College and Major League, that is.
Brandon Finnegan was the first round selection of the Royals — the 17th pick overall — just this past June, signing for slot at $2,200,600. He signed out of Texas Christian University, where he posted a 2.04 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 105 and two-thirds innings this year. Also: TCU happened to appear in the College World Series. He’s about to appear in the World Series with the Royals, making him the first player to do that ever. The Boston Herald has his story today.
Here’s hoping, for his sake, his current World Series run goes better than TCU’s did.
Jayson Stark mused that Buster Posey could be the new “Face of Baseball” now that Derek Jeter is retired. It’s a silly title, of course, retrospectively applied to Derek Jeter only after he had five World Series rings, but it’s a title people have been falling all over themselves to apply in the past several months.
Pedro Martinez took issue with Stark. Mostly to the effect that you can’t pick Buster Posey without considering other people first:
Um, Miguel Cabrera is an interesting choice given that Pedro thinks off-the-field stuff matters. But like I said, it’s a subjective title.
And even if it’s a dumb conversation to have — and even though I think he’s way off base with some of the names he throws out there — I continue to love that Martinez is an opinionated and often contrary commentator in an age where most former players are content to nod their heads and offer nothing but praise for everyone and everything.
People still say stuff like this:
George Brett has been employed by the Royals without interruption since he retired. You’d think that at some point he would’ve told the post-85 Royals the secret that the ’85 team possessed. I imagine he was embarrassed to realize that doing so had slipped his mind all of these years and then, back in August, remembered to fill them in.
Or, maybe it’s the case that sportswriters tend to look back at what happened and create fictions as a means of explaining them because to do otherwise would force them to come to grips with the fact that we live in a chaotic, unpredictable, indifferent and ultimately meaningless world.
I have watched this about 500 straight times. It’s hypnotizing.
I assume Bob Klapisch or Bill Madden are penning 800 angry words about this atrocity.
You’ll recall the story of SungWoo Lee, the Royals super fan from South Korea. Short version: He just randomly declared himself a Royals fan 20 years ago because he likes to root for an underdog and because he thought Kauffman Stadium looked beautiful. He would watch their broadcasts to improve his English skills. His fame as a fan grew on Royals blogs and message boards over the years.
Back in August, Lee was invited to Kansas City and he had the time of his life. And it coincided with a Royals winning streak. Rany Jazayerli wrote it all up at the time. It’s quite a great story.
Now Lee is coming back for the World Series:
SungWoo Lee, the South Korean salaryman whose ardent support for Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals has made him a cause celebre in recent months, has gotten permission from his bosses to take time off from work and attend the World Series.
Mr. Lee will fly to the U.S. early this week to cheer on his beloved Royals as they face the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 on Tuesday evening at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.
As the story in the Wall Street Journal notes, it was not an easy task getting him here. He just started a new job, it’s crunch time for his employer and you can’t simply tell your boss in Korea that you’re taking time off for some international sports-related travel under such circumstances. Heck, try doing that here at a new job. “Um, sir? There’s a cricket match going on in Pakistan I’d like to go see. It’s important over there and I’m, well, sorta famous on the Internet in that community. Can I take the time off?” You’d be lucky not to get your butt kicked to the curb instantly.
But it’s working out for Lee. His boss is letting him go, and you have to figure there will be a ton of shots of him in the crowd starting tomorrow night.