KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Gordon took a big rip at a batting-practice fastball, fouled it off badly into the cage, and ducked when the carom nearly hit him in the head.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 22nd, 2014
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Giants coach Tim Flannery found a talisman for the team in the hills behind Dodger Stadium. Or so goes the legend.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 21st, 2014
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Gordon took a big rip at a batting-practice fastball, fouled it off badly into the cage, and ducked when the carom nearly hit him in the head.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 21st, 2014
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Whenever he could, Buster Posey turned on the TV and watched the Kansas City Royals burn a hole through the AL playoffs. He understands what awaits him on Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium. A test of his arm, and of his composure. “Yeah, I’d imagine,” said the Giants’ lead-by-example catcher, asked if he expects the Royals to run. “Watching them the last month or so, they’re very aggressive, they have a ton of speed and I expect them to use it.” This is not the kind of challenge the Giants faced in the 2010 World Series, when the Texas Rangers tried to pass off designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero as a right fielder. The Royals are not the 2012 Detroit Tigers, who mostly waddled around the bases and hoped to outslug teams. The Royals are a National League wolf wrapped in American League wool, perfectly capable of beating the Giants at their own game. Kansas City manager Ned Yost is such an aficionado of playing small ball that he’s inspired the phrase, “The Bunt for Ned October.”   [RELATED: Bochy sets World Series rotation, see role for Lincecum ] No wonder, then, that the Giants worked on pitcher fielding practice and took infield drills in a workout Saturday at AT&T Park. No wonder they’ll work out both Sunday and Monday at Kauffman Stadium, too. They’ve played cleaner baseball than their opponents to claim an NL pennant. They can’t let down now. Ask the Giants how they slow down the go-go Royals and you’ll get two answers. The first one is laced with homespun humor. “Oh the Royals?” Tim Hudson said. “Don’t let ‘em get on base. That’s easy.” The second answer is the stuff that bench coach Ron Wotus prints out and stuffs in his clipboard: tag times, slide steps, secondary leads … “You can pitch out and they can still beat you,” backup catcher Andrew Susac said. “You have to stay focused on it as a pitching staff, mixing holds and looks, slide stepping is going to be a key. But that’s how these guys get a lot of pitches, too. If you’re slide stepping and it causes your arm to drag, that’s when you could leave pitch over the plate.” Right now, the Royals aren’t missing those pitches. They hit the fewest home runs of any AL team, but Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer have been extra-base threats all postseason. The Giants didn’t need to watch the Royals steal, bunt and thump their way through an 8-0 postseason to know how dangerous they can be. The Royals swept a three-game interleague series from the Giants at Kauffman Stadium in August, winning by scores of 4-2, 5-0 and 7-4. Susac started that last game behind the plate, when the Royals stole seven bases. The first five came with Tim Lincecum on the mound; Sergio Romo and Juan Gutierrez were victimized once each. It’s not like Susac is a slouch behind the plate. He once threw out blinding fast Reds rookie Billy Hamilton twice in a Single-A California League game. That day in Kansas City, though, he had virtually no chance. And he could summarize his feelings with one word. “Helpless,” Susac said. “Yeah, it was not a lot of fun. We didn’t do the best job holding them on, and it kind of hit us out of nowhere. I put a few good throws on and I know I couldn’t do much more. I don’t think I’ve ever had seven stolen bases in a month and they did it in a game. “If anything it was a good eye opener for us. You’ve got to know what they’ll try and put it to a stop to it early, and that’s how we can kill that sense of confidence they have.” Norichika Aoki and Jarrod Dyson each stole three bases that day. Alcides Escobar swiped one, too. [RELATED: Giants' experience may not be enough to beat Royals ] “It’s important to do a lot of things to disrupt that,” Posey said. “As a pitching staff we’ll have to vary our holds and our delivery times and it’s going to be important for me to be ready to make a good throw.” In terms of World Series opponents, the Royals might be most similar to the 2002 Angels, and coincidentally, this is the first meeting of two wild card teams since they raised a trophy in Anaheim 12 years ago. This series promises to be just as turbocharged. Other than managing the Royals’ aggressiveness on the bases, it would behoove the Giants to score early runs. The Royals have a better bullpen than any club the Giants have faced this postseason, and you don’t want to be in comeback mode against the three-headed monster of Wade Davis (1.00 ERA in 71 games), Kelvin Herrera (1.41 ERA in 70 games) and Greg Holland (1.44 ERA and 46 saves). Herrera, Davis and Holland have combined for a 1.05 ERA this postseason while throwing 32 percent of the Royals’ innings. This is their first World Series, though. It’ll be a test of their composure as well. – Andrew Baggarly, CSN Bay Area

