<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>


More fun signs at Kauffman Stadium


From people promising to buy their girlfriends dogs to people agreeing to have babies if the Royals win, the signs at Royals games this postseason have been an odd mix of interesting stories and inappropriately personal insights into strangers’ lives. Game 7 is no exception:

I guess that’s pretty neat. And, given that makes the woman on the right 28-years-old, I suppose it’s not inappropriate or scandalous or anything. I mean, thank goodness we didn’t see this sign at Riverfront in the 1990 Series between the A’s and Reds. THAT would’ve be awkward.

There’s nothing better than a Game 7? Well, maybe there is.

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source: Getty Images

KANSAS CITY — Game 7 starts in less than an hour. Game 7 means everything in baseball. It’s the promise of a championship and a triumphant conclusion and 25 players going crazy as they spray champagne all over the place and celebrate the crowning achievement in the sport to which they’ve dedicated their lives.

But it’s also sad.

Maybe I just woke up on the emo side of the bed this morning, but all day I’ve been sad that the baseball season is ending tonight, no matter what. The anticipation of Game 7 has been crowded out by feeling bummed that the posting of the lineups this afternoon was the last posting of the lineups until next year. That the batting practice I just watched was the last batting practice of the year. That, after tonight, I won’t have that running, almost unconscious monologue in my head between pitches in which I think about whether a fastball or an offspeed pitch is coming next. At least not until next spring.

Ultimately this probably comes down to my long-standing preference for the regular season to the postseason. The postseason is fantastic, of course. It’s what everything leads to. Baseball is a sport, sports are about winners and losers and the playoffs are the arbiter of that, obviously.

But, as I’ve noted in the past, baseball is The National Pastime, not The National Competition or The Main Event. It is a game which can and often does fade into the background over the course of months as opposed to demanding that we drop what we are doing and Take Notice. It is the soundtrack or score to the summer. The accompaniment which complements our days and nights, not something which demands that we block out those days and nights and refrain from other obligations. It is always there, not as a loud roar, but as a steady, comforting hum that maintains no matter what else is going on in our lives.

My love of baseball was sparked by baseball being played every day. Baseball kept me company when I was a kid in a strange new town with few friends. Baseball has been there for me for most of the bad things that have happened in my life and, for a few hours in the evening, allowed me to take my mind off them or to give me some time to chew on them while ostensibly doing something else. And when the game was over I had the next day to think about it and, the next evening, watch or listen to another game. A pleasant, everyday habit more than an obsession as such.

Baseball is a long, slow, steady build. It builds up to tonight, of course, But tomorrow it won’t be there. And for as exciting as tonight’s Game 7 may be — for as dramatic and history-making the events of the next few hours — it’ll over for months when the final out is made. And it’s hard not to have some seriously mixed feelings about that.

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

Yordano Ventura 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.