Games » Toronto Blue JaysJun6
The Royals finally win one and here's some of what it took
A lot of stuff had to happen for the Royals to win this game, and here’s a very incomplete list:
*Felipe Paulino had to pitch great, and he did. I don’t know what happened between Denver and Kansas City, but more pitchers should make the trip.
*The Royals had to overcome what seemed , at first glance, to be a bad call. On second glance, it was an even worse call. Mike Aviles threw high from third base, and Eric Hosmer made a great play using some of that nifty first-base footwork we’ve talked about.
Eric shifted his feet and stepped into foul territory, buying some extra room to haul in the throw. He then dragged his trail foot across the base while making the catch. Despite being out by a full stride, the runner was called safe by umpire Jim Wolf. The Royals would not have been in extra innings if the right call had been made.
*Mike Aviles had to hit a triple, scoring Hosmer who got on by an E-6. It turns out that first base is scoring position if you hit it far enough.
*Joakim Soria had to be lights out for two innings and seven outs. Alcides made an error in the tenth, and Joakim just motored on through. Nice to see.
*Getz had to lay down a textbook drag bunt to start the 11th inning and wound up scoring the winning run.
*And, finally, Eric Hosmer had to adjust. In one at-bat, he struck out chasing a pitch up and out of the zone, but he came back with a bases-loaded walk to tie the game and a bases-loaded single to win it.
And here are few other things worth noting:
*Jeff Francoeur hit the ball hard all night and had nothing to show for it. Not all oh-fers are equal. This was a hard oh-fer.
- Getz said he felt uncomfortable all night. In the clubhouse before the game, the Royals coaches show the team video of the opponent’s starting pitcher. Chris said all that the video showed Toronto starter Brandon Morrow dealing. Getz was laughing about it and asked why they didn’t show some video of Morrow getting lit up. “We’d all feel better,” he said.
*Soria is back to being the closer. Royals manager Ned Yost liked what he saw in Soria’s last few outings and isn’t screwing around any longer. Joakim’s got the ninth inning, and Aaron Crow has got the eighth.
Is Ned Yost a jerk?
That’s the question a reader asked me. (I guess he figured he should ask someone with some expertise in the field.) So here’s the short answer: No, not in my opinion. On the other hand, I’m a professional jerk , so my standards are pretty high. That being the case, let me expand on my answer.
I’ve been watching Yost for a while, and I think there are three things he does that might lead to a less-than-favorable impression:
1.) Ned will not let you put words into his mouth. Those of us in the media love to come up with theories and then float them out at Ned. If Ned does not refute our theory, we then feel free to write as if Ned agrees with what we said. So Ned often starts an answer by being negative in order — it seems to me — to prevent us from putting our words into his mouth.
So if you ask him if he wants an ice cream sundae, Ned might start by saying no. This prevents “YOST DEMANDS FROZEN TREAT!” headlines. Once he has made it clear he’s not buying into what you’re saying, Ned might eventually come around to admitting he would ,in fact, enjoy an ice cream sundae. But he’s going to say it in his words, not yours.
2.) Ned does not enjoy essay questions. If you ask him to give his thoughts about the next series, he will say, “We play Baltimore.” I think he’s smart enough to realize that just rambling on and on, then letting the reporters pick out the parts we find useful to our storylines, is a dangerous business.
It’s easy to screw up when you’re just spewing hot air. I’ve done it many times. So if you ask Ned to tromp around in a minefield until he causes an interesting explosion, he’s going to decline.
3.) Ned Yost does not suffer fools gladly. If you ask a dumb question, he’s not afraid to let you know it was dumb, and people tend not to appreciate that. It can be intimidating because we ask a lot of dumb stuff, and being made to look foolish isn’t a lot of fun.
I mainly watched the news conferences for about half a season. You can learn a lot by shutting up (something I fail to do far too often). It took a while, but I began to see the patterns I’ve described to you. I decided to only ask Ned a question if I thought it was a specific question with a specific answer. Was the hit and run on in the fifth? Ned has responded well to those questions and has even prolonged the answer to make sure I understood what he was saying.
So after watching the guy in a couple hundred news conferences and hearing him deal with success and failure, in my opinion, Ned Yost is not a jerk … but about half the time I am.
Buster’s bad position
Guess who doesn’t think they should change the rules of baseball to protect catchers? A catcher.
Royals catcher Matt Treanor said that San Francisco Giants backstop Buster Posey just got caught in a bad position when Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins collided with Posey at home plate, leaving Posey with a season-ending leg injury.
Matt compared the play with straddling the line at first. If you somehow wind up there, you’re going to get “blown up” (which is baseball slang for getting knocked on your ass).
When a catcher is receiving the ball on a play at the plate, he’s supposed to have his left foot pointed toward third base. (I learned this watching Ned Yost’s video on catching. Ned made it a long time ago and he had a porn ’stache and his voice was two octaves higher. But it’s a really good video.) Having the foot pointed toward third means that when the runner hits the catcher’s leg, the leg will go straight back and be protected by the catcher’s shin guard.
If the catcher’s foot is sideways when he gets hit, the ankle and knee can get rolled, injuring the catcher. That was what happened to Buster Posey. He got caught in a position where his leg couldn’t give, and he got injured.
Chris Getz says the same thing about a double-play takeout. If his foot is pointed toward the runner, his leg can give. If the foot is hit from the side, it can be rolled up, resulting in an injury.
So do you change the rules of the game because a player did the wrong thing and got hurt? If he wasn’t a star, would we be having this conversation?