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 20th, 2014
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KANSAS CITY (Reuters) – The wild card Kansas City Royals completed a stunning playoff sweep of the top-seeded Los Angeles Angels on Sunday with an 8-3 win that set up an American League Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles. The high-spirited Royals, in the postseason for the first time in 29 years, claimed the best-of-five Division Series 3-0. Baltimore also wrapped up their series without a blemish as they beat the Tigers 2-1 in Detroit on Sunday. …

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 20th, 2014
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Detroit (AFP) – The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, both coming off long Major League Baseball playoff droughts, completed series sweeps to reach the American League Championship Series.

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 19th, 2014
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Since Lorde’s chart-topping song “Royals” dropped last fall, several people have tried to give the song a more humorous spin in the form of a parody. However, John Leslie Long, a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Lee’s Summit, MO, and fellow church member Aaron Lage, focused on creating something of a new unofficial theme for the Kansas City Royals, who Lorde admits served as some motivation for her hit even though she makes no mention of baseball . The end result was an undeniable home run.  Long posted the video on Youtube on March 30, just one day before the Royals opened their season in Detroit. As it turns out, not only did they create something original that catered perfectly to long-suffering Royals fans, it seemingly predicted Kansas City’s deep postseason run, which continued on Wednesday as the Royals clinched their first trip to the World Series since 1985. In the song’s opening verse, Long touches on the Royals championship history while seemingly dismissing a few perennial contenders from the discussion.    A baseball diamond green and fresh I cut my teeth on series rings in the 80s  I’m quite proud of my address In a crazy town, Kansas City But every year it’s like bullpens, dugouts, swingin’ for the fences Homeruns, strikeouts, trashin’ the opponents We don’t care, we’re driving homers in our dreams But everybody’s like, Cardinals, Red Sox, what about the Yankees Mets, Braves, Marlins, Tigers and the Phillies We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair  But it’s the chorus Royals fans will be singing in their sleep until Game 1 of the World Series arrives on Tuesday.  Cuz you’ll never beat the Royals It don’t run in your blood That kind of loss just can’t for us We create a different kind of buzz. We will be your rulers Kings of the MLB And baby we’ll rule, we’ll rule, we’ll rule, we’ll rule It’s not just a fantasy It wasn’t a fantasy at all. And it might be fair to wonder if anyone will beat the Royals again in October. The Royals have ruled the American League playoffs, becoming the first team in MLB history to win its first eight games in a postseason. Now they’re four big wins away from wearing the crown as ‘King of MLB.’  Long and company may have aced this parody on every level.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 19th, 2014
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(Reuters) – List of winners in Major League Baseball’s World Series: 2013 – Boston Red Sox 4, St. Louis Cardinals 2 2012 – San Francisco Giants 4, Detroit Tigers 0 2011 – St. Louis Cardinals 4, Texas Rangers 3 2010 – San Francisco Giants 4, Texas Rangers 1 2009 – New York Yankees 4, Philadelphia Phillies 2 2008 – Philadelphia Phillies 4, Tampa Bay Rays 1 2007 – Boston Red Sox 4, Colorado Rockies 0 2006 – St. Louis Cardinals 4, Detroit Tigers 1 2005 – Chicago White Sox 4, Houston Astros 0 2004 – Boston Red Sox 4, St. …

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 18th, 2014
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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 18th, 2014
