Royals Links: Bench Players, Celebrating Memories, ALCS Rotation, & More
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
With the Giants and Cardinals advancing to the NLCS last night, we’re left without baseball for the next two days. Well, the Arizona Fall League is underway, so I guess that’s something you can pay attention to for the time being. But this will be the fifth consecutive year that either the Giants or Cardinals will represent the National League in the World Series, while both American League teams are looking to make their first World Series since the mid-1980s. You know who to root for, America.
Let’s get to some links, in anticipation of Friday’s ALCS.
– Jonah Keri wrote a great piece for Grantland that discusses the impact teams’ benches and bullpens have had thus far in the playoffs, and how that impact may affect the way teams build their rosters in the future. Having the option of a Terrance Gore creating so much havoc on the basepaths might be more appealing than keeping that 7th or 8th reliever in the bullpen. If nothing else, this postseason has shown that even little-used players can make their presence known in a big way in October.
– At Pine Tar Press, Nicolette Martin wrote that this year’s Royals team is giving the current generation of fans some actual memories, not just stories and legends that have been passed down for decades. For the first time since the 80s, the organization is giving its fans on-field success to watch and marvel in, which can produce a lasting effect on everyone who’s watching. I know I’m never going to forget that Wild Card game, and I’m hoping there will be more chances like that in the next couple of weeks.
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– Craig Brown of Royals Authority lays out his recommended ALCS rotation, with James Shields and Yordano Ventura already having been announced as the starters for games 1 and 2, respectively. It will be interesting to see what Ned Yost does with the following two games, when Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas, and Danny Duffy would all likely be available, especially considering each pitcher looked very good in their most recent appearances.
– The Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger has a nice article on the night the Royals clinched the ALDS, when the team went out to celebrate. Instead of keeping the party to themselves, Eric Hosmer invited fans, via Twitter, to come to a bar in the Power & Light District, where they could all enjoy the evening. Hosmer even picked up the entire bar tab for an hour. This team understands that their success is for more than just themselves, so it’s awesome to see how they are making fans such a part of the ride.
– Will Leitch of Sports on Earth wrote about the upcoming ALCS, and how incredible it is that either the Orioles or the Royals will be playing in the World Series this year. Both fanbases have experienced so much pain and so many losses, so seeing the winner – and its fans – move on to the Fall Classic could make for a terrific storyline.
– Miles Wray published a column for Baseball Prospectus that ranks what could be this season’s moments of Octoberness, meaning which moments will be the ones replayed over and over again in the years to come. These are the iconic scenes that fans will remember forever, and even though some of the potential scenarios are no longer possible, it’s still a fun little piece.