn have been just as busy and since we’re all still cheering for the National League, they are even more important reading.
"If you read Neal Gabler’s “Luck replaces grit in baseball playoffs, just like in real life,” (October 10th), you will find that the article forms the dubious conclusion that because they are lucky, the inferior San Francisco Giants were able to defeat the Washington Nationals. Gobler wrote,“What there is are teams like the Royals and Giants getting lucky-which, in a best-of-five series isn’t all that unusual and in the best-of-one wild-card game is essentially a throw of the dice. A ball takes a bad hop, a pitching ace has one bad outing, an umpire expands the strike zone. And just like that, luck turns into victory-and an inferior team beats a superior one that has proven to be better over that long season.”The author’s statement is categorically wrong."
Mark O’Neill: San Francisco Giants understand being knocked down & getting back up
"The San Francisco Giants are underdogs-once again-in the 2014 World Series, to the Kansas City Royals, and they’re good with that. However, though the Orange and Black may even be legitimately so, there is one rung on the ladder of experience that the Royals have yet to climb.Kansas City has ascended dizzying heights this postseason, including a historical sweep of all three pre-World Series tournaments, and is perched to trample over the Giants as well, whom they swept in a three-game series, earlier in the season."
Timmy Kennedy: Welcome to the best World Series ever, actually, ESPN
"Earlier this week, ESPN continued to embarrass themselves with horrible, horrible, horrible journalism. David Schoenfield wrote a piece that was utterly stupid, ridiculous and down-right awful. The article was entitled: Welcome to the worst World Series ever. The title says it all really, one doesn’t even need to read the article to understand the magnitude of stupidity the article entails. What’s even worse, is that unsurprisingly, his reasoning was even more stupid than the general idea of the article.First, he insinuated that small-market teams shouldn’t be in the World Series, because they couldn’t possibly be the best team without spending the most money. It’s kind-of sad that such ‘high-end’ journalists still, ironically, buy into the belief that money wins World Series rings. David Schoenfield, and everyone else who writes for ESPN are quite simply blind to the fact this, in their eyes, prominent and feasible theory is actually a fallacy. Yes, money doesn’t translate into wins, unless the right men are spending the money."
"For the third time in five seasons, the San Francisco Giants are World Series-bound, set to meet the Kansas City Royals, beginning Tuesday night in Kansas City. Some believe this is because of Buster Posey and the superb starting rotation, while others think it is the result of Buster Posey, combined with the stellar bullpen.There is still anther segment of fandom which believes it is Buster Posey and the home-grown nature of the Giants, whose entire infield is a product of the San Francisco farm system, which is ultimately responsible for the team’s success. Finally, there’s Buster Posey and the duo of Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti, the tandem I feel has had the greatest say in the formation a championship team."
I for one an thrilled that the Giants and Royals are squaring off in the World Series. I’m looking for the Giants to shut down the Royals running game like the Orioles did, but have better success with keeping the Royals off the board than the Orioles did. I’ll call it Giants in seven.