Author: Craig Calcaterra

Yordano Ventura flag

Royals minor leaguer criticizes Yordano Ventura on Twitter for wearing a Dominican flag


It’s not a great career move for a dude down in the bush leagues to slam a guy on the big club. It’s especially bad when it has a dumb, jingoistic element to it. But that’s what Royals minor leaguer Zeb Sneed did, with Yordano Ventura as his target.

It came in result to this image, from after last night’s game:

source: Getty Images

Sneed tweeted this in response:

This morning, Sneed apologized:

A “patriot mindset?” “Wording?” Yeah, that’s clearly the problem here. It has nothing to do with him actually thinking that a guy honoring his friend and his country is offensive or somehow undermines America.

Whatever. We now return you to the several more hours of flag-waving patriotism and tributes that remain in this major league season. Those are just dandy.

(h/t to Brew Crew Ball)

“Baseball’s absolute unpredictability makes amateurs of us all”

Royals fans

The quote of the Postseason comes from Roger Angell, of course:

Every year along about this time, friends start asking me, “Who’s going to win tonight? Whadda you think?” But of course I have no clue. Baseball’s absolute unpredictability makes amateurs of us all . . .

Angell uses the term “cheerful idiocy” to describe the proper way to approach a playoff game. That sounds absolutely and perfectly spot-on.

And if Roger Angell feels this way you are not just forgiven, but commanded, to tune out people who think they know what’s gonna happen tonight, or any other night, in the postseason.

Remembering World Series Game 7s of the past 30 years


KANSAS CITY — What happened before has no bearing on what will happen today. People will try to convince you that’s not the case. They’ll toss out that stat about Game 6 winners at home winning Game 7s as if it’s meaningful rather than simply interesting. They’ll point to 1985 and imply it has some sort of predictive value. It clearly doesn’t. What happens tonight is gonna happen because of what happens tonight not because of what happened before.

But, as long as we keep that in mind, there is no harm in gawking at history. Specifically Game 7 of the World Series. Here’s a brief rundown of the ones that happened in the past 30 years:

2011: The Cardinals defeated the Rangers, 6-2, in St. Louis

Man, what a disaster that ended up being for the Rangers. Game 6 was the real disaster, but Game 7 was, obviously, where it ended. Chris Carpenter did something not a lot of pitchers do anymore, and that’s start his third game in a seven game series (thanks rainout!). Allen Craig of all people robbed someone of a homer in the field. David Freese’s postseason legend was cemented with more RBIs and a World Series MVP. Overall not a competitive game, though. The highest drama had already gone down in this series. This is pretty common pattern, as we’ll see.

2002: The Angels defeated the Giants, 4-1, in Anaheim

This was a fantastic series, but Game 7 was a bit of a comedown here as well. The Angels’ big comeback in Game 6 when the Giants were eight outs away from winning it all traumatized Giants fans for a good bit. Obviously, two World Series titles since then have helped those wounds heal, but don’t think fora second that the Royals aren’t fancying themselves as these Angels and the Giants aren’t worrying that history is repeating itself, even if it is not doing so in such a dramatic fashion.

2001: The Diamondbacks defeated the Yankees, 3-2, in Phoenix 
1997: The Marlins defeated the Indians, 3-2, in Miami
1991: Twins defeated Braves, 1-0, in Minneapolis

If we’re lucky, tonight we get one of these. All three ended in a walkoff with Luis Gonzalez, Edgar Renteria and Gene Larkin doing the honors, respectively. Of course, the men who hit the walkoffs weren’t necessarily the men most remembered for their exploits in the series or even the game. A Game 7 can certainly create heroes, but in 1997’s case, Jose Mesa and Tony Fernandez instantly became goats. In 2001, Gonzalez was a hero, but Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson became legends. In 1991, Jack Morris nearly became immortal, with his performance almost catapulting him into the Hall of Fame.

1987: The Twins defeated the Cardinals, 4-2, in Minneapolis

Fun footnote: This was on a Monday and was broadcast by ABC, which also broadcast Monday Night Football at the time. Because of that — and because of another Minnesota team playing in the same darn stadium — ABC and the NFL decided that they would move the Broncos-Vikings game to Tuesday as a result. Can you imagine that happening today? They’d probably move the World Series to a neutral site and broadcast it on Fox Sports 47.

1986: Mets defeated Red Sox. 8-5, in New York
1985: Royals defeated Cardinals, 11-0, in Kansas City

Two more instances in which all the drama — be it Bill Buckner or Don Denkinger-induced — happened in Game 6. We had negative drama in Kansas City last night, so perhaps the script will be flipped and we’ll get it all in Game 7 this time? I think that’s almost certainly an omen, actually.

Wait. I said none of that mattered. Never mind.

*crosses fingers anyway*

The Red Sox have their sights set on Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

Jon Heyman says that the Red Sox have their eye upgrading third base:

The Red Sox, in need of third base production, are prioritizing Giants postseason hero Pablo Sandoval as well as Chase Headley, according to people in the know. Boston may also take a look at Aramis Ramirez, if he become a free agent, though he is said to fit below Sandoval and Headley. Ramirez is believed to prefer a return to Milwaukee.

It makes sense that they’d want to upgrade third base given the woeful production they got at the hot corner in 2014. Indeed, Sox third basemen hit a combined .211/.271/.308 this year. Not gonna get it done.

That said, you have to think the Yankees are going to want to hang on to Headley if they can because it’s not like anyone with a brain would count on A-Rod being healthy and effective and durable next year. As for Sandoval, his postseason heroics have been nice, but he’s probably going to be overpaid no matter where goes and, of course, will likely have draft pick compensation attached to him by virtue of the Giants giving him a qualifying offer.