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The nearly three decades of frustration and disappointment that have relentlessly engulfed the Kansas City Royals organization were finally lifted on Wednesday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. With a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, the Royals completed a surprising sweep and clinched their first trip to the World Series since George Brett manned the hot corner, Bret Saberhagen toed the rubber and Dick Howser sat in the dugout perch back in 1985. It was a moment 29 years in the making, and it couldn’t have been any sweeter for those who have represented and supported the organization through the lean years that immediately followed their greatest season. The process hasn’t been an easy one, but along the way it’s presented years of hope, only for hope to fade just as quickly. The 2014 team was different though, because this team didn’t wilt under expectations. Instead, they built on 86 wins in 2013, they competed head-to-head with the heavily favored Detroit Tigers right until the regular season’s final day in the American League Central. And along the way they earned a spot in the AL wild card game. Once there, they refused to be denied of their opportunity to rewrite history and bring postseason joy back to Kansas City. It’s a great story that still awaits its perfect ending. But before that ending can be written, we’re going to take a look at some of the key moments and contributors that have helped them arrive at the cusp of immortality. The comeback The great story nearly ended before it could truly pick up steam. In the American League wild card game, Kansas City trailed the Oakland A’s 7-3 in the eighth inning and 8-7 in the 12th, but managed to come out ahead thanks to their fearless, resilient and relentless approach to the game. They haven’t slowed down since, and with the ALCS sweep over Baltimore, Kansas City became the first team in MLB history to begin a postseason with eight straight victories.  A world-class bullpen Every winning team has a strong foundation. For the Royals, it figuratively begins and literally ends with a world-class bullpen that consistently shortens the game to six innings. Closer Greg Holland, set up man Wade Davis, and seventh inning stalwart Kelvin Herrera are all workhorses that have embraced and excelled in their 2014 roles, which has made manager Ned Yost’s job a little easier. Together, they allowed just 29 earned runs in 204 1/3 innings during the regular season, good for a 1.27 ERA. That’s a half-run better than Clayton Kershaw’s 1.77 ERA in 198 1/3 innings, and we know no one wants to face Kershaw with the game on the line. In the postseason, the trio has been even better, posting a 1.05 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. They are nightmare fuel for opposing managers, and they change the way each game is shaped. Speed never slumps During the regular season, the Royals stole an MLB leading 153 bases. That’s 15 more than the second-place Dodgers and 40 more than the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants combined. But it’s not just about a stat, it’s about applying pressure and forcing the issue, which Kansas City does better than anyone by a wide margin. Yost uses his speedsters in a way that opponents can’t gameplan to keep them off the bases, and once they’re on base, any lapse on defense can lead to chaos. Just ask the Chicago White Sox.  Defensive wizardry Another trait that has yet to let Kansas City down is its defense. Their 104 errors were ninth in baseball, but they’re an aggressive team that’s willing and able to sell out on plays most teams would never have been in position to make. We’ve seen their excellence on display time and time again, especially from their outfield during this postseason run. Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon and Nori Aoki have all made multiple spectacular catches that were difference makers in tightly contested games. In other words, hitting it where the Royals ain’t is almost impossible. Postseason home runs While speed and defense has carried them throughout, only recently has Kansas City flexed its muscles. They were the only team to hit under 100 home runs (95) during the regular season, yet they’ve already hit eight in eight postseason games. That includes four in extra-innings. Mike Moustakas hit an 11th-inning game-winner in ALDS Game 1 against the Los Angeles Angels. Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the 11th inning of Game 2. In the ALDS, Alex Gordon and Moustakas each homered in the tenth inning of Game 1. It’s worth noting all four came on the road. Timing is everything, and the Royals have shown that their timing is impeccable. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By TrammelFan92 on October 17th, 2014
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