Hey, Hey Kansas City: Royals are triumphant
As Matt Harvey took the mound in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday night, it appeared all but certain that the World Series would return to Kansas City for Game 6. But once again the Royals pulled off a highly unlike comeback to complete their triumph at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows -- a Royal Flushing! The Mets manager was going to use a relief pitcher in the ninth inning, but Harvey insisted on finishing the game, and the rest is history. He walked and gave up a double to the left field corner hit by Eric Hosmer (who had not been batting well up to that point). Hosmer then reached third and when Salvador Perez ground ball to short stop, he waited until the ball was thrown to first and then made a mad dash for home. Safe! It was a high-risk move, but it paid off, as the game was tied and went into extra innings. (It reminded me of a similar situation in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series last year, when Alex Gordon held up on third base rather than going for an inside-the-park home run. He was stranded there, and the Royals lost.) Fortune favors the bold!
In the 12th inning, Salvador Perez singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson, who stole second base, made it to third on a ground ball out, and then scored when pinch-hitter Christian Colon (who??) hit a clutch single to left field. The Royals were ahead for the first time in the game! On the very next play Daniel Murphy misplayed a ground ball just like he had the night before, Alcides Escobar hit an RBI double, and after the bases were loaded, Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run double to make it a 7-2 game. Fans in New York were dismayed beyond belief at this gut-wrenching turn of events. No team had ever scored five runs in an extra inning of a World Series game before. It was a historic accomplishment, and the Royals savored the triumph in the locker room.
Salvador Perez was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 World Series, the Royals' first world championship since 1985.
Today on the streets of downtown Kansas City, about 800,000 fans gathered to pay tribute to the Royals. See the Kansas City Star.
Congratulations to the Royals!
Citi Field update
Well, wouldn't you know it, I found some more discrepancies in my Citi Field diagrams, and before you knew it I was hard at work with yet another update. Good grief, Charlie Brown! Foul territory is slightly larger than before, the bullpens are angled a bit more to the right, and a few other details have been corrected. I hope that takes care of that.
World Series tix
By amazing coincidence, I got hold of some World Series tickets (as well as a National League Championship Series ticket) yesterday, but they were 32 years out of date. They're of no practical use, but may be of significance to collectors. In the 1983 Fall Classic, the Baltimore Orioles beat the Philadelphia Phillies in four straight games (including Games 3 and 5 on the tickets below) after the Phillies won Game 1 in Baltimore.
Dusty Baker to manage Nationals
So much for unconfirmed rumors from reliable inside sources! Apparently negotiations with Bud Black broke down after it was all but announced that he would become the new manager of the Washington Nationals, and in his place Dusty Baker has been chosen to lead the Nats next year. He has a multi-year contract, so apparently this is a done deal. (As far as we know, at least!) It's an embarrassing turn of events, and seems to reflect poorly on the Lerner family's awareness of baseball negotiating protocols according to Thomas Boswell (not "Bosworth" as I originally wrote in my October 30 post, now corrected). For more, see the Washington Post.
There's no question that Baker is a good choice. He was chosen as National League manager of the year in 1993, 1997, and 2000 while with the Giants, whom he led to the 2002 World Series. Later he managed the Chicago Cubs, whom he led to the NL Championship Series in 2003 (ouch!), and then the Cincinnati Reds, whom he led to the 2013 Wild Card Game. Twenty years is a lot of managerial experience indeed. Baker is 66 years old, not as old as I thought he was, so maybe he can fill the job of manager for a few years. Davey Johnson was 70 years old when he retired as manager of the Nationals after the 2013 season.